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A note from the author

Please indulge me again.  I'll admit that this may come across as pandering, but as I mentioned in my very first post, this is a new approach to writing fanfic for me.  In my other fandom, I have always had a mailing list that allowed me to send my stories to the inboxes of a few hundred people and receive immediate feedback, so I could get some idea of what was working in a story as it was being read.  I'll also admit that getting responses helped my ego a lot, since they confirmed that there were people reading who appreciated my efforts.

This has been a very different and somewhat disconcerting experience.  I've posted 25 parts of From the Ashes so far (the six-part prologue and 19 chapters set in 2010).  I've received three comments here, plus one or two on the Sony message boards, and most scenes receiving no response.  I suspect some of that has to do with the fact that this is intended as a Shane/Kim reunion fic, but they are not yet close to that reunion and a lot of the scenes have focused on other characters.  I'm not going to apologize for that, because I intend for the intertwining plots to come together and be more involved than the simplistic treatment Shane and Kim received on the show. 

For instance, I do not intend to resolve the Costa Blanca prison with Rafe Hernandez showing up, him and Shane knocking out a guard, walking out the door, and reappearing on a plane.  As I said in the initial post, I am going to follow the show enough to get Rafe to the prison, but that is where the plot similarities will end.  My plans for Shane's escape are a lot more complex, and, hopefully, in the spirit of my favorite Days plots, will involve a lot of other characters, some expected and some who might come as a surprise.  Obviously, Kim's recovery will include a lot that was not shown on the show, and the reunion will be very different.  And, then of course, there will still be Victor Kiriakis to deal with.  And with that in mind, I am trying to avoid having a bunch of random show characters suddenly show up, play important roles in the story, and then disappear.  I want those characters to be more than plot devices with familiar names, even if it draws the story out a bit more.  I hope that makes sense and readers will be patient with scenes that may not involve their favorite characters.

Now going back to pandering.  I would very much like to know if people are reading the story so far and would really like to get a sense of what is working and what is not.  I don't even need a lot of specifics.  Even the most general thought would be great.  Are there characters you like? Dislike? Behaviors or actions that seem out-of-character?  Canon inconsistencies?  Anything you think would be appreciated.  I am all ears (or is it eyes?).

I also should add that I am not asking this as some veiled threat, like those annoying posters on fanfiction.net who demand reviews or they will not post the next chapter.  I write because I enjoy it and as long as the story ideas are coming -- particularly when they are as strong as they have been for this story so far -- I will keep writing and posting.  I already have the next 10 or so scenes written, plus some scenes that will take place farther into the future.  I would like, as much as possible, to keep a cushion between what I post and what I have written.  My RL can easily become overwhelming and I expect some writer's block will occur as the plot develops.

And, as a final matter, this author thanks you greatly for reading.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
I'm not vey good at the whole critique thing. I am vey much enjoying the story so far, especially the Kim/Andrew/Jeannie interaction. I think you have captured their voices very well and I'm looking forward to seeing those relationships continue to develop and how things will change when Shane gets involved.

I think the Shane/Victor/John storyline is well written, but I admit that I'm more about the family relationships than I am about adventure side of things.
Sep. 25th, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)

Thank you for the response. I should have made it clear that I'm not expecting critiques. By this post, I just wanted to get a sense of the readers, since I am so foreign to this fandom and it helps helps to get a sense of what readers like. That is exactly what you provided and it helps.

As for the story, I'm trying to balance the intrigue/action/adventure with the interpersonal dynamics. At some points, the balance will tip to one side versus the other. The start was heavily Shane focused, but over the next several chapters, while the focus is on events in Salem and Kim's cancer treatment, Shane will be more in the background. When the time comes for his escape, the balance will probably shift the other way. Jeannie may also take a smaller role as she returns to school, but I'm trying to find ways to keep her involved. Since I'm using a set time frame, currently in February 2010, some of the canon dictates which characters are front and center. But, overall, I definitely hope to maintain some balance.
Sep. 25th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
P.S. The above was from Erica.
Sep. 25th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC)
The story so far is easy to follow and I'm enjoying Shane and Victor. I'm not a big fan of John (Reilly changed my opinion of him sadly) but since you have him in your story, I'd like to make a suggestion. I'm not sure how much of the 90s you watched but John was Victor's son-in-law for a short while. Once Isabella died, they grew closer and Victor was there for John when he was having problems with Stefano. Through the years, Victor has developed a soft spot for him. They are no longer the enemies they were previously and Victor would never deliberately be the cause of Brady losing his father. (at least that is the way Victor and John has been written since Isabella's death).
I'm glad to hear that Rafe isn't going to play the same part in the story that he did on the show. I like my characters a little less hypocritical and more conflicted but that is a personal preference.
Sep. 25th, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I stopped watching in the late 80s, so there is a huge amount of canon that I'm trying to ascertain on the fly. Your comment about Victor and John is exactly the type of issue I have been trying to figure out. I can read character bios and summaries all I want, but they rarely explain the interpersonal dynamics all that clearly. I may have to revise some of the scenes I've posted and written, and assess some of what I have planned depending on what I decide Victor's priorities to be and how much of a threat to Victor's operation John becomes. I figure he would never put one of his sons (Bo, Philip) or grandson (Brady) in danger, but did not think that would extend to the same degree to John. I have to admit that some aspects of this story would be so much easier if they had never softened Victor so much.

