'No, really?', you retort. I know, I know. For the six or seven regular readers, the story has ground to a halt. It was right when it was getting good, too! I could offer any number of the common excuses. 'I've been busy', 'I've been plagued by various diseases over the past few months', or 'I just don't feel inspired', but the real reasons are that I don't have answers to a number of problems.
1: The story needs a major rewrite.
One of the biggest pieces of critique I've gotten is 'Everything feels rushed'. Guilty! I originally rushed the story because I didn't want to fall into the anime or webcomic trap. So, so many of each will frequently put in filler in order to prolong the storyline, and I didn't want to write out unnecessary details or backstory information that the readers were not interested in. Thus, I took off running and never thought to slow down. As a result, some things felt a little out of place. When Keys got blown up in the second chapter, it felt a little...forced that Ougyoku would be as upset as he was. Heck, we barely knew the guy, why would it be that big a deal? The backstory also felt rushed and put in for the sake of...well, being shoved in. Sure, they were tragic and tugged at your heartstrings, but it felt like some of them were given just for the sake of drama. A good backstory can be hinted at or drawn out before the whole story comes out - the stuff I did just felt forced.
Also, as likes to point out, there are numerous grammar issues that plague the story. The environment descriptions could be better, the action scenes could be better described (chapter six in general just looks awful, the firefight could've been so much better), and...yeah, the list of problems goes on. I decided a while ago that I just needed to start earlier - roughly six chapters earlier, when Ougyoku first decided to start his campaign against the corporations. That way, I can tell the story a bit more slowly, explain things more, and build up rapport for the characters instead of just inferring 'don't worry, they've been great friends for some time now'.
The problem is, of course, actually getting off my lazy butt and doing that.
2: The main two characters need to be redone.
Fortunately, I can keep the personalities intact, but Ougyoku and Yuki are to be no more. I had a discussion with the people who own the characters and sadly, we came to the conclusion that things work a little too awkwardly. Thus, I need to rewrite the characters with new names and appearances, and for some reason, this has plagued me more than just about anything else. I mean...'Ogy' was just such a neat nickname, and Yuki rolls off the tongue so nicely. What do you replace them with?
3: Why are the luminari in there?
Sure, Keys and Dragomir are okay enough characters. But exactly what do they gain from being luminari, again? They could just as easily be dolphins or sharks or something, and the story would lose nothing. It doesn't help that they're the only invented species in the entire book, which makes their inclusion even more awkward. Sure, they might be interesting and impressive and the characters might be lovable (or at least Dragomir was, Keys seemed less popular), but again, why do they have to be luminari? It feels like I'm including the luminari just because I'm so darned fond of them instead of some sort of important reason.
Of course, it may turn out that most of the people reading the story just don't care, and want me to get back to writing about stuff blowing up. And cocky one-liners. And their favorites just being awesome. I have no idea!