auronlu: (Yuna's Final Aeon)
[livejournal.com profile] mintywolf, artist of that Lulu graphic novel I've been reccing, just left me an unexpected and wonderful fanart.

It illustrates a scene in the "Eight of Swords" chapter of Love Her and Despair, when Yu Yevon clamped down hard on Lulu for defying its will and taking too many liberties with Sin to aid her friends. As usual, the dream-interior of Sin is fashioned from its prisoner's hopes, loves, and fears. 

Full-sized version is probably NSFW:


Eight of Swords
by ~DippyWerewolf on deviantART


I love all of it, but especially the Yu Yevon glyph in blood. When I tried and failed to illustrate this scene, I sketched the shadow of the rune printed on the snow, but this is more dramatic.

Also, every one of Auron's swords is perfectly reproduced. Beautiful work. 

And Lulu's expression and posture say, "Bite me." Which is exactly right. She couldn't do much at this point in the story, but she could at least be cussedly stubborn. 

(Thanks again!)
auronlu: (Blitzball)
So I was just pecking at a heated argument for my next chapter, and was once again reminded about one of the perpetual tropes in Final Fantasy X:

In the time I spent on Babylon 5, I learned about choices and consequences and responsibility. I learned that we all have choices, even when we don’t recognize them, and that those choices have consequences, not just for ourselves, but for others. We must assume responsibility for those consequences. I and my fellow officers had to choose between what we were told was right and what we believed was right.

Er, yeah. John Sheridan is Tidus (a.k.a. "Hey You" or "You-Know-Who" in game dialogue, which means he's actually Voldemort. Nevermind.)

Anyway, my point: the "choices" trope.

How the Choices Trope plays out in FFX )
auronlu: (Lady)
Ooops. Let’s try that again. Apologies to anyone who saw my premature post yesterday. Long as it is, this chapter really needs to be one piece to GET US THE HECK OUT OF BEVELLE.

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 49: Thorns
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Wakka/Rikku, Zuke
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 4900
Navigation: Previous Chapter |
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: In this dark alternate future to FFX, Yuna chose the Final Summoning and accepted a guardian's offer to become the Final Aeon. Thirteen years later, the cycle is finally broken. Now Lulu, Auron, and Wakka and Rikku's family enjoy a much-needed respite in the strained hospitality of Yevon's capitol.

first half of chapter - repost, minor tweaks )
second half of chapter )
auronlu: (Lady)
Okay, I was trying to hold off, but I'm tired of waiting to post until the whole story is finished. Enjoy!


Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 48: The Houses of Healing
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Wakka/Rikku, Zuke
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 4300
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Sin is defeated, its occupant freed... but being Sin for thirteen years is not something one can throw off in a day.

Chapter 48: The Houses of Healing )

auronlu: (Lucil)
Two of the remaining 10(ish) LHAD chapters finished, the third proceding along nicely thanks to the fact that I've given in and started letting the cat wake me up at 6:30 AM when my muse is still in dream-mode. The iPad helps tremendously; the creative writing side of my brain prefers a small portable medium that reminds me of a blank book or journal.

I'm so tempted to put up the next chapter, but I'm trying to hold off until everything's finished, then do a once-every-two-weeks serial posting so people can follow along. (The first chapter in the batch reestablishes the Story So Far since I know readers will have forgotten most of it by now.)

Anyway, I was just listening to a rough draft while doing housecleaning -- It's one of my favorite ways of proofreading and getting back into the zone to write the next chunk -- and my iPad did one of those silly computer things which are probably only amusing to me. Imagine the Victoria computer voice declaiming under a full head of steam:

"Isaaru was there, of course, but Auron had declined the graciously-worded invitation to join Bevelle's new icon in the maesters' box. He could just discern three wavering forms on the far side of the sphere pool: the high summoner arrayed in Yevon's vestments with no concern for hypocrisy, a stumpy warrior monk in splendid dress armor, and the new Grand Maester wearing an Alert Battery Low, Power at 10%."

(Er, Lucil? The little voice says you're wearing a machina. Might wanna get that checked out.)

If you've got an iPad, Text-to-Speech is hidden away under the Accessibility section of iPad Settings. The very last setting lets you turn a triple-click on the Home button (the iPad's belly button) into an on/off switch for Text-to-Speech, called Voiceover. It's a bit clunky, but these two Voiceover-only gestures are fairly easy to master: two finger swipe down means "start reading here and keep going," and three finger swipe scrolls up or down a page.
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
After much whittling -- although one chapter needs a bit of touch up at the end --

LHAD ch. 48 -- 4300 words
LHAD ch. 49 -- 4400 words, written mostly in the past four days

Think I'll actually get this puppy finished by the second week of December, 5 years after I started it?

