auronlu: (morningcomes)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 43: No Matter How Dark the Night
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Isaaru, Elma, Pacce, Rikku
PG-13 for violence.
Word Count: 3600
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: Thirteen years after Yuna falls in the Final Summoning, Isaaru and his guardians have brought down the Final Aeon. Yu Yevon pounces Auron as a last-ditch substitute.

Chapter 43: No Matter How Dark the Night )

auronlu: (phear da crack)
Trying to decide between one of several drafts of the next chapter of LHaD, I have a dilemma.[Poll #1590537]
I donno. I like the description of the floating-in-the-Farplane sequence better. There's a few details that please my "grand finales should be grand" instinct. But the second option seems a little more believable, as much as any endgame battle in Final Fantasy is ever believable (in fact, every one I can remember takes place floating through space on a platform, or nothing at all).

And on the third hand, most Final Fantasy games conclude with 3-4 big boss battles, and this is only #2, not the traditional flying-through-space-on-a-WTF-magic-carpet battle.
auronlu: (Lady)
Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 42: The Lady
Final Fantasy X/X-2
R for violence.
Word Count: 4200
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: Thirteen years after Yuna falls in the Final Summoning, another summoner and his guardians penetrate Sin's inner sanctum.

Chapter 42: The Lady )

auronlu: (watercolor)
[ profile] ff_press: Three Final Fantasy X Fanart Recommendations

Holy frickin' squee. I don't know how to show my face after disappearing like this... look what I found waiting for me?! A reader had mentioned wanting to do fanarts for LHAD, and he DID them, and I missed them!

But look at these. Especially the second one.

Words fail.
I mean. These are gorgeous. And they actually go with particular chapters, replacing the headers with my ho-hum (and inaccurate) screencaps.

I'm going to put them back on the original chapters, but first, I simply have to share. Click for full-sized.

The Lady's Face
by ~SchmutzigeBanane on deviantART

My blathering )

The Dancing Memorial
by ~SchmutzigeBanane on deviantART

more of my blathering )

The Empty Cradle
by ~SchmutzigeBanane on deviantART

Yet more of my blathering )
auronlu: (Lady)
Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 41: Sea of Sorrow
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters: Nooj, Baralai, Gippal, Paine, Auron, Isaaru, Elma, Rikku, Pacce
Word Count: 4100
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

A/N: Phew, finally. Next chapter is largely written, too.

Our Story So Far: The Crimson Squad brings down Sin using Vegnagun in an epic battle over the Thunder Plains. Now Summoner Isaaru's party must deal with what lies within.

Chapter 41: Sea of Sorrow )

auronlu: (Writer's Block)
And augh, it is hell. And I must make it work. I MUST.

I just rewrote an entire outline for all the parts that were jammed, and realized I had to throw out most of what I've written. Topic. Too broad. Too brilliant. Too all-expansive. Start over with something small and simple and obvious. FINISH, and humble thy pride. Even though it should be done by now, starting over may be the best option. Glugh.

But in brighter news, LHAD finally unstuck. I'd written a big chunk of the next chapter 3 months ago, but it was flaccid. So I set it aside.

Only now I have chapter 41 at 4,000 words, and it doesn't really have a great stopping place. and chapter 42 at 2300 words, and it's a PERFECT stopping place. Oh, there. Yes, rub that a little harder, angst cliffhanger CLIMAX. And chapter 43 started, and I know just where it's going, although I've said that before.

And oh yeah.

Best two quotes from today's (noticeable, but not damaging) earthquake:

(Paraphrasing some news article which sadly I forgot to save I'm too lazy to hunt up again):
"Petco park [San Diego's baseball stadium] swayed noticeably for several seconds. The public address announcer asked everyone to remain calm. The fans cheered."

and on Twitter,
"The worst part about a 5.7 earthquake? I'm afraid to go to bed without jammies on."

*says, sans jammies*
auronlu: (Lady)
I got tired of staring at the badly-scanned, badly-photomanipped map of Spira I had adapted from the map on FFshrine for LHaD's table of contents.

So I've created a new map of Spira. It's not perfect, but at least it's my own work apart from onionskinning 3 different Squenix maps, none of which agree, to get the rough outline. I swear Bevelle has moved a titch south between X and X-2!

FFX Map of Spira for LHaD
by ~auronlu on deviantART

A cropped version is now in my LJ sticky post, and I'm gonna add it to the AO3 edition of Love Her and Despair. Yay AO3 for allowing us to embed fanart!

A few geekly observations about Spira's map.

1) I never noticed before that that archipelago west of Baaj looks a bit like Japan. I have the suspicion this was the original home of the Al Bhed, but I don't know why I think that (except Rikku did mention another island, I think).

2) This fabulous map is a fan's high-res scan of one of the two in-game maps, with most of the Spiran glyphs transliterated. "Wilderia Continent" is the name of the continent containing the Calm Lands and Gagazet, while "Djose Continent" is everything south of Bevelle.

