It is with great regret that late at night as I'm writing this, I have come to realize something about not just this particular story, but a couple of my stories. I don't believe I will be able to continue them.
For the longest time, people have asked me, "Hey it has been a couple years, are you going to update Consequences of an Honest Enemy?" or...
"Hey I love Freedom Has A Price, but I see you updating other stories, do you know when the next chapter of Freedom Has A Price will come out?"
And the truth was that I always wanted to say soon. I always wanted to be able to release a chapter soon. Yet the truth of the matter is that when I started these stories? Started truly writing on this site at a respectable level? I was fifteen, sixteen years old. In addition to that, I was skipping school a lot and frankly just didn't care. I had the time to write all I wanted, without a worry in the world.
However now I'm older, and I've lived a bit more. I have a job, and I have a life and things that I am committed to. With all of these things? Writing has slowly been pushed onto the back seat, as well as other things such as gaming(which is important, and I'll get to that in a minute.)
Fanfiction however will always hold a place that is near and very dear to my heart. You see, I was never big on reading. The reason being, until about 6th... 7th... maybe 8th grade. I couldn't really read. I was the kid that was smart enough to get by in my classes through clever tricks and concepts, but I never learned the core fundamentals. So eventually a time caught up to me where I was the kid at the front of the class, called up to read, and it was terror trying to get through a single paragraph.
And even books like Harry Potter were too challenging for me to read even if I wanted to learn. So I resigned to reading comic books, one of which was Inuyasha. Through Inuyasha, I ended up stumbling upon fanfiction and Naruto. And it is through Naruto fanfiction that I truly taught myself to read. (The sad fact was that Fanfiction at that time was unique enough and cool enough to keep me interested, but the writing was bad enough that I could still pick it up without trouble.)
So the fact that I essentially learned to read on here, and through that, write is very important to me.
However once again that brings me to now. Fanfiction has changed from when I was younger, and writing. Now I know the majority of the story ideas and concepts, and a lot of them are no longer original to me, which was a big source of my inspiration to start writing. To try and find a story that was good, or a cool idea, and then try and improve on that idea.
I have essentially ceased playing video games, which was another huge source of inspiration for me. I remember playing Final Fantasy X as a kid, not being able to read, but being the first fully voiced game with an amazing story? I practically cried at the end, not just because it was sad, but because I felt so accomplished. I was no longer the kid that needed his dad to read him a game guide so that he could get through Zelda The Ocarina of Time.
And then finally, as I grew older, I started to really fall in love with countless TV series. I could list them, but frankly the list would just be too long. From UK shows to American television, to even some more obscure shows from around the globe. I've seen them. And they inspired me heavily in my writing as I grew older.
So I supposed I should touch on Freedom Has A Price and Consequences of an Honest Enemy? That is what you are all here for correct?
Well Freedom Has A Price initially just started out because I hit a writers block with Consequences of an Honest Enemy. I wrote myself into a corner, that I didn't know where to go from that point on.
What I initially wanted to do with Consequences of an Honest Enemy was to take Naruto, Kabuto, Tayuya, and Karin, and have them set sail from the Elemental Nations for an arc. Have them enter a Far East land.
This land was going to be heavily inspired by Final Fantasy 11's Aht Urhgan. With monsters, puppeteers, and very primal types of magic/abilities to expand upon the Naruto universe. The idea that there are many different types of warriors out there, and that they just didn't know it because they were so caught up in the wars amongst themselves.
And I was going to write in a big bad villain that was going to be reminiscent of the historical pirate Blackbeard. And it would be in this arc that Naruto ends up losing Sasori's journal, and where Naruto would have to come to terms with the fact that he needs to step out of Sasori's shadow. That he can be a great leader in his own right, and a great shinobi.
It is here that Naruto would rise up to contest this Blackbeard like character for control of the seas. And then only then at the end of the arc would Naruto return to the Elemental nations. This Naruto would bring back goods, and use his fleet to free the Mist from Tyranny. He would utilize his resources build a railroad that would go through the elemental nations. And it is through this that Naruto would be able to take over Kumo before the shinobi world would even recognize this terror that Naruto has slowly began to unleash upon the Elemental Nations. And his plans conflict entirely with Madara, and the Elemental Nations is torn as they are forced to choose between a lesser of two evils.
