To be honest, it's kind of weird to write about the end of RD now, considering I wrote the last chapter all the way back in May and because I'm currently working on editing the earlier chapters, so I really don't feel like it's finished at all at the moment! Still, it is finished. The last words have been written and I'll never start another chapter. And let me tell you, after working on this story for over 9 years, that's weird.
Going through older chapters of RD, I can't help but cringe at some parts. Not only the grammar and the writing style were off. The story itself was very messy in the beginning, and there were too many deus ex machina's for my liking. Still, I won't edit these chapters except for the grammatical errors (and the occasional plot hole); RD is a reflection of how my writing improved the past 9 years.
I loved writing RD. Even though I suffered from writer's block several times during those 9 years and there were times where I felt I would never reach the end, I'm sort of proud that I managed to pull through and finish it. I'm very happy and satisfied with the ending. Finishing it made me feel accomplished and empty at the same time. I hope you will all enjoy the final chapters as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Looking back, I think that as a writer, I'm most satisfied with parts 4 and 5. The earlier parts were all very close to how I had imagined this story back when I was 14, with a lot of random encounters and new ponies showing up out of the blue, which originated from me adding more ponies to my gen2 collection all the time. Parts 4 and 5 though were very different from what I had originally envisioned (which was horrible, with soulless warriors coming out of the Tokowa Lands. Ugh.), and as such I really had to sit down and plot out the story. As a result parts 4 and 5 are more structured and the characters really develop on their own throughout their adventures.
As a person, though, part 3 holds a special place in my heart as Ruki truly is the girl I identified most with at the time. Her journey was severely influenced by things that happened in my own life and all the way up to the end of part 5, I can relate to her emotions. While I love all my characters, Ruki is the one I am sure I will miss the most.
I've posted two short stories on this blog now. Basically that's what I'm doing with my writing time now; write short stories to enter contests so I can get feedback from judges. So far it's been really helpful and I feel like my writing has improved a lot. I'm working on two stories which could grow into full novels, but I can't decide which one I like best yet. I'll keep you all updated, although odds are they'll be in Dutch.
As for RD, the final chapter will be online on my birthday, August 25th, together with a little present for you all. I'm considering doing a short story in the RD world at some point, probably with completely new characters, but not for a while. It's time for me to move on to explore new worlds and to meet new characters, which I hope you will all love as much as you love RD!