I wish, I wish.

Also, I wonder if Squeenix really is going to issue a remaster of FFX for the PS3. That was the plan, but I haven't seen any news on that front in ages. It would help; replaying a game, rewatching a show, or rereading a book until I have it memorized tends to make it harder for me to hang onto the parts that first sparked my imagination. I'm suffering a little bit of canon drift.

PROGRESS

Sep. 4th, 2012 12:29 pm
auronlu: (Writer's Block)
chapter 48 pf 60: done.(could use some polish, but done)

Keep going, keep going!

I'm afraid to post any more at this point until it's DONE done, because I'd like any readers still with me to be able to enjoy the final plot arc as a once-a-week serial.

I'm thinking I may use NaNoMo to try and finish it, once and for all.
auronlu: (Lucil)
 
Rereading all the lovely concrit from my DW / LJ readers and all the chapters of LHAD, I find myself once again blessed and humbled by everyone who took time to give me feedback long or short and help me keep going. Reader comments shaped that story fundamentally, despite the fact the it's the one long story I've written with an outline and plotting before I'd even started. So many problems were solved, new ideas proposed, and depth added as I pondered reader questions and observations. I know I still haven't written the Scouring of the Shire, but I couldn't have gotten as far as I did without all that help. Thank you, friends.

Nevertheless, in the midst of all the great and insightful comments, when I finally remembered to go back to the ff.net version (no pictures, noooooooooo!!!)  and reread the comments there, this is the one that made me spit granola on my iPad:

Holy shoopuff theyre lezbian

(mind you this was feedback for chapter 34, when the relationship was established back in chapter EIGHT, or, if one wasn't paying attention, 16/17.)

This is why I never know how subtle to be with foreshadowing and hints.

Okay. Writing. Zuke, help me out here...
auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 47: War in Abeyance
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Wakka/Rikku
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 4000
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Sin is defeated, Yu Yevon destroyed, and Yuna's old guardians assemble in the city of St. Bevelle for the Calm Festival.

Chapter 47: War in Abeyance )

auronlu: (Plot Device)
...I posted the first official chapter of Love Her and Despair.

Words: ~115,000
Chapters: 46
Named characters adapted from FFX: 38
Original characters: 4
Fanarts: 5 by others (thank YOU, especially the framed one which hangs over my desk), 5 by moi plus photomanips.

Readers? Priceless.

P.S. Mugs, thanks so much for feedback; that definitely is helping untangle the latest logjam.

Dare I hope I'll get the next chapter done today? Probably not; if I do post it, it'll be half-assed. But I'm tempted to stay up and try.

auronlu: (Plot Device)
I just added up all my main characters, trying to make sure I didn't forget anyone. And I am BOGGLED. How did this happen? When I first wrote the drabble-that-turned-into-a-oneshot that was the seed-idea for this saga, it was a cast of FOUR, with one more right at the end. Now?

Love Her and Despair CAST: (scale of 1-10 for minor to major character): 
  1. Auron   --  10
  2. Lulu      -- 6-10
  3. Isaaru   -- 7-9
  4. Pacce   -- 5
  5. Rikku    -- 6-8
  6. Wakka   -- 4-6
  7. Yuna Jr. -- 4-8
  8. Elma   -- 5-7
  9. Cid    -- 4-5
  10. Lucil   -- 4-6
  11. Baralai   -- 4-6
  12. Paine    -- 3-5
  13. Nooj     -- 3-5
  14. Gippal   -- 3-5
  15. Maroda    -5-7
  16. Zuke   -- 3-6
  17. Vidina   -- 2-3
  18. Shinra    -- 2-3
  19. Brother -- 1
  20. Mbela -- 1
  21. Etta   -- 1-2
  22. Shelinda -- 1
  23. Buddy   -- 1 
  24. Anima, Bahamut   -- 2 
  25. Luzzu -- 2-3
  26. (Dona, Barthello, Maechen, Kiyuri, Wedge -- 0.5 -- yes, Maechen already had a cameo, but it was "teeny-weenie")
Some characters are minor walk-ons and cameos (16-25). However, that's 15 characters with character development and plot arcs that I need to wrap up. Which would be fine, except that most are interconnected. I wrote out a rough "character arc chart" a few years ago treating the first 15 as individual timelines, but I never attempted a flowchart dealing with all the relationships which need to be resolved in tandem. (Cid seems to be determined to be mixed up with everybody's business, even though he doesn't develop/evolve at all. Well, it's a Final Fantasy story...there Has To Be a Cid. *punts Cid*) 

So, when I tried to start wrapping up and jettisoning nonessential personnel befor the Scouring of the Shire / Last Battle chunk of the story, I got stuck, like hitting two handfuls of typewriter keys and jamming them against the ribbon. That's no excuse for posting only two chapters in the last year, but the moral of the story is: keep your main cast to 7 or less, or be prepared to juggle a LOT OF BALLS.

