As you guys know, I don't feel comfortable with asking other people to beta my stuff because, well, I'm too lazy to beta other people's stuff. To me, a proper beta job is a lot of work, and at the end of the day, this is fanfiction. I'm proud of it, but it's fanfiction. It's not something I can make money off of; it's a hobby. Don't get me wrong. I'm very thankful for the feedback and corrections I've received over LJ, and I'm very proud and pleased with the job I did, but it's just... I don't feel right in asking someone to put in the sort of effort I would want out of a beta, especially when I'm only rarely willing to put in that level of work for other people's fanfiction.
The big argument I hear for, "Always get a beta!" is that "no one is too good for an editor." I agree with that sentiment completely, and the idea that I'm too good is not why I don't get my stuff edited. Just the opposite. I'm not too good for an editor. I'm too unprofessional for one. Do I believe Final Stroke is well above average for fanfiction? Yes, yes I do. Do I believe it's good enough that I'm comfortable in asking others to do unpaid labor for it? No, not really.
So anyway, this is why I don't get betas, and instead self-edit. If I ever go pro, then you'll see me get an editor. That said, I find my self-editing method is usually very effective. I give myself at least a week off the fic entirely. Then I go back through it and, section by section, read it out loud to myself. When I reach the end of a section, I read it out loud to myself again. This process is repeated 2-5 times, depending on how many changes and tweaks I catch each time. The reading aloud makes a huge difference, but doesn't work as well if there's music going on in the background, so that has to go off during editing.
I just finished with my editing. When I got to the end, I suggested throwing in a couple theories as to why Omega Supreme had stopped moving, but then I said to myself, "You know what? No. No, no, no. I like leaving it unexplained. The Constructicons don't get an answer, so my readers won't, anyway. Nyah."
I'm a big meanie-head.
So... the first section is up on ff.net. It's just that little beginning bit where Capstone gets smacked down by Devastator. No comments yet, which isn't surprising, but I do have a watcher already. I suspect that's more on the strength of my summary, though. The sections will go up at the rate of one a day, and there are 25 in all, so while you folk had to wait well over a year for the whole fic, these guys get it in a little under a month.
When I was considering the genres, the first obvious choice was "Drama," which, in its essence, is the literary form concerned with conflict or contrast of character. Makes sense. It... probably says something about me that it took me awhile to think of "Tragedy" for my second genre. Seriously. I thought of "Friendship" before I thought of that. Then I remembered back to my drama classes in school and their descriptions of the older definitions of tragedy.
The way it was described to me, all drama was divided into two categories. One was comedy. Comedy did not mean "something that's funny," but merely, "a drama where-in the protagonist achieves his or her goals." The other was tragedy, which meant, "a drama where-in the protagonist does not achieve his or her goals." Fitting enough, but to make sure that I wasn't misremembering things or that my teachers weren't BSing me, I went ahead and looked up "tragedy" on dictionary.com. Among the choicer (and more relevant) definitions:
a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction.
A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances.
Well. Tragedy it is!