nrgburst: (this guy are sick)
So FFVII is getting a remake for PS4 and somebody read and reviewed Full Circle for the first time in years. So I re-read it for the first time in years and, wow: 1. The first chap really needs an edit. 2. I'm totally back on the Reeve/Rufus train somehow even though I have actually promised to write something else. Like flip-flopping plot ideas/character arcs in my head, fact checking and wondering where the heck I saved the files I had from 7 years ago. (Also it bugs me that I don't remember the title. Which is usually one of the first things I come up with when I get a fic idea.)

I always thought it was a bit silly, writers going on about their "muse", when really it was basically: this idea is shiny and fascinating right now and the other feels more like work/grind than writing flow. And then I think about this Jonathan Stroud pep talk for Nanowrimo where he just sits himself down and forces himself to write until he forgets that he wasn't absolutely dying to finish the chapter/edit/whatever and it's six hours later and he's got several pages (or at least a few lines) to show for it. And I'm all...oooh, but that sounds like it takes self-discipline... *edges away slowly and sees what TV I haven't caught up on yet* Also this TED talk on how stating your goals makes you less likely to reach them makes me wonder if I should have not said anything. Like I was a good 8 pages and an outline in and then I committed and now it's taken two months for two more pages...

So yeah, I totally feel GRRM on the ridiculous LJ output and zero Winds of Winter updates. LOL 
nrgburst: (Victory!)
Wow. Finished at last.
It's both cool and weird at the same time.
Thinking back to when I was first writing Aftermath, with the idea burning in my head amidst the frenzy of wedding preparations, I feel incredibly gratified that the story has come this far. It was just a little Cloud/Tifa fic. They sooo needed a break from what canon was tossing them. And I had a few ideas for other chapters. So in Oct/Nov last year, I sketched out a rough plan- it looks like this:

The rest under here... )  about the original version of A Taste of Home. Am I a writer or a storyteller? Do I tell instead of show? Is there a flair to my writing? These are questions she brought up that I still ask myself  as I write/edit my chapters. While I won't claim that I'm a good writer now, I think I'm a much better one than I was a few months ago. And like teaching, where you go back over a lesson to see how you could have taught it better, I think that ongoing self-scrutiny is what leads to improvement.

Part of the experiment was also seeing how well I could work with deadlines. The verdict? I did well getting out chapters every month... until I got pregnant. Hey, you try writing when you're falling asleep in front of the keyboard! :P Jonathan Stroud recently wrote in his NaNoWriMo pep talk about how writers have to be dedicated to writing under pressure. A year's deadline is actually only 5 or 6 months when considering all the editing, etc. that a book also needs to go through.It takes dedication and a certain amount of "forcing yourself" to get that first draft out. And since this was supposed to be practice for writing my own novel, I'm feeling buoyant about my future as a novelist. (BTW, I'm not doing NaNo, but I got a peek at the pep talk through somebody in the Bartimeaus community! LJ, I <3 you.)

Another part was keeping it realistic. I did a lot of research, both in my canon sources to make sure my characterizations were accurate, and on scientific things like solar energy. This was actually something Stroud recommended on bartiforums that I read ages ago. Want to make your fantasy story believable? Look it up, and stick in proper details. It's a lot of work for a line or two, but then it no longer sounds like you are just making stuff up. Yes, your readers can tell when you have no idea what you are talking about. And actually, the geeky part of me found this a lot of fun. Bioluminescent creatures are pretty cool!

Another thing I tried was writing in different styles. Could I make it clear who was talking through simply dialogue? What if I had two time-lines? Am I any good at writing an action sequence? (Something I avoided for a long time- until a reviewer mentioned it.) Creating suspense? Making a scene sparkly and euphoric? Maybe. I tried, anyway. You know what they say about practice...

I also experimented with symbology and themes- Square's "wolf" interpretation of Cloud's character, for example. Was I successful? I don't know- honestly, I think I've only had a single reviewer notice the deeper themes. So this probably still needs work. But I don't mind- I like knowing they're there, at least.

