Well, in case anyone missed the memo yesterday, I finally got around to actually updating one of the stories I had started writing. In this case, Midchildan Music was first posted to fanfiction.net in December 2010, meaning it's been over two years from story start to completion - and this is a work that tops out just over 25k words, when I can and have pounded out twice as many in a month.
The short version of that paragraph? I may have some issues with procrastination when it comes to things like this.
Part of that has to do with my personality, I think. I tend to be fairly... anxious about putting my writing on the Internet for all to see. (As an aside, that applies not just to fan fiction, but to blog posts and comments as well.) What happened with this final chapter of Midchildan Music was that I had it essentially finished and ready to post - and then stopped to re-read it. Theoretically to make sure that it was free of errors and that it was what I wanted to post. Then I re-read it again. Then I went to bed, deciding to sleep on it before I posted it. And then, well, it kind of slipped out of my "immediate concerns" pile and didn't find its way back into said pile for around a year and a half.
To be fair, I did make some edits over the past few days to the chapter that I had written back then. So perhaps it turned out better for the delay? I doubt it ended up better enough to justify as long of a wait as it was, but who knows.
Anyway! Chapter 5, Miku Append. Spoilers ahead! Go read the chapter itself first.
Of all of the Vocaloids, Miku is and probably will remain my favorite - and as far as Vocaloid costumes are concerned, in my opinion Miku Append wins hands down, at least as far as "general purpose" is concerned. Then again, I didn't title the chapter entirely on that reason, considering that the Miku in this chapter is very much an evolved form from the Sergeant's first Intelligent Device creation, just as Miku Append in the real world is to some extent an "upgrade" for the original Miku Hatsune.
There are two major goals that I was aiming for in this chapter. The first is to finish the Sergeant's change of heart. Meeting Miku has affected him. He started this story in a very uncomfortable position as someone who was very inwardly focused on his own goals, and very narrow ones at that. He ends it as someone who cares a little more about the people around him - not only Miku, but he demonstrates in the letter he sent to Haruko that he recognizes the mistakes he's made in ignoring the world around him before Miku showed up. Or at least, that's part of what I was trying to get across.
The second was to give the Sergeant and Miku a chance to finally win something. And to show off some of my favorite Vocaloids songs as battle themes. The fights are short and sweet, but I hope they are sufficiently awesome all the same. I also enjoyed the chance to link the magic he was using to some particular songs that I enjoy, and I would encourage people to go give a listen to both Disruptive Diva (yes, the one line in that song was entirely responsible for calling the spell Prelude to Destruction) and Love is War.
That wasn't the only thing I got out of the second fight with Fate, though. I highlighted the Sergeant's change of heart, as well. He's no longer focusing on sheer and overwhelming power, but on using what he has and what he knows to "defeat" a foe that is (still) far superior to him in raw combat ability. And it works out very well for him in the end.
Anyway, I should probably cut this off here before I write another several thousand words. I hope everyone that read Midchildan Music enjoyed the ride! And hopefully I'll be able to polish up and properly finish the sequel that I started working on for last year's National Novel Writing Month...