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About this blog

A blog about writing and life, as told by me, dreamgazer220.

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On Haunting Shadows

Hey, guys! 

So if you hop on over to my author's page at any time in the near future, you're going to notice one change.  Haunting Shadows, my story about a girl struggling to get over the death of her best friend, has been deleted from the archives.  It's not with a light heart that I made this decision, and that's why you're hearing from me now, in this post. I do know it's the right move, though, and I just wanted to take a minute and talk to you guys about it.

This story has been through a journey. It started off when I was sixteen and writing fanfiction for the first time. On HPFF, it was under the name Sweetest Goodbye, probably circa 2005-2006, and I really, really hope none of you guys remember because that version of this story was awful.  Somehow, though, I managed to get over 200 reviews, and a lot of people loved it.  But then I went to college, decided I didn't "need to write fanfiction anymore" and deleted everything on my author's page, including Sweetest Goodbye -- which, completed, totaled about 29 chapters. 

Around 2015, I decided to come back to what I considered my flagship story, and fanfiction in general, and began a re-write of the story, now called Haunting Shadows with much better characters, storylines, and overall mystery. And it got a lot of amazing feedback.  And then we all know what happened with HPFF, and when the HPFT archives were born, I immediately transferred it over, not changing a thing and still overwhelmed by the response I got. All positive. Still overwhelmed by the fact that it won awards, won featured stories, and so many people seemed to love it and root for Cate, and leave me with long, amazing, thoughtful reviews (all of which I've saved, of course).

Now it's 2018, and I'm in a different place (obviously) than when I first started -- emotionally, mentally, and creatively. My writing has improved leaps and bounds, largely in part because of you guys. But now, every time I open my Scrivener doc, I get so overwhelmed with what to do with the second half of the story and I get stressed with wanting to re-write the beginning of it to show the changes in my writing.  And frankly, it's just not fun. 

So that's why, after one massive spring cleaning of my author's page, and this other, quieter spring cleaning, I've decided to delete it from the archives -- at least, for now. 

But I'm writing this post because I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have stuck by this story for so long, who have rooted for Cate, who have wanted to strangle Rob (but didn't) and Tommy alike. I want to especially thank @victoria_anne and @WindingArrow because without them, this story would've never reached 14 chapters in the first place and I would've given up on it a long time ago.

And I don't think I'm giving up wholeheartedly yet. I might decide to re-vamp and re-boot it in the future, but just... better.

Anyway. I'm still going to keep writing, so you don't have to worry about that! I just posted a Bellarke one-shot and I have a James II/OC fic in the works (hopefully). So this definitely isn't the last of me, by a long shot. It's just the end of HS, at least for now.

But seriously. Thank you. And I love you guys.  

The Say Goodbye Challenge: RESULTS!

And the results are in! 
  So if you’ve been hanging out on the forums at all for the last few months, you may have noticed that I hosted my very first challenge here at HPFT, called the “Say Goodbye Challenge”, and I’m here today to present the results!

In case you’re not familiar with the challenge, here’s a quick recap of the details:
The challenge: In less than 5,000 words, I want you to write me a one-shot where your main character has to say goodbye.  It doesn't necessarily have to be to a person; it can be a special place or a significant object from their lives as well. It can be a permanent goodbye or a temporary goodbye; the choice is yours.  The point of this challenge is to express the character's emotions, and show the significance of the thing or person they're saying goodbye to; I want you to really make me feel for the character.  Show me rather than tell me; be creative! I didn’t think I would get many entries at all, so it’s an understatement to say that I was blown away by the 14 entries I received.  And then I started to read all of the entries, and I knew that grading was going to be really, really difficult; it wasn’t just the quantity of the entries that shocked me, but also the quality of them -- although I suppose that shouldn’t have been as much of a surprise, given how talented everyone here is. For grading, I had a total of 5 categories: interpretation of the challenge,  plot, characterization, description/dialogue, and emotional impact. The entries with the highest scores had the highest  emotional impact and the best take on the prompt. Complete List of Entries: May We Meet Again by clairevergreen (clevernotbrilliant)
Burdens (M) by BlackPixie
Shattering, Dying, Healing (M) by Felpata_Lupin
Don't Know How to Say Good-bye by StarFeather
Good-bye, Ron by StarFeather
Farewell Thoughts by DanyFire
Pandora's Secret by Phoenix Potioneer
Percy by Pixileanin
Then Time Stood Still (M) by Levana
Pedestal by sapphicsunrise
a caged soul (M) by justawillowtree
Clippings (M) by pookha
Goodbye, Jus by Felpata_Lupin
Live and Be Well (M) by Pen2Paper
So without further ado, please join me in congratulating the following authors!