In my quest for improvement, I joined the Genesis Awards forum. Not just a forum where the LTD is done to death, but one where fanfiction writers actually talk about writing. It's amazing what sort of tips you can pick up by reading through old threads. And in getting some in-depth feedback from another member, I realized that, for example, my knowledge of punctuation was not up to standard. (It still isn't. Sigh. Double dashes still look weird to me, [ profile] wheatear .) I also started to read a lot more critically- both my own work, and that of others.

It wasn't until Full Circle got nominated (for which [ profile] abrogate_nadir  gets eternal gratitude!) that I finally got a beta, though. (Ha! Irony!) It was great to have that second critical opinion of my work. It made me a lot more confident about publishing, and I've actually done few retro-edits to Level Up, Preludes and Full Circle (Epilogue)- something I used to do compulsively for the other chapters.

Actually, I'll still be editing- judging is just around the corner, and I want it to be in the best shape possible before it goes before them. I have no idea when I'll start writing again, but I think "Crucible" will be my next project. A short little 5 chapter fic that will require loads of research. Sounds like fun, right? :)

Full Circle

Nov. 2nd, 2008 09:26 am
nrgburst: (Victory!)
Title: Full Circle (Epilogue)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: Cloud/Tifa, Denzel/Marlene
Warnings: none
Word Count: about 1000
Summary: Life and death are always intertwined. It's just the natural cycle of things...


Full Circle (Epilogue) )
nrgburst: (Tifa DoC)
Title: Preludes to War (August)
Fandom: FFVII Compilation
Characters: Cloud/Tifa, ensemble cast, including some from BC and DoC
Genre: Drama/Family/Action/Romance
Rating: PG-13 (Sexual situations, but non-explicit)
Word Count: about 8800
Summary: What could have happened just prior to Dirge of Cerberus. For anyone who's ever wondered where everyone else was for most of the game.

Preludes to War )
nrgburst: (this guy are sick)

I know, I'm a big keener for doing this. But I cannot write without referencing material or I feel like I have somehow soiled myself. And I think there are a lot of new fans that don't know as much about the compilation as an old obsessed fart like me. I know a lot of people haven't played the games, or even read the mini-novellas, so I'm spelling everything out here. References are from the Compilation of FF7 as follows: FFVII- the original game, AC- Advent Children, BC- Before Crisis, CC- Crisis Core, DoC- Dirge of Cerberus, CoT- The Case of Tifa, CoD- The Case of Denzel, and CoB- The Case of Barret.

Cheers to Tetsuya Nomura, Kazushige Nojima and everyone at Square-Enix for making a world that I've had such fun playing in. (^_^)v

References )

CoD- Denzel’s worry about money is a natural result of what he has been through on the street

CoT- Origin of Strife’s delivery service. Also refers to Marlene’s original role as 7th Heaven’s waitress. 

DoC- Shalua Rui is one of the scientists standing in line- well spotted Alinalotus!
Winter Blaze

CoT- Corel wine was something Barret showed them how to make.

CC- Cloud is on time when he isn’t screwed up- and always too late when he is.

BC- Dinne is named as Nanaki’s mate, although why Bugenhagen is completely unaware of this in the game is a mystery. Ah, ret-conning.

FFVII- Cid will ask Cloud if they can play the snowboarding game when you go to the Golden Saucer while he is in your battle party. IIRC, Tifa does this as well. It’s probably because they are the only two you get to control as the “main character” other than Cloud. But hey, I can abuse this fact to authenticate my story, hehe.

Yuffie mentions tranquilizers as a way to avoid the discomfort of motion sickness in the game. They usually are used to cure the “Berserk” status.

Tifa sees Cloud’s memories when they are pitched into the Lifestream in Mideel. This is when she helps put his fractured mind back together, by reinforcing what he remembers with what she remembers.

The flashback sequence is meant to be similar to the movie where Cloud thinks of what is most precious to him. But something similar was in “Taking off Masks,” so I referred it, just in case.

 DoC- “Geostigma detected” flashes on the screen when Deepground soldiers are capturing “pure” civilians to abduct.

CoT- Tifa and Cloud’s “sins”: the inability to replace lives.

