A while ago, I wrote a couple of ficlets for someone as part of a "cheer up this fangirl who's been having a hard time"-type fest, but because I was unhappy with how the stories turned out, I never posted them. They were looked over by beta readers, but I just couldn't iron out my problems with them at the time.
It's been two years since then, and I just rediscovered the ficlets on my hard drive. They're actually not so bad, especially now that I'm looking at them with fresh eyes, so I'd like to post them. Unfortunately, I'm not really as close as I used to be with the person they were "written for"--in fact, we've drifted apart a LOT, a fact with which I'm totally OK.
Is it possible to post the revised stories without mentioning who originally "inspired" them? Or considering that they were looked at by more than one beta, is that asking for wank?
Really Eager to Upload Stories...Eventually
It's always a wonderful moment to reread languishing drawerfic and discover that it is better than we remember!
However, simply because you were initially inspired by a person or a prompt does not mean that you should feel constrained to post 'for' them. Mentioning the story's initial impetus in your headers is a simple matter of a sentence or two. This story was written for X some time ago, but was only recently finished is perfectly acceptable. You're hardly at fault for waiting to be sure that your stories are the best that they can be before you post. In fact, it's commendable. Remember, there's no need for you to excuse yourself or apologize in your headers. Indeed, people who do so ('I wrote this at two AM and it's unbetaed!', 'This is OOC but please read it anyway!', et cetera) are generally the recipients of a haughty backbuttoning!
Drifting apart from an lj-friend, for reasons as varied as changing fandoms, gafiating, or a wild wankstorm resulting in two BFFs becoming archenemies, are all common occurrences. Keep in mind that you needn't rehash the ins and outs of your relationship with your muse if you don't want to. Generally, brief headers are more advisable. Your betas may remember, but frankly, they may not attach the same detailed importance to those ficlets as you! If you and your once-friend are estranged to such an extent that you do not wish to post anything for her, then post the ficlets without mentioning how or why they came about. Although they were written as a gift, these stories are your creations and under your control: to post or not post, to dedicate or to let stand on their own.
Certainly you should acknowledge your betas. If their names alone are enough to evoke your readership's curiosity, then you may receive comments asking for the ficlets' full and sordid history. You are under no obligation to answer them! If your fannish (or simply friendish) drift is a personal and private matter, then feel free to say so, briefly and politely. Turn any discussion to the ficlets' merits and thank commenters for their interest: no more need be said.
In short, Eager, these are your stories. You cannot control their public reception, but you have every right to craft their presentation. Simple headers, no mention of drama, and above all, a strong sense of confidence when you post will make the process fulfilling for you and unwanky for your readers.
Post away, Eager! Your stories are ready for the world, and that is the most important point.