In 3rd Place:
 a caged soul (M) by @just.a.willow.tree

What You Win: an additional prize review of your choice and a favorite story 

In 2nd Place: 
Percy by @Pixileanin

What You Win: 3 additional prize reviews on stories of your choice, and favorite story

And the winner of The Say Goodbye Challenge is...

In 1st Place: 
Then Time Stood Still (M) by @Levana

What You Win: 5 additional prize reviews on stories of your choice, a favorite story, and a picspam representing your story

And because I had so many amazing entries, it was so difficult to narrow it down to just three places.  These were the other two pieces that stood out to me the most:

Honorable Mentions: Shattering, Dying, Healing (M) by @Felpata_Lupin

Clippings (M) by @pookha

If you’d like to keep your prize graphics, don’t forget to re-host and credit @just.a.willow.tree!

And that’s a wrap! Congratulations to all the winners!    

Please PM me with the stories you would like your prize reviews on, and @Levana, message me if you have any specific images you’d like to include in your picspam. Thank you to everyone for making my first challenge such a roaring success -- and if you’re looking for a good angsty fic to read, please read any of these stories mentioned in this entry.  I can’t recommend them strongly enough.

Until next time,  




Advice on Two Birds, One Stone

Hey, guys! Welcome to my blog

For those who don't know me, my name is Jill, and I love rare pairs, the next generation, and The 100 (where I actually ship the main pairing???).  I'm also addicted to coffee, work with kid's books for a living, and spend way too much time procrastinating and then wondering why my WIPs never get finished. 

But enough about me. Let's get onto the point of this entry.

If you've visited my author's page at all, you might be familiar with my story Two Birds, One Stone (M) which was my first attempt at a Next Gen novel(la).  I originally wrote it for a summer holiday challenge back at The Old Place, but it's since taken a life of it's own and has mostly been a really fun, light story for me to write -- which is different than the angst and tragedy I normally write.  The story, is in short, a fake dating story between James II and my OC, Hannah Thomas-Finnigan.  The two decide to date each other to get revenge on Hannah's cheating ex-boyfriend and to prove to the world/media/Hannah's best friend that James is capable of a serious relationship.  Hannah's originally less than thrilled about the idea, but eventually warms up and over the course of the story, becomes a bit more comfortable with the idea. 

It's going to be hard to talk about this without giving away the ending, but I'm going to try.  I originally wrote this (or started to write it) with the idea in mind that I was tired of fake dating turned real love, and I wanted to break away from that cliche.  The ending is, well, less than happy, but I have a sequel in mind to make things right again.  I also came up with the ending to go for shock value -- it doesn't end in the way you expect it to.

So here's my dilemma and reason for this post: I don't know if I want to keep that storyline.  I've written about 5 chapters now, and writing chapter 6, I feel like the story just kind of goes around in circles.  People reacting to James and Hannah (affectionately referred to as Jannah in the story)'s relationship, James trying to prove to Hannah that yes, this is a good idea and it benefits both of them, and Hannah getting in way over her head.  I've also struggled with the ending a lot -- I'm not sure if it really fits my characters and the story, even though they're human and everyone makes mistakes.  Also, for the life of me, why can't I just write a happy fluffy story, dammit!

I'm torn between seeing this through to the end (I have commitment problems with writing, so this is already a struggle) and taking it off the archives so that I can re-write the entire thing and making it more of a summer romance/coming of age story still with the basic premise.  My writing has also improved a lot since I first wrote it in August of last year, and I want to re-write the first few chapters to reflect that. I'm just worried that if I take it off, I'm not going to finish it -- and I love this story as a whole and the characters, so I want to write it.  I also have so many other projects going on in my brain right now, and of course, Haunting Shadows (I started writing chapter 12, I promise!), and my brain doesn't know how to multi-task well.

So I'm asking for your opinions.  Even if you've only read the story a little or haven't at all, I'm curious to what you would do in my shoes because this has been an issue for a while now.

Any and all advice would be welcome



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