This is the one I was most anxious to save from the Pit of Voles. As it turns out, I'll have to strip more than I thought out to meet their new regs, so I'm glad I tackled this first.
For people who are interested, this version has been tweaked in some areas, mostly for egregious crimes against grammar, some lazy writing, and a couple of conversations that had logic holes big enough to drive a truck through. If any of you out there have saved this story to harddrive, you might prefer this one.
However, I didn't do a wholesale re-write like I wanted to. It isn't that it's bad, per se, but I kept telling myself, "You know? I can do better." I had to keep reminding myself that it was the best I could do at the time.
I have to point to this Peter David quote to explain what I mean. When First Knight was republished after it had been out of print for years, David explained in his foreward that he re-wrote much of the book. He didn't change the plot or the structure or anything like that. He changed the style of the writing to more accurately reflect where he where he was now as a writer. As he put it: "When I wrote this, I was still writing like a journalist."
In looking over Whisper, I know exactly what he means.
( Cut for Blather )
Despite my own concrit above, I just wanted to say, Whisper still remains my favorite child. It was my first novel-length Buffy piece, I learned how to create a complicated mystery plot, and it ended up being the unintentional jumping-off point for characterization of the Scoobs in Living History, Water Hold Me Down and No Myth, a cycle of stories that take place one after the other that I've semi-affectionally come to call the Whisper-verse.
After all, there was a promise made in the last chapter of Whisper. And something in me enjoys playing with that promise—as well as the intended and unintended consequences of that.
So for all of you who started reading this waaaaay back in the day, thank you for sticking with me through all my fumbles and stumbles. For being kind when I messed up, for giving me concrit feedback, for letting me know what you liked and didn't like, and yes, for pointing out typos, spelling errors, grammar follies, and lazy writing. I may not have always agreed with you (well, at the time anyway), but I was always able to take away something from what you said.
Whatever I have given you, you've given me that back times ten. Without you, I couldn't improve. Without you, there'd be no point in writing.
After all, what's a storyteller without an audience willing to listen?
And now that I sound like an self-important ass...
I found out last night that three of my stories have been voted into the Better Buffy Fanfiction Archive. All three of those stories require acknowledgement to other people.
For Ishmael Sings of the White Whale, I must thank the_red_shoes for issuing the challenge as part of the Faith-Fic-A-Thon. Her request forced me to write outside my comfort zone and resulted in this story.
For Cuckoo in the Nest, I must thank nwhepcat, who led to me writing it in a round-about way. Her birthday challenge resulted in Water Hold Me Down. Since Tony Harris's ghost hangs over the story (very deliberately I might add), I wrote a lot of notes on what I think Tony Harris is like. Those notes resulted in this story.
For Contrite Spirits, I have to thank musesfool, since it was written in response to her Psalm Challenge. She assigned the Psalm, which was quoted at the beginning , and this story was the result.
Thank you all three of you. These stories would not even exist without you because I would've never thought to have cook them up on my own.
I have to walk away from the computer for a little bit, but I'll start posting the entirety of Whisper in the next half-hour.
Go here for Part 1
Or go here for the full chapter list.