End of Year Review 2016

So excited to be doing my writing review of this year! You can find last year’s here.

Here are all my stories posted this year:

  1. Yuletide Treasure (5,327 words)
  2. Winter Break (18,513 words)
  3. And Love Dares You (6,855 words)
  4. Re: Moving Day and Some Questions About Seb (1,982 words)
  5. The Day of a Hundred Swats (897 words)
  6. Two Celebrations and a Trajeudi (9,501 words)
  7. The Meet Cute (9,312 words)
  8. Medical Alert (2,323 words)
  9. Scrabble: Brat Edition (686 words)
  10. A Dying Man’s Last Wish (540 words)
  11. You Are the Moon That Pulls Me Through the Night (659 words)
  12. Roots and Sprouts (24,093 words)
  13. Contain Yourself, Quint (954 words)
  14. For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow (And So Say All of Us) (5,073 words)
  15. Les Chatons Roses (11,008 words)
  16. Wash & Fold (2,709 words)
  17. Doggy Yoga (418 words)
  18. Unmellow Yellow (10,412 words)
  19. The Early Bird Special (588 words)
  20. Plebes No More (2,663 words)
  21. The Morning After (4,635 words)
  22. Holding Pattern (1,719 words)
  23. You Can Quote Me On That (1,165 words)
  24. Pride and Panic (10,005 words)
  25. Driven From Distraction (2,434 words)
  26. Trouble in Paradise (20,187 words)
  27. Playing the Birthday Blues (3,481 words)
  28. Of Churros and Anger Management (22,176 words)
  29. Monkey Business (701 words)
  30. Calling the Shots (1,248 words)
  31. Merry and Bright (861 words)
  32. Midnight Kisses (15,718 words)

Total word count: 198,843
Average word count per story: 6,414

This post may contain spoilers for all of the above.

Looking back, did I write more than I thought I would this year, less, or about what I’d predicted?

More in terms of number of stories, but less in terms of total and average word count. I guess because I’m almost always working on one of the longer stories, I imagined there were a lot more of them, rather than so many shorter ones.

What’s my own favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes me happiest?

It’s a tie between Winter Break, which has soooo many moments I’d waited forever to write, and The Meet Cute, which just makes me smile all the way through every single time I read it.

What is my most popular story?

Medical Alert, I think almost entirely because it was linked on the homepage of The Tea Room for the longest time. (By the way, if you first clicked through on that story, I hope you weren’t terribly lost. It doesn’t really have a lot of explanation about my guys’ unique situation, lol.)

Did I take any writing risks this year? What did I learn from them?

Writing from the point of view of an inanimate (and not really sentient) toy in Les Chatons Roses was a big risk I wasn’t sure I could pull off. It really helped me in the ‘show, don’t tell’ area because the kitten couldn’t say that Seb looked anxious. It had to all be through body language.

Do I have any writing goals for 2017?

My one for 2016 was to write more Quint & Theo, which I think I definitely accomplished. For 2017, I want to break my 2015 word count of 204,606.

From my past year of writing, what was the…

Most fun story to write: 

Midnight Kisses was so much fun, I almost couldn’t stop writing it. I loved finally showing how Quint and Theo met, and writing Quint all unsure and blushy is delightful. Also, first full sex scene with those two! Woooot! (I never did before because Quint would give me a stern look and ask for privacy. Had to sneak in when it was third-person, lol).

Hardest story to write:

Of Churros and Anger Management, I think, because it’s so dramatic and emotional.

Biggest surprise:

How much my blog grew! I never expected to be getting comments on almost every story. I love all of them. Thank you, guys, for being my readers. 🙂

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:

Of Churros and Anger Management gave me great insight into Quint.

Most unintentionally revealing story:

Holding Pattern, which is semi-autobiographical. I wrote it during a period when I felt exactly like Seb.

Story with single sexiest moment:

All of Driven From Distraction. That’s a whole ball of kinks for me, haha.

Story with single sweetest moment:

Tied: Seb’s birthday present openings in Two Celebrations and a Trajeudi, and the Theo-Zain-Quint train in Trouble in Paradise.

