• 'Coney Island' Thoughts

    Hokay.

    So after getting what I'm sure is my record number of reviews for a chapter update, I figured given the content of a lot of them, a detailed response outside of an Author's Note would probably be a good idea. First off let me just thank all of you for responding to what was indeed obviously a huge shock to everyone. It sounds wrong, but I loved seeing that it made some of you feel upset, frustrated, etc. not because I enjoyed doing that to you, but as an author it's incredibly gratifying that what you're writing is actually making people feel something. Thanks to those who provided in-depthm detailed reasons/questions/etc. for why they felt what they did about what happened. Here's what I hope is a sufficient explanation of what you read...

    (WARNING: Spoilers ahead)

    I'll go right ahead and echo what alot of you guys have already said: WHY DID/HOW COULD LILA DO THAT?! I know. Geez, do I know and feel your pain. Probably even more so because I've known it's coming for so long. You have no idea how much I dreaded writing that chapter, guys. Especially right after penning Keith having such a drastic change of heart. I thought that was the perfect irony though; Keith falling in love with Lila at the same (unbeknownst to him) that she is falling out of love with her initial 'ideal' of him. I always smile sadly when I see comments from readers saying they wish things could go on being perfect between the two of them; I really do too, but at the same time if everything went on being perfect between our two lovebirds, there wouldn't be much of a story at this point anymore, would there lol?

    So why did things have to go wrong in such a seemingly unfixable way? Well I think my reasoning best stems from what one reviewer said after reading 'Coney Island':

    "I think this last chapter shows that every single one of your characters is flawed." - Nightwalkr

    I love that so many of you find Keith and Lila's relationship (as was) so perfect, but a part of me sometimes cringes at that because at all costs I try to avoid the Mary Sue/Gary Stu qualities that alot of stories on FictionPress and Fanfiction have by having characters or relationships that just seem too perfect to be true. Fluff every now and then is fine, but speaking seriously, my frustration with it is that it just isn't realistic, and while stories are supposed provide a sort of escape from real life, I am a firm believer that their content must be realistic. We saw from the very beginning that Keith is seriously flawed in a lot of respects, but I simply couldn't go on forever with the idea that Lila would always continue with her sweetness, unwavering loyalty, and unconditional love for Keith --especialy when dealt such a devastating blow/lie from Victor about his cheating on her with Mariko. I also like what another reviewer pointed out when it comes this:

    Yes, Keith is getting Lila a wedding ring, BUT how fast we forget how emotionally neglectful he's been towards her during pretty much their entire relationship. Just because he's been doing some intense soul searching (that we readers are privy to), it does not mean that all of the problems that his behavior caused will have disappeared! He's far away and has shared absolutely nothing of his thoughts with Lila. As far as she knows he's the same as always. - tinyHedgehog

    Keith hasn't done much in the way of making his inner feelings about Lila known to Lila; all of you just know he feels that way because you're the readers and you get to be in on things lol. But, like it's pointed out above, as far as she knows, he's definitely not in love with her, he's going to continue neglecting her, and now he cheated on her. On her BIRTHDAY. If this had been true it would've been pretty damn low of Keith (I think what he did to her Lila on birthday was pretty low anyway btw), so since she chose to believe Victor about the cheating she reacted on instinct out of anger.

    Which brings me to another sore subject in reviews: Lila always believing Victor. I know this is especially frustrating to read. Trust me, it's even more frustrating to write. All of your feelings about this guy are spot on, guys; he's an asshole through and through and thankfully I've obvously done my job in making that clear. So why does Lila continue to buy his B.S? Well think of it this way; Number 1, she's 18/now 19 years old. Number 2, whereas Keith has been increasingly neglecting her and has always made her feel insecure about her worth to him even though she's in love with him, Victor has always been charming and attentive. Plus he constantly flatters and pursues her to the point of it almost being obnoxious. And Number 3: she's 18/now 19 years old lol. I think we take for granted how naive teenagers can be (I know I was in my teenage years), and once you combine that fact with the fact that Lila has had virtually no experience with men prior to this, I don't think it's so hard to imagine how/why she wouldn't understand how devious men like Victor can be when it comes to getting what they want. If that reasoning doesn't do it for you then you could consider how another reviewer put it:

    "...Lila no longer understands who she is and what she wants..." -J.J.2123

    The reviewer who wrote this said they were finding it hard to understand how this could be true, but I actually don't think there's a truer statement for what's going on with Lila now. She's been away from her family for almost a year now, around people who are nothing like how she was raised and now to top it off has been made to feel like all her love for Keith has been for nothing. I'm currently trying to flesh this out in the next chapter, but to summarize; if her actions seem unLila-like, it's because Lila Mae wasn't brought up to deal with all of the conflicting factors going on in her life now, so she doesn't always know how to handle them properly (big understatement when it comes to Chapter 27 of course). Now I don't mean to say that Keith himself is compromising Lila's character; rather, the circumstances of what's been going on has been compromising who she is and the decisions she makes.

    Finally, I think it's pretty safe to say that Lila wasn't pining for more sex in deciding to sleep with Victor a second time. By then guilt was eating her up alot over doing it the first time, but as we've found out from him time and time again; the guy doesn't take no for an answer. Now don't misunderstand me here; that second round of sex WASN'T meant to be a rape--Lila made the decision to stay even though she didn't want to. I actually considered it, but ultimately decided against having Victor rape her the second time around and instead opted for intense coercion/pressure for her to stay. I figured you guys would already be on an emotional rollercoaster by that point and didn't want to add to it with anything so traumatic as a rape. Plus, I really didn't feel like making a criminal out of Victor; the guy is an absolute douche bag, but because he does love Lila (albeit, in an effed up twisted way), I just don't think he'd ever use violent force to pressure her to his will. Also, I think this decision on her part just further demonstrates Lila's naivete in believing that deciding to give him what he wanted that night would make this whole mess with Victor go away--something we'll find out to be completely misguided in further chapters.

    To wrap things up, alot of you have been asking about how the story can possibly end now, given the present circumstances and how long it is already. I think I might've briefly touched on this before in another blog entry, but for those who didn't see, you can expect In His Arms She Fell to be wrapping up in the next few chapters or so. Now granted, even though there are only going to be a few more chapters, they're going to be chock FULL of content for plot purposes. If I had to give a definite number though, I would say the story won't have any more than a chapter number in the low to mid 30's.

    Thanks so much to all of you for sticking with the story (and this blog entry). I fully welcome all of your reactions to my writing, whether they be happy, sad or frustrated. Hearing all of the above and then some makes me satisfied knowing people actually care enough to have feelings and opinions on my work.

    Much love,

    Sable Queenue

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