3) On that map, there are about 8 tiny labels whose glyphs are too small to make out. About 6 of them appear to start with "Temple of Yevon [something]" in the same style as "Temple of Yevon-Djose". From this I deduce they are smaller villages which have temples, and that some temples don't have fayth (otherwise, Yuna would've had to visit those, too).
auronlu: (Auron2)

Legendary Pillow
by ~Ayrania-chan on deviantART

Woo hoo! Another fanart? A first-time reader was inspired to illustrate a scene from Chapter 19, when Rikku and Wakka's daughter latches onto the grumpy guardian.

I love Yunie's Al Bhed clothes; they look a lot more likely than what I drew.

The best part? This reader said she'd avoided fanfiction until now, and was pleasantly surprised. I pointed her to a few good authors to ensure her first foray into fanfiction continues to go well.

auronlu: (Lady)
Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 40: Titanomachy
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters: Nooj, Baralai, Gippal, Paine, Auron, Isaaru
Word Count: 4000
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: Auron and his allies lure Sin to the uninhabited ruins of Old Guadosalam, hoping that the firepower of an ancient weapon will be sufficient to disable the foe.

Chapter 40: Titanomachy )

auronlu: (butterflies)

Okay, a perfect day to make up for many days of depression. Birds have been singing outside all day*** (or squawking -- hello, Mexican green parrots!), my jasmine bush is perfuming the world, the wind is blowing and making my wind chimes jingle, and I sat down in the kitchen looking out at my very-disheveled garden and working on dissertation.

Chapter 40 of LHaD is finished, or finished-but-awaiting-one-final-readthrough to see if I want to tweak any wording before posting. I told myself I couldn't post it until I'd achieved a useful chunk of dissertation, and I have.

So I log in to post chapter 40.

And then I find THIS painting by [ profile] cumuluscastle , of Lulu's dream-garden in Love Her and Despair. I hope she won't mind my hotlinking. Click to see original, full-sized, gorgeous picture!

I am stunned and happy and awed by this painting.

And now, I'm going to be bad. Rather than post Chapter 40 now, I'm gonna watch the Blu-Ray Advent Children I just got (thanks to [ profile] missjoongie ) !!! and then do one more editing pass for language/vocabulary. Dramatic action-movies help me get into the headspace for writing dramatic action scenes.

Then I'll post.

Alas, it no longer ends with OOPS, or at least the OOPS has been somewhat muted.

***ETA: The world is silly. I hit post, and IMMEDIATELY the ARMY OF CROWS which lives in my city descends on the eucalyptus trees over my patio and start arguing with the most deafening cacophony imaginable. There must be 50 of 'em. If they're still here in the morning when the parrots cruise by, I'm gonna need earplugs (except not, because they amuse me).
auronlu: (reckoned with)
Okay, while I'm banging away on the Epic Battle chapter of LHaD (coming along nicely) -- stats time!
Chapters: 40 (40 is sitting on my HD being polished)
Words: ~90,000 (ack!)
Started: Dec. 14, 2007
One-shot that started it all: "Alternate Universe" posted on [ profile] pyre_flies in Apr 2006. 1030 words.

FF.Net Stats: 11,300 hits; after initial die-off ~150 read to the end; 116 comments.
LJ Stats: 425 comments since Dec '07, of which about a third are my replies.

MUCHO thanks to all my reviewers/critics! Your feedback has made it 500% the story it would've been. Especial gratitude to my diehard commenters: [ profile] trekqueen, [ profile] cumuluscastle, [ profile] muggy_mountain, [ profile] owlmoose, [ profile] melchar, [ profile] jlsigman, [ profile] vandevere

Now. Shameless Plug and/or PSA!

The Genesis Awards keeps postponing the final awards for Final Fantasy X, and I'm guessing it's because not enough fics have been nominated in some categories. Partly for selfish reasons (LHaD was nominated, but can't compete if there's no contest), and partly because I absolutely want more of the fabulous Final Fantasy writers out there to get the credit they deserve, I am encouraging everybody to nominate one Final Fantasy X Fanfiction story that they think deserves some notice!

This is the first year the Genesis Awards has recognized any fandom besides FFVII, so I am eager to see FFX fic well-represented. (Apologies for sounding like a broken record.)

auronlu: (plot device)
... I will pay for it tomorrow, but the muse seems to loosen up about now. Alas, I must sleep rather than taking advantage of it, as I am still recovering from surgery.

First, I would like to share with you the "mood/theme" headers in my outline for the next chapter, wherein I have choreographed the beats of a battle sequence.

I. FAST/ EXHILARATING! THE SPACE GIANTS!!  (music theme starting at 1:40)

Hopefully I'll be able to fit all that into a chapter. :D

[[ETA: Now I want to do a Goldar vs. Sin fanvid. Oh gods.]]
auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 39: Eight of Swords
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters: Nooj, Baralai, Gippal, Paine, Lulu/Auron
Word Count: 2200
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: Auron and his allies lure Sin to the uninhabited ruins of Old Guadosalam, hoping that the firepower of an ancient weapon will be sufficient to disable the foe. Unfortunately, Sin has laid a trap for Auron as well.

