And so it ended. Biker ½ v1.0 is an abandoned project.
I have bits and scraps from what was intended to be the whole saga, and I began book 2, which I beg you NOT to track down, it's retch-worthy. For that matter, there are a lot of serious problems in the first book.
There's the whole silliness with how fast Ranma and Akane get together.
There's the clumsy way I handled most of the character intros, especially Nodoka.
There's the hideous grammar problems left right and centre.
There are plots left hanging to the point the damn thing looks hairy.
There are characters we're supposed to care about, but don't.
There's Akira, who was handled badly from the word go.
There's my Godawful decision to kill off Genma, then a hideously clumsy 'hes not quite dead though' bit, which along with Shampoo's injuries completely ignored everything I'd laid down about Amerai physiology.
There's my equally stupid way of getting Nodoka – second only to Herb in the 'dangerous person' stakes – shot in the back.
Let's not even mention that huge DUH with trying to indicate morning sickness in the girls.
And then there's Gary and company, a group of characters from a very different project who quite frankly do not belong in Biker ½, never belonged in Biker ½, were Annoying New Character / Mary Sue / Stupid Plot Device characters at their worst, and generally demonstrate how inexperienced an author I was when I began work on this pig; I'm just glad I wrote them out of the plot in so few chapters.
Like them jumping Shampoo ever made any sense at all. Duh.
But most of all, there's Book 2, which went horribly wrong from the very first plot idea – it was a twisted Frankenstein's monster with no plot, no character development, no subtlety and no purpose apart from plugging a hole I'd ripped with a half-baked plot idea I couldn't get to work and some horribly badly handled attempts at trying to get readers to go 'OMG WTF?' which I never should have tried, I need to admit it – I don't enjoy apocalyptic endings in other people's work, so I shouldn't try to write them myself, it quite simply doesn't work.
In short, all those problems (and a bunch of others I can't remember since it's so long since I reread the original) condemned it to an untimely death.
Time passed; I concentrated on other things.
Then one day I ran an Internet search for Biker ½ on a whim, and found the text of the original.
I was slightly shocked in a long-time-no-see way.
I tried rereading it.
My ability to plot a story and write a scene has improved so much since then that it proved physically painful, but it got me thinking.
This is 2007. I began work on the original Biker ½ the year it's set in – 1998. It's nearly a decade since I started work on this pig, and it shows.
But it got me thinking.
The Biker ½ crew are a gang of characters who've gone a long way alongside me.
These characters haunt my dreams; they're my friends as surely as my flesh-and-blood mates. I've rode with these guys when I go to sleep at night.
I can see every flicker of expression on Ranma's face when I think about him; I can almost hear the roar of badly-silenced supercharged bikes, almost smell the stench of gun smoke and sweat, and I've felt the hair stand up on my back as the war howl of Clan Saotome echoed through the burning street.
I cannot abandon these people; they are a part of my life.
And so the rewrite began.
It's progressing slowly but surely, and I've hit on the mother of all arc-plots.
I know where this sucker is going, and I've got an overall plot that doesn't involve dragging some popular characters from another series through the mud (hell, they're characters I like) which the less said about that the better.
I've got Big Bad on a scale that makes Voldemort look like Elmer Fudd.
I've got heroes and villains, and sarcastic hard bastards.
I've got a bloke who once went so insane he thought he was a tram.
I've got a crossover as crossed over as Undocumented Features.
I've got gods and demons.
I've got at least three interwoven threads that'll come together to produce one monster of a plot that'll (I hope) redefine what people think of as 'epic fanfiction'.
I've got chunks from the old 'future of Biker ½', along with bits that never actually got written but should have got written because they'd be shit-hot.
You can find the rewrite on my profile page, with updates arriving whenever I finish 'em. Note that it's intrinsically linked to the Harry Johnson saga (also getting posted here whenever I finish a chapter) from just before the first battle of Nerima.
Goddamn am I bragging my ass off.
Anyway. I'll leave you with this thought;
And I would pray for her
I would call her name out loud
I would bleed for her
If I could only see her now
Living on a razor's edge
Balancing on a ledge
Living on a razor's edge
The evil that men do lives on and on…
See you round the galaxy some time.