Monday, 31 October 2005

Finished, part 3

Chapter 12 has now been sent out to the pre-readers.

It took a lot longer than I'd hoped, because the final read-through revealed a whole lot that needed re-working. In particular, the last 5000 words or so! I'm still not 100% happy with them, but they're a great deal improved now.

I suppose it's time to start thinking about chapter 13…

Saturday, 29 October 2005

Stupid SM4200 statistics

  • There are 338,666 in the series so far (including chapter 12).
  • The most common words in the story are:

    • "the"   (14,726 occurrences)
    • "she"   (9,283 occurrences)
    • "a"   (8,837 occurrences)
    • "to"   (8,804 occurrences)
    • "and"   (7,701 occurrences)
    • "her"   (6,308 occurrences)
    • "of"   (5,946 occurrences)

  • Angus apparently has too much time on his hands. ^_^

Thursday, 27 October 2005

Finished, part 2

Finished rewriting the ending. Much longer now—I added a thousand words—and I think, considerably better. I had to up the ante quite a lot, and it's now almost nothing like I originally planned (back when I started writing SM4200), but I think it works.

I'll give the whole chapter one last read-through tomorrow, and then it goes out to the pre-readers.

Monday, 24 October 2005


The first draft of chapter 12 is complete. It weights in at 33,586 words (192K). The last 4000-5000 words were written in two days.

Before you celebrate, I have to say that I'm very unhappy at the ending, and suspect that the final thousand words or so need a complete rewrite. (I'll be able to judge it more objectively in a day or so, perhaps.) But for now, it is at least there.

And about time, too.

Saturday, 22 October 2005

Updates, and a request for help

My thanks to those who've given sympathetic comments after my last posting. Without going into details, I can say that the situation is pretty bad, but not quite as awful as I'd initially feared. Time will tell. Meanwhile, life goes on.

I've posted revisions to chapter 6 today. As usual, they're basically pretty minor, amounting to slight rewording here and there, and a few tweaks to keep in sync with the changes to earlier chapters. Also, chapter 6 has gone up on

As for chapter 12—I'm quite pleased with the progress there. In fact I was hoping to have it finished off this weekend, but that may not happen. Regardless, it's pretty close.

Finally…a request for help. Has anybody reading this taken flight lessons? If so, please contact me. You may have noticed that, last chapter, I revealed that Suzue is learning to fly. The subject crops up again in chapter 12, and I have to admit that what I've written about it is essentially based on what I've read on various internet sites. Some kind of assurance that I'm making sense would help.

Thursday, 6 October 2005


Some rather horrible family news yesterday. Maybe as bad as what happened to Miyo's family. I won't go into details; they're nobody else's business. I'd like to write to try and forget for a little while but I'm just kind of numb inside.

It's cold and it's raining outside and I'm tired.

Sunday, 2 October 2005

More on the thing

I posted chapter 4 a couple of days ago. Planning to do one a week.

The general results of putting SM4200 up on have been…good, but disappointing. There've been no negative responses, and I've even had some actual commentary back—ie, someone posting a review that actually went through the story and commented on particular points. That commentary was, I think, based on a line-by-line compare of with the version of SM4200 that was posted to rec.arts.anime.creative, years ago, but has still raised some good points.

On the other hand, while the responses have been positive and useful, there haven't been many of them.

Regarding in general…my experiences of it appear to have been better that some of you, judging from the comments you've posted. ^_^ Yes, most of what gets posted there is juvenile crap (it follows Sturgeon's Law very well indeed). And yes, the site has a deplorable habit of altering the text you post, without warning you. (I spent a lot of time working out a format for SM4200 that wouldn't get changed.)

But I've also read some genuinely excellent stories there as well.

I suspect that some people would like to see me posting SM4200 on instead. I've considered it. But has its own problems, primarily technical. (For example, cryptic database error messages when one tries to change an email address. Zero response when complaining to the site admins about same.)

In the long run, my own web page remains the primary forum for posting the story. All others will remain subsidiary.