Gysahl greens are the ideal chocobo pacifier in the game, cheap and long lasting. You can only buy them at Chocobo farm.

FFVII- Tifa assumes her victory pose after cleaning the church.

Elixirs restore full HP and MP, and Remedies cure all status ailments.

The original defeat of Sephiroth is referred to as “The Jenova War” by Reeve in DoC, so that is what I went with here.

Cloud’s belongings are the ones that were in the church in AC.
Triangles and Resolutions

FFVII- The love triangle and date reference should be obvious.

The megaphone was Cait Sith’s weapon in the game- he ordered his robot moogle to beat up the enemy with it. However, the moogle has been removed in AC due to animation difficulties. And since you only control Cait in the “sneaking around” parts of DoC, shouting orders and riding around on a big robot moogle would not be helpful.

Reeve blackmailed the Avalanche group into letting Cait Sith stay (despite revealing himself as the traitor) by taking Marlene in the game. So he, too, cared for Marlene for a short time.

Japanese culture reference- Oosouji (Housecleaning) is usually done at New Year.

DoC- WRO headquarters has to be close enough to Edge for Shalua to be able to carry an unconscious Vincent between them. The river in the movie of "future Midgar" looks different from the game map though. Confusing? Yes.

CoB- Barret’s commitment to finding oil, leaving Marlene with Cloud and Tifa, being helpless to save a girl stricken with Geostigma, and destroying nests of monsters (or the ceiling of Cid’s hanger) to relieve frustrations.

CoT- Marlene sleeps with Tifa, enjoys being the center of things at 7th Heaven.

Mee goreng is actually what they call fried noodles in Malaysia and Indonesia.

FF7 Reminiscence- Barret has a present for the kids, and asks Cloud to deliver it.
Special Delivery

FFVII- Limit Breaks- only Tifa can chain hers, which makes her absolutely kick-ass in your party if you are good at timing her slots. Cid’s final limit is called “Highwind,” and as described, he just gets the airship to hit the enemy with missiles. Great Gospel is the name of Aeris’ final limit as well, and since she uses it to heal Cloud of his Stigma there, I thought it was really the most apt name for the church.

CoB- Cid calls Nanaki “Red,” although he has to know perfectly well what his real name is. So here is my explanation.

The obvious “Miss Cloud” reference from the game.

DoC- Yuffie has been drafted into helping Reeve in his intelligence division. Vincent is really reluctant to help out though, until his hand is really forced.

The “hand reaching out” scene in the game and movie, but no Aeris, hehe.

FF7 Reminiscence- Vincent and Cloud end their conversation in a similar way.

The date was chosen for a huge number of reasons. It’s a Sunday. It is a lucky date according to both Chinese and Japanese calendars. It is also the date of the full moon. And finally, I figured it would give me enough time to write the chapter after my trip.

FFVII (and AC)-The hand reaching out scene

The Nibelheim promise scene, obviously

The final scene in AC, where Aeris and Zack wish Cloud well from the doorway

Japanese culture reference: spring is the time of new beginnings here. The school year for example, starts in April. So I thought marriage in spring would be most appropriate.

FFVII- Mideel is the place where Cloud was a vegetable for part of the game, and Tifa cared for him. They get dumped into the Lifestream there and she helps him find his true identity through his memories then.

The hot tub scene with Mukki in the Honeybee Inn before he becomes Miss Cloud, bubby.

I referred back to Aftermath at the end of the surf scene.

Minor dig at Aeris with the floral scent thing. hehe

CC- Tifa emails Zack, saying she wants to ask him something about SOLDIERs. She is also visibly disappointed to see that Cloud is not the 1st class sent to Nibelheim. And isn’t that an awful outfit she wears?

Cloud echoes Tifa’s lines from their confrontation in AC

CoT- silly conversations are one of the markers of their relationship when it is healthy
A Taste of Home

FFVII- The Sephiroth-loses-it scene from the original game (and again in CC) should be obvious, but they also go back to Nibelheim in the game and in CoT. They regret this in both cases, hating the memories it stirs.