Best opening line:

Plebes No More: Zain described Herndon as “a bunch of sweaty, shirtless sailors climbing a giant lubed-up phallic symbol.”

Because, um, hellooooo, that entire “ceremony” is soooooo homoerotic.

Best closing line:

Monkey BusinessAnd then, in one smooth motion, he opened his mouth, bent his head, and made the entire fruit vanish.

Tied with Midnight KissesThey watched the last minutes of 2016 come to an end, wrapped in each other’s arms, and when the crowd counted down to the final second, their lips met as they welcomed in a new year together.

Best line from anywhere:

I’m cheating, because it’s a series of lines, from Trouble in Paradise:

“Do you know what ‘aye aye’ means?”

“It means ‘yes’?” Theo said, like he thought I was dumb.

I shook my head even though he couldn’t see. “Actually, it means, ‘I heard the order, I understood the order, and I intend to obey the order immediately.’”

“Oh. Well in that case, I take it back.”

I waited to write that FOREVER. So, so long.

Theme for the year and the story that demonstrates it most:

Personal history and personal growth. There was a lot of exploring the past this year, and a lot of important, courageous steps forward. The story that most demonstrates that is Roots and Sprouts, which didn’t get that title for nothing, haha.

And now your turn!

I can only go by stats, which can be skewed by a lot of things, such as the case with Medical Alert. So, I’m curious: What was your favorite among my stories of this year? Why? Please leave a comment down below! (And if you’re a lurker and have never commented, I especially would love to hear from you! Don’t be shy. I’m super friendly, I promise!)

8 thoughts on “End of Year Review 2016”

  1. Ok, so, I’ll do my best to answer your question(s) :):
    *Favorite story: That is SO hard to decide, but I think Trouble in Paradise ranks up there for me. I loved seeing how far along in their friendships the four men have become, and the trust shown between the Tops, as well as between Theo and Zain. I loved how Theo expressed seeing Zain and Seb as brothers, and also at the end I loved seeing Quint playing just as enthusiastically with the younger men in the water.
    Close second favorites include Winter Break, Medical Alert, Unmellow Yellow, Plebes No More, and Midnight Kisses.
    *The Hardest story for me to read was Of Churros and Anger Management. I wanted to cry at some of the angst in that, but I was SO glad with the end; how it showed the growth in Seb, and the trust that was reestablished and grown between him and Quint as well. Thanks for all the stories, Zillah!
    JL-

    1. Thank you so much, JL! Your support has meant a lot to me this past year. I’m glad you liked Trouble in Paradise, and all the others. I can’t wait to see how their relationships develop in the coming year.

  2. Favorite story? Definitely Winter Break. I have reread that story so many times. I just loved the dynamics between everyone and the group’s developing trust. So many cute moments! I’m so happy you wrote that story.

    The hardest story was definitely Of Churros and Anger Management. Seb’s extreme distress breaks my heart every time I read it, and it was hard to read about Quint’s struggle and Seb’s eventual breaking point. But it’s also one of my favorites because it really showed growth in all of the characters. Seb is really growing and Quint is learning, and I was super pleased in the communication you managed to write between all characters.

    I’m so glad of your progress this year, and I’m looking forward to more in 2017!

    1. Thank you, Kris! Winter Break was a special one for me. I knew it was coming for a long time, and I purposely kept Theo and Zain from really meeting before then so I could just have fun with them. First-meetings are great to write, but then, so are deepening friendships like in Churros. 🙂

  3. I think Two Celebrations and a Trajeudi might just have the edge in terms of my favourite story (it even inspired me to buy the lush massage bar!). Winter Break is a very close second and I love Theo’s shock at seeing Seb sat up on the beam!
    Hardest to read was Of Churros and Anger Management, I was brilliant but it had me on edge the whole way through!

    1. Thanks, Shiobob! That’s an interesting favorite. I had a lot of fun picking out Seb’s gifts. I *love* Lush products and I knew he would, too. 🙂

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