That was Consequences of an Honest Enemy. However a plot so grand in scale ended up intimidating me from writing it, and I just copped out and sent Naruto to the Mist. Yet since that was not my original intention? I didn't know what to do from that point on, and the story just sort of sat there.
So now Freedom Has A Price was born from my inability to continue writing Consequences of an Honest Enemy.
It started off with the recent introduction of Mei Terumi to the series. And I was browsing through stories annoyed (This is around the time fanfiction really started getting bad to me. There were far too few good stories, and far too many that I could "Read" their entirety while simply reading the summary.) at the fact that there were no Mei/Naruto fanfics out there.
So I decided to post the first one... or one of the first. I didn't really care. However it was originally a joke to me. Everyone has seen the classic "Kakashi doesn't train Naruto for the chunin exams, to insert White Knight here, Naruto becomes their pet and dominates the exams." type of story.
Well I just decided I would make one of these, but try and make it really good. Make the first few chapters really engaging and see if I could actually develop some hype from chapter to chapter in the early chapters of the story. And I feel... I was able to slightly accomplish that.
Then I moved into the chunin exams, and I felt that I was adequately able to showcase interesting, but intellectually pleasing combat. Something that was foreign in most jutsu flinging stories showcased on this site. And that was where I hit my stride with the story. I knew I hit something good with how I was writing, and how I was showcasing the main hero using his powers as well as his brain.
Yet I also knew as a writer and as a reader of fanfiction that I couldn't keep that up forever. So I decided to add a wrench into Mei's relationship with Naruto. One that I had always thought about, but never really followed through with because I started this story really with no plan in mind.
Now as you are reading this, I am sure you probably know how things ended up turning out as the story continued.
However two HUGE HUGE wrenches were thrown into my plans as a writer. I was cruising through, producing chapter after chapter quite consistently for Freedom Has A Price. And then suddenly...
Andy Whitfield, the actor that played Spartacus. His character and portrayal of Spartacus is what inspired an entire upcoming arc of the story.
Secondly, I had a girlfriend I loved very much, a fiance even if we were to get really technical about it, but we never were. Well it was during around this time that she died as well.
Both killed my will to write in different ways, but were potent. Now Freedom Has A Price is a story of grand scale. One that looking back on it, I never thought I could accomplish it. Not with how I write. I tend to write very descriptive, and try to paint a very vivid picture for everyone reading. And as such the story ends up being slow moving. And the upcoming arc was probably going to be more descriptive than I've ever seen anything on this website.
With the way I write? I wouldn't be able to finish it. Perhaps if I adopted a writing style similar to Lord of the Land of Fire, which is generally very dialog heavy? I may be able to. However I felt that the quality of my work would suffer as consequence, and the story wouldn't hold up to the image I initially created.
So that brings me to why I am delivering this message to you, all of my fans, and readers. I'm sorry.
As of right now? I don't see the story Freedom Has a Price or Consequences of an Honest Enemy being updated. (Or Soul of the Sword if you are one of the few that liked my poorly written test run of a story).
The person I was when I started writing those stories is just different than the person I am now. Right now, if I am going to write anything? Don't expect it to be too complex.
I will probably be able to struggle slowly through Forward Unto Dawn. Begrudgingly because it is similar to a story I intend to write and publish in the future, and I feel the practice is something I will actually need. That and the fact that Forward Unto Dawn has a plot that is far more linear than my other stories.
So here is what I can do for the people who really enjoyed these stories and were hoping to see them completed.
I can A: Leave them like this, and try to come back to them in the future.
B: I can give a summary of the plot, or write down the major plot points and the character analysis that would slowly grow in the story to the very end.
As for allowing someone to continue my story? It is unlikely. There is only one author I'd put one of my stories in his hands, and I doubt he would take it. And I don't really want to see them in the hands of anyone else in the first place.
Fanfiction being bad is just no longer an excuse for me to try and write something good these days. Not with how things have changed, and how I've changed.
So best of luck everyone, and I'm sorry.
(Lets hope this doesn't spur me into a fire of writing these stories. That would be awkward.)