Okay. I can now cross off Cid, Brother, Buddy, and...dangit, Zuke, why did you have to walk back into the story?! Go away! 

In other news, I just updated LHAD's Sticky Post / Table of Contents for my Dreamwidth account so that the navigation is functional, which it wasn't before. You can now navigate from chapter to chapter on DW, instead of having to go to LJ for easy reading.  

Also, I lost a year, so it's not as bad as I thought. I looked back and see I started it on December 14, 2007, not 2006. Think I'll finish in five years? Just in time for Final Fantasy X (HD) to come out. No, I don't have selfish reasons for being happy about that release...nope nope. ;) 
auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 46: Points of Departure
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Isaaru, Pacce, Zuke, Cid, and...about half of Spira, okay?
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 3900
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Yu Yevon has been defeated, and Sin's fayth is free at last. Summoner Isaaru, Sir Auron, friends and allies return in battered triumph to Bevelle aboard an Al Bhed airship.

Chapter 46: Points of Departure )

auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 46: Departures
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Isaaru, Pacce, Zuke, Cid, and...about half of Spira, okay?
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 3900
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Yu Yevon has been defeated, and Sin's fayth is free at last. Summoner Isaaru, Sir Auron, friends and allies return in battered triumph to Bevelle aboard an Al Bhed airship.

Chapter 46: Departures )

auronlu: (Lady)
I have been working on Love Her and Despair -- no, really! -- and keep coming across discarded ficbits. Here. All you really need to know, if you haven't read or have forgotten the epic, is that in this alternate universe, Yuna chose the Final Summoning and "the cycle continued."



Words: 300
Summary: Paine and Baralai, then lovers, each realize that the other's heart is taken.
When: ~3 years prior to LHAD
Backstory: Baralai discovers Vegnagun and studies it in secret, trying to learn to control it so that he can keep it out of the wrong hands. He confides in Paine and asks her help.


Discord... )



Words: 500
Summary: Isaaru's backstory for LHAD.

Backstory: All the way back in chapter 2, [personal profile] owlmoose asked me in a reader's comment, "What happened to Mika?" The question unearthed a gaping plot hole. I hastily wrote this out to do some backfilling. It unleashed a bucket o' plot threads that turned LHAD from a half-assed ten-chapter jaunt to a Tolkienian epic. Oops. 


Grand Maester Isaaru's confession... )



Words: 600
Summary: 1000 years after Love Her and Despair, the church publishes a pamphlet to discredit LHAD's story of Isaaru's pilgrimage as apocryphal.
Note: I was going to use these as chapter headers for LHAD. Their real goal was to provide context for a friend who wanted to read LHAD but hadn't played FFX.


Excerpts from Spiran Scripture... )



Word Count: 460
Summary: Gratuitous Auron/Lulu flashback is gratuitous.
Notes: It's not obvious here, but the blue sphere seems to have been an "occupied" sign agreed upon by Besaid's young people hiding midnight exploits from the clergy.



Besaid Temple memories.... )




Okay, I STILL haven't found the piece I was looking for. There's a chunk of a chapter I'm writing now that I first wrote over a year ago. Where'd it go? Why isn't it in my outline? ARGH!
auronlu: (Bobblehead Night)
I'm still trying to get a sense of whether I can do an audiofile of LHAD, my Final Fantasy X serial. It's surprisingly difficult to read clearly without putting the listener to sleep -- both vital in an audiobook.

Final Fantasy X
Characters: Isaaru, Maroda, Pacce, Auron
Rating: PG
Love Her and Despair Mp3s:
Chapter 1    Chapter 2

~ Love Her and Despair Project

I now know why Yuna has a bad case of Shatner in FFX's voiceover: she actually has asthma.