The mistakes Shinra made in rebuilding Nibelheim are highlighted in the pictures from FF7 Ultimania

Reminiscence- Yuffie gives Cloud a “Temporarily Closed” sign.
Level Up

DoC- the TV channel is the same as the one being broadcast in Vincent’s room. The energy crisis also would not have been sparked if Deepground had not routed all the excess Mako to Reactor 0 for Omega Weapon

Reminiscence- Cloud rarely answers the phone even when Cid calls.

The ending of the Loz fight from AC should be obvious. I loved writing this scene. The scenes where Cloud speaks to Rufus were also meant to echo the one in AC.

Yuna and Shinra talk about “a city full of lights, one that never sleeps” in FFX-2. More about the connection between the two FFs can be found online. 
Preludes to War

FFVII- Barret's old hometown, Corel, is what the Gold Saucer is built over. You also meet Cait here in the original game- and he betrays you here, too.

CoD- The seeds of Denzel’s desire to be a WRO soldier and fight are hinted at here, with his morose musings on his uselessness.

BC- Shalua says she was in AVALANCHE and is looking for the sister the Turks took away to be in SOLDIER in Chapter 22. Dinne is introduced and the Turks infiltrate Cosmo Canyon in search of AVALANCHE in Chapter 18.

CC- Cissnei is the female Turk with the Shuriken in the final scene- she was in love with Zack herself, and was really conflicted when she was sent to bring him in after he escaped from Hojo's lab with Cloud. 

Most references are from DoC- Shelke says the Lifestream has started flowing normally again in the final FMV, so I assumed that having it not flow properly would cut off Aeris from the church

Yuffie is really upset by Shalua’s incapacitation, implying that they were friends before the events of DoC.

“1200 people in Junon vanished without a single trace” according to Reeve- but Vincent had seen a report that “only 20 or 30 people went missing,” andhe seems really out of the loop (everybody else is in the attack force except Nanaki), so with all the Lucrecia flashbacks, I assumed he'd gone into coffin/grotto brooding mode over his sins.

Shalua is confused that “500 people still living [in Edge]” are missing when she meets up with Vincent there, so I had the choice to make them Deepground fodder or have Cloud and Co. save them in the nick of time. A little cheesy, maybe, but I wanted to show Cloud in battle again, as the leader of a pack instead of a lone wolf, so I wrote it this way.

Yuffie mentions Wutai being attacked by Deepground and saved by the defense her father and the Wusheng put up when Vincent chats with her on the Shera.

Reeve explains how they “came across some of Scarlet’s old files” that fill in some background info on Deepground, and you have to search Shinra Manor for files later in the game. Yuffie is also conveniently "poking around in Nibelheim" in time to rescue Vincent from Rosso, and since she's in charge of WRO intelligence, I thought it would be logical that it would be the source of those files. With Hojo's experiments on Cloud and Zack being in the manor in the original game (and CC) it also made me think that Deepground experiments could likely have been conducted there as well.

Weiss/Hojo's speech in DoC is quite nasty, which I think would motivate anybody to fight harder against someone so loathsome.

Cloud has two birthdays: one in the game booklet that comes with FFVII (August 19th), and then Square decided to give him a new one that has been reprinted in pretty much everything else (August 11th). So here’s my explanation of Square’s little goof. No, Zack has never been given an official birthday.

The one thing I couldn’t ret-con was the way people either dissolve into spirit energy upon death (Grimoire Valentine, Kadaj) or leave bodies (Aeris, Zack, Shalua, Bugenhagen) in the compilation. Huh? Consistency? Hello?

Full Circle

CC and FFVII’s train scenes are what helped kick off this project in the first place- I couldn't get over how Cloud had actually duplicated so many of Zack's experiences in a creepy way. So this was a non-creepy, fade to ordinary way to get him to retrace those steps again.

CC- Zack tells Cloud that he is the proof of his existence just before he dies.

CoT/CoD- Edge was initially built with parts cannibalized from Midgar
FFVII and AC- the lushly overgrown Midgar in the future probably had a small hand from our flower girl, I think.