A/N: I pulled the ending of Ch. 38 forward; it seems to fit better here.

Chapter 39: Eight of Swords )

auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 38: Venus/Mars
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters: Nooj, Baralai, Isaaru, Lulu/Auron
Word Count: 2100
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: Sin has destroyed the fayth, and now only one thing can oppose it: Vegnagun, doomsday weapon from an ancient war. Auron and friends lure Sin to the Thunder Plains for a final showdown, where Auron hopes to distract Sin long enough to give Vegnagun one clear shot.
A/N: Boat image adapted from this photo.

Chapter 38: Venus/Mars )

auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 37: The Summons
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters: Auron, Isaaru, Gippal, Paine, Nooj, Baralai, Bahamut
Word Count: 2500
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: This is it! Spira's defenders gather for an epic showdown. Lulu has received her invitation as the Guest of Honor. Auron is waiting for her. Old lovers will soon be reunited -- as adversaries on the field of battle!

Chapter 37: The Summons )

auronlu: (Yuna's Final Aeon)
I have done a major edit-sweep of LHAD, to help me get all the canon back in my head before I embark on the big battle sequence.

Most edits were cosmetic. However, in response to reader-questions during the Shuyin-confrontation, I've revamped the Via Purifico chapter to make Lenne's cameo somewhat more clear (while still leaving an intentional ambiguity) as well as, "what happened to Maroda?" Hopefully that part of the story is now easier to follow, without losing the subtlety that [ profile] cumuluscastle likes in some of my writing.

I'm still waffling over the use of Otherworld lyrics during the Shuyin fight. It was an experiment. I'm curious how many readers liked vs. were distracted by it.

I renamed the "Unraveling" chapter (viewing Yuna's sphere) to "Love Her and Despair". So many other plot-threads have developed that the meaning of the story's original title has been obscured. In that chapter, when Auron faces love and despair while viewing Yuna's sphere, the deepest kernel of the story pops out.

I love reader feedback -- it's amazing how much y'all have helped me refine and solve plot issues, even though the basic story and chapter outline have remained almost unchanged since chapter 14! [ profile] mandyiam gets the prize for killing off a character I hadn't planned on killing: addition by subtraction. [ profile] owlmoose, [profile] muggy_mountain and [ profile] trekqueen are the Backstory Consultants. [ profile] cumuluscastle is critic extraordinaire and post-production beta reader, since I'm too danged stubborn to have one.

I am still struggling to reconcile two sets of reader tastes: those who like subtlety versus those who want things spelled out more explicitly; and the readers who prefer 1200-1400 word chapters versus those who prefer 2000-4000. I keep waffling!

So, anyway. With apologies for the self-plug, let me wave the "Readers! Come and get it!" flag for a few of you who were clever enough to hold off until I'd polished the last few chapters.

Far Too Much Meta-babble about LHAD )
auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 36: Thaw Before the Storm
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters: Paine/Nooj, Auron, Isaaru
Word Count: 3600
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: Thirteen years after Yuna fell in the Final Summoning, Isaaru's pilgrimage is drawing to an uncertain close. Sin has destroyed most of his aeons, leaving him with no choice but to use Vegnagun, a fearsome weapon from a thousand-year-old war. Meanwhile the victims of Shuyin, a vengeful ghost who forced those he possessed to betray or kill those close to them, must try to move on.

A/N: Yes, this should be two chapters. But it's not, so nyah. Also, photo ref for Paine, wearing a modified version of warrior monk's armor.

Chapter 36: Thaw Before the Storm )

auronlu: (lulu)
Hey, you two. I decided to give you your own scene, in order to give one of the ten jillion secondary story arcs justice (and as a treat for [ profile] owlmoose, perhaps).

STOP sitting around with that sort of flat, tense "there needs to be a climax and resolution to this scene sooner or later, and yet there isn't, and it's all grim and gray and patches of dirty snow" conversation that reminds me of an artsy Soviet-era Polish film.

I was planning on doing more with this chapter, covering a bit of plot-advancement in the other 2 parts of the triptych, but you two and your stupid Unresolved Tension of an Ill-Defined Nature keep EATING ALL THE WORD COUNT.

And in other news, sinuses suck. (I'm better, but still headachy and ook.)
auronlu: (elma)
Mini-backstory for LHAD.

Final Fantasy X
Title: Change of Habit
Rating: G
Word Count: 400

(Called to Serve)
auronlu: (Lady)

Maester Lucil

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 35: The Council of Yevon
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters: Auron, Isaaru, Pacce, Lucil, Baralai, Shelinda, Cid, Rikku, Elma, Nooj, Paine
PG-13 (Language)
Word Count: 3900
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters

Our Story So Far: Sin has destroyed most of the temples and their fayth, putting Isaaru's pilgrimage in jeopardy. The maesters convene an emergency meeting to plan a radical new strategy for fighting Sin.

Chapter 35: The Council of Yevon )

July 2017

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