Now, WHY the bling blang can't I catch Lucil's voice at all? My acting skills are laughable, but I can at least capture the rhythms of some people's voices (Isaaru's are quite distinctive; the man always sounds like he's on valium). Lucil is defeating me. Even if I expand my sound samples to include Dona and repeat right after her, I sound nothing like her. Weird.

(On a side note, I discovered her VA has a quite amusing repertoire -- I am now trying to imagine Lucil with that maniacal cackle taking over the Youth League and forcing all the males to wear skin-tight leotards and garters while riding in cavalry charges.)
auronlu: (Default)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 45: Sunrise
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, OFC
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 2600
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Against all odds, Auron, Isaaru and their allies have not only defeated Sin, but delivered its host from Yu Yevon's bonds. Now they return to Bevelle in triumph on Brother's airship.

A/N: The next chapter is at least half written, so I'll dare to post this one. This chapter is written with the assumption you've forgotten most of the story, by the way, since it's been a while!


Chapter 45: Sunrise )

auronlu: (Lady)
...and at this rate it may take 4 years to finish, aiee.



I just had to re-post-date the table of contents entry for Love Her and Despair, the sticky post at the top of my LJ. It isn't actually sticky; I originally dated it to Dec. 14, 2010 in the vain hope it would take me 3 years to finish.

The end is in sight, but I STILL have... I don't even want to say it, because it'll scare away the few remaining readers... slightly more than 10 chapters for the last leg of the adventure. You all have been WONDERFUL to be so patient. I am very, very very blessed by the comments and feedback and support and ART OMFG. My first fanart.

I'm proud of it. I'm proud of that danged Genesis Award, even if I'm embarrassed too.

And I'm taking [livejournal.com profile] cumuluscastle's watercolor back to my parents' house this Christmas, because they know a frameshop I'll trust with it. It's creepy, but it's still going on my wall:




(And then get Schmutzig's framed as well, but that's safer because I have a digital copy.)
auronlu: (plot device)
Gack. The GA email came while I was buried in RL work, and I never saw it.

Announcement: Winners of the 2009/2010 Genesis Awards for Best FFX Fanfiction

Their shortlist is a fanfiction feast from the familiar ([livejournal.com profile] ellnyx and [livejournal.com profile] muggy_mountain; Luc Court) to authors I hadn't discovered before I started hunting for new writers to nominate.

So check out that thread for some excellent Final Fantasy fanfiction!

Thank you very much for nominating my baby way back when. I'm proud to have LHAD named among the works of several writers I look up to. It won best action/adventure. I had better make sure the ending lives up to that, eh?

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] justira's "Clarion" still wins the "story that ate my brain" award, even if it's not on their list.
auronlu: (Blah)
I've been toying with the idea of recording Love Her and Despair as a book on tape.

Once upon a time, I was an amateur bard performing songs and stories. But now, asthma and sinusitis have given me a nasal and breathless delivery. I never could manage reading dialog and action very well; I was better at a folktale delivery where one didn't have to indicate change of speaker.

Option 2 is to use NaturalReader software to create Mp3s artificially. The pronunciation editor is flaky-- rather than let me type phonics, I have to try various misspellings and hope it gets one of them right-- and sometimes it gets the emphasis in a word or sentence incorrect. But on the whole, it does a remarkably good job.

Either way, I have to do a certain amount of editing and processing to get a passable recording, snipping out my stammers and pops or beating on Heather's wonky pronunciations and pacing to the extent that I can.

So here's recordings for Chapter 44 of Love Her and Despair, broken into two chunks since it's a long chapter:

Live recording: Part One | Part Two
Text-to-Speech: Part One | Part Two

[Poll #1651551]
auronlu: (Lady)

Title: Love Her and Despair
Chapter 44: Chrysalis
Final Fantasy X/X-2
Characters:Auron/Lulu, Lucil, Nooj, Paine, Baralai, Wakka, Rikku
Rating:
PG.
Word Count: 4500
Navigation: Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
Map of Pilgrimage - Links to All Chapters


Our Story So Far: Against all odds, Auron, Isaaru and their allies have not only defeated Sin, but delivered its fayth from Yu Yevon's bonds. And what now? Friends and comrades regroup on Brother's airship.

A/N: I'm almost afraid to post this until I've written the last chapter. But I still know where it's going, and I have bits and pieces of the rest ready to go. It's just hard to kickstart the action again after the "Battle of the Pelennor Fields" and get onto the final leg of the saga.

Question: would anyone be interested in an .mp3 version? It seems like vanity, but on the other hand, some people like books on tape.


Chapter 44: Chrysalis )

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