FFVII- Barret's "Can't get offa this train we're on!" motto is something Cloud repeats after he realizes who he really is
nrgburst: (Default)
Title: Level Up (July)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: Cloud/Tifa, Denzel, Marlene, Cid, Shera, Rufus, Tseng, Barret and Yuffie. 
Rating: PG- A bit of sexual innuendo, language edited as usual
Word count: about 6800
Summary: "Those unfettered are able to progress with such enviable ease." 

Level Up (July) )
nrgburst: (this guy are sick)
Title: A Taste of Home (June)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: CloudxTifa, Denzel, and Marlene
Rating: PG-13 non-explicit sexual situations
Word count: about 3500
Summary: How can you sweeten the bitter taste of returning to the place where it all went wrong?

A Taste of Home (June) )
nrgburst: (Cloti manip)
Title: Memories (May)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: CloudxTifa, OC
Rating: PG-13 
Word count: about 3800
Summary: Going back to the place all those memories were finally jogged. Very fluffy for the most part.

Memories (May) )
nrgburst: (Cloti manip)
Title: Promises (April)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: CloudxTifa, Denzel, Marlene, all characters from Avalanche, the Turks, Shera and Dinne
Rating: PG
Word count: about 3700
Summary: Making a different set of promises at last. Songfic.

Promises (April) )
nrgburst: (Victory!)
Title: Special Delivery (March)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: CloudxTifa, Denzel, Marlene, all Avalanche members and Shera. 
Rating: PG
Word count: about 4600
Summary: Something's getting delivered all over Gaia this month... and preparations are in full swing for that big event in April...

Special Delivery (March) )
nrgburst: (Cloti manip)

Title: Triangles and Resolutions (February)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: CloudxTifa, Denzel, Marlene, Barret, Reeve
Rating: PG-13
Word count: about 6200
Summary: Not all love triangles are romantic. And does being in one mean that somebody always has to lose?

Triangles and Resolutions (February) ) 
nrgburst: (Tifa DoC)
Title: Penance
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: CloudxTifa, Denzel, Marlene, Aeris
Rating: PG-13, non-explicit sexual situations
Word count: about 5000
Summary: Geostigma still exists in DoC. How do Cloud and Tifa react when they realize that victims still remain all over Gaia?

Penance (January) )
nrgburst: (Cloti manip)
Title: Winter Blaze (December)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: CloudxTifa, Denzel, Marlene, all Avalanche members, Dinne
Rating: PG-13 Sexual situations, but nothing explicit
Word count: about 5500
Summary: How is Cloud supposed to pop the question when everyone comes along for their snowboarding holiday?

Winter Blaze (December) )
nrgburst: (Victory!)

Title: Symbiosis (November)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: CloudxTifa, Denzel, Marlene, Reeve, Reno
Rating: PG-13 
Word count: about 4800
Summary: Working together in sync. Inspired by that yin/yang way they were depicted in the church. 

Symbiosis (November) )
nrgburst: (Tifa DoC)

Title: Interlude (October)
Fandom: FFVII
Characters: CloudxTifa, Denzel, Marlene, Yuffie
Rating: PG
Word count: about 2000
Summary: That euphoric cloud 9/7th heaven stage of relationships just makes everyone gag, you know...

Interlude (October) )
nrgburst: (Cloti manip)
Title: Aftermath (September)
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Characters: CloudxTifa, Denzel, Marlene and mention of Zack and Aeris.
Rating: PG-13 Sexual situations, but nothing explicit. Language is edited the same way the game does it.
Word count: about 6000
Summary: The first step forward in Cloud and Tifa's relationship after the events of Advent Children.

Author’s note: Repost from I was inspired to write Full Circle after having my FF7 mania re-ignited by the media blitz over Crisis Core’s release in September 2007. Couldn't take a train or turn on the TV without being bombarded by game promos then! Anyway, it made me want to fill in the gaps and loose ends left in the compilation. Full Circle is set in the year between Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus, and I refer to all parts of the FF7 compilation (except for Last Order). I update monthly, and the project is actually almost finished. And of course, I own nothing in the FF7 universe.


Aftermath (September) )


nrgburst: (Default)

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