Updated 1/19/2012 Edit

Currently working on Ch. 81. I may or may not post 78 when I’m done with 81, but have a strong impression that I had better at least complete Ch. 81 before posting anything. This is due both to the extent that the chapters form a dramatic ‘block’ and the number of backward edits I’ve been making.

I am surprised at the number of people who assume that I am deliberately squatting on these chapters like some sort of evil hoardy dragon bent on causing them personal pain, despite the fact that I am, y’know, nice enough to write the chapters in the first place. Those sorts of yelling, impolite, demanding reviews – you know who you are – don’t make writing more pleasant for me. General life advice: Celeste’s Principle states that you should try to associate a behavior with pleasant, positive, rewarding feelings if you want that behavior to be repeated. Demanding that I release chapters isn’t going to make me stop writing, but it does feel like a small jolt of pain each time I get one and that’s really not what you want me to associate with HPMOR. That’s not blackmail, it’s me genuinely describing how my mind works.

Writing lessons recently learned:

(1) Next time, if ever, that I write a novel, I will know that the reason there is a phrase called “plot bunnies” is that they reproduce out of control if not otherwise restrained, and I will try to put my plot open parens closer to my plot close parens.

(2) Thinking abstractly about the degree of tension that needs to hold in a particular place in the text, was very helpful in letting me see which events couldn’t happen, or needed to happen at a later point. For example, you can’t have a joke, or certain kinds of jokes, while you’re trying to build tension – laughter dissipates tension.

(3) If you’re a fanfiction author and have completed chapters in the pipeline but you’re still working on them or want to post them as a set, don’t tell anyone unless you’re very thick-skinned – there’s a surprisingly large number of vocal readers who will take this as a personal insult, even though many others may be glad for the information.

Update 1/20/2012Edit

I am amazed at the incredible outpouring of warmth that I’ve gotten over the last two days. Thank you. This is what makes writing rewarding. I will take all your kind words to heart, and not post the arc until it’s properly cooked and finished and ready for a flurry of predictable closely-spaced posts. That’s what I thought most people would want after waiting several months, and the recent flood of reassurance has given me the strength to carry through on it.

Today’s HPMOR words written: 3,800.
Latest chapter with a complete draft: Ch. 81.
Hours past bedtime stayed up before even starting to go to sleep: 1.5.