As for Rafe, I feel compelled to use him because of canon, but he is not a character I particularly like. (I'm hoping to avoid as much of Rafe/Sami/EJ as I can, though they will appear here and there.) I think my opinion of Rafe will become a little more clear in the next part I post. And even if the Salemites' opinions of Rafe on the show are more positive than mine, I think I'll allow myself to depart from canon in that respect.

By the way, I should add that I have been watching your YouTube vids and want to thank you for providing such great stuff. I also just read The DiMera Legacy yesterday, and hope you update it.
Sep. 25th, 2010 08:18 am (UTC)
be so much easier if they had never softened Victor so much.

I'm sure JA would agree with you though they didn't really soften him as much as rob him of his mojo (Reilly's specialty) and when JA complained, he got fired like a few other actors at the time with the same nerve to question the writing. To me, Victor still has an edge, and more important, secrets that haven't disappeared so I think he's still quite dangerous. The difference is that there are a few more people in Salem for him to care about then there were when he arrived. I must say, I like the way you have him treating Philip. That is so typical of their relationship.

I'm glad you're enjoying the vids :) and I'm aiming for another chapter of Legacy in a couple weeks.
Sep. 25th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
When John opened Basic Black, Victor told him that their friendship (such as it was) was over. He even threatened to firebomb the building! I guess he really doesn't like competition. In 2008, when Stefano was in the midst of his latest plans to regain possession of John, he outlined his scheme to Victor, who listened quite cheerfully, and clearly had no problems or objections to it. I don't think you need to worry about Victor looking out for John. Brady, yes. John, no. He'd probably rather not kill him, because of the effect that that would have on Brady - but Victor is definitely a pragmatist.

He seems to have spent so much time in recent years either being dead or being nearly dead, though, that really the choice is yours. The writers have largely forgotten about him, so do with him as you will. That's certainly my approach!
Sep. 25th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much. I definitely agree that Victor is a pragmatist and is willing to accept some collateral damage if it means getting what he wants. And what you've said is consistent with how I have revised some of the scenes to take into account what madelinehawaii mentioned.

The Stefano/Victor scene you describe is intriguing, because I've already written a scene to appear later in the story that has Victor describing some plans to Stefano and they address the possible effect on John.

I'm glad you're reading. As I've said, I really enjoy your story and definitely appreciate your insights into John and Marlena.
Sep. 30th, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC)
chapter 24
Like and think it is interesting telling the story from how Andrew as a child saw things go down. Keep it going. I cannot wait to hear what Kimberly and Jeanne has to say about all this.
Oct. 1st, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
Re: chapter 24
I'm glad you liked that scene. When you think of everything Andrew went through by 1992, he really had to be extremely confused.

I am getting the impression that readers are reacting more to the Kim/Andrew/Jeannie plot than to the Salem and Shane-in-prison scenes. I do hope the other scenes are not coming across as filler, because I plan on bringing everything together later.
Oct. 1st, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
Re: chapter 24
No I for one am not just focusing on the Shane and Kim story. I am also enjoying Bo and Roman, as well as John and Marlena, and the fact that there are still feelings between Roman and Marlena. You bring to life things I don't always consider.
Myrthala Miranda-Guzman
Apr. 3rd, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
after seeing the reunion clips, I thought the same things you did, that there was a lot of important interactions that should have taken place that didn't. What really bothered me was that at one point kim says jeannie and andrew are there with her, but yet she doesn't even mention to shane or ask did you see the kids. When they leave they don't leave with the kids or even acknowledge where they are? Its just so sloppy, it's annoying. Thanks for tying up all those loose ends.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )