An Honest Statement

Author's Notes: To those whom are still following this story after a year of inactivity, I'd like to greet and apologize to. There's been an incredible amount of silence from my end, which was only made worse in the time I started and updated a completely different story. I'm sure you're wondering what this is about, so I'll get to the point (be warned, a long story follows it).

This story has been in unannounced hiatus for a multitude of reasons, but it has not yet been cancelled either, so please hear me out. This is my first fanfiction and the longest project I've ever individually carried out without help, compensation or prior knowledge of most kinds (hell, whenever I read the first chapters, I cringe at the quality of my writing, which I take as a sign of visible improvement). This is my brainchild, and I've carried it out faithfully (if not irregularly) for multiple years now. So what changed?

When I started writing this story, I was either a sophmore or junior at high school. Then I got into university and continued writing it. As time went on, updates became more infrequent (which I like to believe I've compensated for through lengthier chapters of higher quality). During my university period, I finished the Human-Covenant war, and actually closed what might as well have been a full story, and couldn't have been prouder. Now I could move on to Mass Effect.

I move on, and the plans I had originally started writing this story with changed completely for what I like to believe are better ones. By this time, however, I'm a junior at university, a year where my grades were mediocre at best, I risked my quality of live over one hellish mistake and lost most of the faith my parents in me. Alright, no more writing, time for damage control. Next year and a half was mixed between a semester where instead of classes, I worked 40+ hours a week as a restaurant cook for about 200 euros a month, where I wanted to kill everyone for that time.

After learning how much sweat goes into a well-earned buck, my parents gave the go-ahead to return to uni and start and finish my senior year, with 18 credits per semester of the hardest classes of my major. None of this is the stuff of legends nor horror-story material, this is just the shit that people go through: growing up (although I did have my senior year when a certain virus started infecting most of the world, can't remember what it's called). Long-story short, I graduated, but at the cost of writing time.

"But Almighty Dickhead," some of you may ask, "why'd you use what little time you had to write a different story that gained more regular updates than this one?"

It's simple. Towards the end of May last year, during finals season of my second-to-last semester, my old laptop died. From one day to the next, it stopped working when all my classes were online and all my documents were saved physically, not on the Cloud (or on any backup, as my dumbass didn't have the foresight for an event like that happening). Why's this important? I had one, one document I had saved that was the lifeline of this story.

As you can see in my earlier writing, the story was clumsy. Storylines were rushed, characters were forced, and above all, the writing was improvised. I had a general idea of the endgame of Part 2, but for the most part, it was "write homeworld battles and then move onto Halo games plotlines". I think I did it well, and I like to think I improved, but by the time I started writing Part 3, I realized that nothing I could write would ever be great without some actual planning and "storyboarding" as it were.

Enter the special document. In this document, I had written down the entirety of the chapters I had planned for Part 3, which were about twenty, and even a few for Part 4. I had to put less effort into thinking of where to take the story, I'd mapped out character arcs, figured out the story's direction and actually decently timed subtle hints and clues to what would later become worthwhile plot-twists without feeling forced or out of placed. This was one of the documents lost with the old laptop.

So, after wanting to kill myself, kill every single bat that might have a fresh new strand of COVID waiting to spread to the world and every other person on this planet, I subconsciously ragequit this story. I couldn't remember half the storylines nor the chapters that I had in mind for the story, couldn't remember the pacing nor even what I meant to write, and it all went to hell. After this episode, my last semester of university started with the hardest class I've ever taken (good luck to anyone and everyone who are currently taking or will take econometrics), so I hid behind the reasonable excuse that I needed to focus on graduating since there wasn't enough money for another semester.

That brings us to today, where I'm currently working a 9 to 7 internship with the hopes of turning it into a job by July. I've barely made time for myself during the week, and most of my weekends I've spent sleeping. Now that I'm used to working, I'm finally getting back to doing the things I enjoy in the brief windows of time I have for myself.

So why am I writing this here and now, and what is the point of the message underlying this whole story? Well, now that I've made time for myself and think on things, I've been looking at recent PMs and reviews that have been left on this story. It's come to my realization that it's only been a few days not only since my one-year hiatus has started, but seven years since I began writing in general. Looking back on this time, I owed you lot an apology for unexpectedly disappearing without a notice or even the idea that I'd be returning to this story. For that, I'm honestly sorry. Where does this leave us? This is the importance of this chapter.

IF YOU'VE SKIPPED EVERYTHING ELSE, READ THIS LAST PART:

Looking at this story, I don't have the heart to cancel it, I'm too proud to delete it without saying a word, and I'm too greedy to put it up for adoption. Right now, I have the least amount of time I've ever had, but I've also never wanted to write as much as I do now. And, mainly, I know what I can and I can't do. What I can't do is rewrite that document entirely by myself again to then write every following chapter of the story with what time I have. What I can do is ask for help, your help.

As of this moment, I'll be looking for a beta-reader for this story, and someone with whom I can steadily bounce ideas back and forth for this story. I'll be honest, I'll be egotistical for this story, I know what will and won't go in it, and I will make the final call (I'll be doing most, if not all of the writing). To be completely honest, I have no idea how being a beta-reader/writer works or how you can apply, but I'm happy to learn. I doubt there will be so many people I'll have some form of "try-outs" for this, but for anyone who might be interested in helping me out, I would be asking you a few questions, just to get a feel of who you are and what you're interested in.

I know this is not what you wanted to read today/tonight, but this is the best I can do. I'm rusty with my knowledge of this story, and most of the motivation (and worse, discipline) for this story has eroded. I don't want to leave it up for adoption, I don't want to cancel it, and I sure as hell don't want to delete it. I'm at wits end and my hands are tied. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and any and all help is appreciated. With any luck, this longwinded page will be deleted and replaced with a real chapter with enough given time. I hope you'll be around if it does.