|This is an open letter to all of you. I have recently been thinking a lot about my universe, Maynard Madness, which a lot of you will be familiar with (by which, I mean its existence and not its content). However, I was unable to reach a conclusion. The first five reviews I received for my drabble "Coming Full Circle" prompted me to revive this thinking, and I have come to the conclusion that many readers would enjoy my writing more if I did not stick to my MM universe. After asking about why people would be happier reading the drabble were it not part of MM canon (if MM can be said to have a canon), I received this response:|
It isn't that people hate it, Someone, but it isn't easy to follow when there are so many new characters - I know this from making what I now realise to be a mistake myself on various stories, getting to have too many people that even I couldn't follow what was going on! Also remember that a lot of us read the fanfiction because we like the books and the original characters. It isn't perhaps so much that people dislike the Maynard Madness group, as that we REALLY like the original characters, so often enjoy being able to read about them more. I hope that makes sense ! It isn't a criticism, I'm the last one to talk about keeping universes simple and close to canon !! As I've said before, the point is you writing what you enjoy writing. But I have learnt over the years that what seems very clear in my head when writing an AU is not always clear to read when I look back on it. As a reader I have wanted to read some of your stories, and often tried to, but just don't always have the time to get my head around all the back story, just as a lot of people say to me they lost track of my All Change universe and could never catch up - I don't blame them, I lost track of it myself !! I hope there will be more of this, as it looks interesting.
I have no idea what the "blockquote" tag does, but it seemed appropriate.
However, it is not just because of the reviews I received that I am writing this. I have, over time, become increasingly unhappy with the Maynard Madness universe. It no longer gives me the satisfaction from writing it that I used to have. It was my first universe, and therefore developed a lot, leaving it with little plot from one drabble to another (as in, there is no clear order), and so was also full of inconsistencies as the characters manifested themselves. I feel that I have learned a lot while writing that universe, and, now my writing has greatly improved (I'm not saying that it is top quality now, but it has moved beyond the tat that I first posted), and therefore it has now served its purpose. I feel rather like a pre-teenager clinging to a baby's blanket because they are terrified of moving on to the new challenges and situations presented as they grow older. I feel, in short, that it is time to let go.
The question I want to ask you, therefore, is this. What is to be done with Maynard Madness? I have boiled it down to three options:
a) Delete all of Maynard Madness, all subseries, and pretend it never existed,
b) Select drabbles that I am proud if within that universe and complete them to make a rough canon. This will include two extra stories that had incomplete first chapters when I decided to write this. The stories I consider unsalvageable will be deleted.
c) Do not delete or complete any stories, and instead abandon it like a ghost town, leaving it up as evidence of a previous chapter in my writing career.
Personally, I quite like option B, but the other two are also plausible, and I have taken all three into complete consideration. I was all for option A last week, but that changed to option C about three days later. My other main universe, Josie Goes to the Chalet School, I have enjoyed writing but is also under consideration regarding deletion, as I doubt the ethics of making oneself the heroine of a fanfiction story (Mary-Sue springs once more to mind). I am, therefore, asking for your advice on each of these three options, about the two universes (the fate of one will not determine the fate of the other). Tomorrow, I will be going on holiday for a fortnight, and I will be without wi-fi for the first week. I shall use this week to ponder these three options, without having the temptation of adding another chapter to any drabble.
I will probably come back to edit this, because I spent a lot of time last night thinking about this, and I am bound to have forgotten something important that I wanted to say.