A weekly post updated every Saturday discussing my current writing projects and where I stand with them. This will include any and all work(s) in progress (WIP) be they creative writing, essays/analyses, or reviews of any type.
Content Warning: Discussions of rape and rape rhetoric.
Title: The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Current Word Count: 273, 963
Prior Word Count: 274,492
Word Difference: -529
Progress: 2nd Edit of Chapter 2
I started the second edit of Chapter 2 this week and thoroughly abandoned any ideas of finishing the full edit by Christmas. Second edits tend to go smoother than firsts, since many of the worst tangles have been worked out. I can usually edit more pages the second time around in one sitting. Last night I made it through three. It was also late, and I was tired, so it’s possible in more ideal conditions, I could edit more. I’d like to say the second edit will be finished by weekend’s, er, end, but I always seem to be wrong with these things, so I’m not going to bother to predict.
The angel wing pin picture above comes with a background story. When I initially reached this point of the story, I was 90% certain I was going to make him mayor of the town. I’m not sure what the 10% negative was, but once I realized I’d again be making a Les Miserable reference, I was all for it. Northern Lights takes a great deal of inspiration from Les Mis, and The Broken Rose is arguably an alternative spinoff of Northern Lights.
After seeing the latest rendition of Hugo’s social masterpiece, I realized how I’d begin NL with Sephiroth chained in Midgar. Granted that’s also a major Paradise Lost reference, but it was the scene in Les Mis where Cosette sees Jean Val Jean’s shackle scars that solidified it for me. While Sephiroth has no (visible) scars, that scene in the movie made me visual Aeris finding him chained somewhere in the city.
The mayor idea went along with the Val Jean inspiration since the ex-convict achieves that distinction after he breaks his parole and hides the fact that he’s an ex-con. For Sephiroth he’s essentially immortal; he’s been there for a long time; the townspeople are used to him, and he’s used to authority since he’s a former general. He’s more than equipped to hunt and kill the monsters that dwell on the outskirts and does so with purpose’s alacrity, since he’s the only person who can so this without self-risk. There are other reasons that make him the perfect mayor that are shown later in the story, but I loved the idea at inception. He’d want to have something to do, some purpose to serve (even though he’d hunt monsters even without that), and being the mayor would be part of his doing something to make up the horrible things he did in the past. He can never fully atone in his mind, but performing this task is better than nothing.
When I first thought of him having a pin, I immediately went to the Hand’s pin in Game of Thrones.
Afterwards I googled “silver pin,” and the first image to pop up was the first one above. I couldn’t have found a better sign that I was on the right track, and of course I had to buy this pin. It was $20 on Etsy, sold by SterlingSimplicity, and I wear it every day.
(I bought the Black Materia from Etsy, too [ShinyThingsbyOrin], but alas it broke. That…was a rough day for various reasons.).
I lost the stopper that goes bottom on the pin part so I keep stabbing myself. I’m sure I could make some sort of meta commentary about this, but I’ll save that for another time.
Quote: He shifted her over to his left arm to indicate a pin on leather lapel. An elegant shield silver against black, just like his winter hair. Well made, but simple, an ocean scene with moon and waves engraved. Betwixt shore and sky expertly carved was “Mayor of the Whispers.” The pin itself boasted a replica hilt with intricate detail in miniature. It bound the shield upon his chest, behind to hold its place. The only sharp was its bright tip, but that was covered and quelled.
Title: Borrowed Lives
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Drama, Angst
Type: Fanfiction (FFVII) Novel
Word Count: 2500
Progress: To be posted
The location of the original picture is here.
I wrote and posted this short about four years ago with an egregious misstep and fatal flaw. This may become a bit ranty. I’m infuriated with myself for putting something like this out in the zeitgeist.
I’ll be direct. Before I fixed it Sephiroth rapes Aeris. The way it was written she potentially “enjoys” it, and that shit is not okay. I’ve gone off on tirades about Fifty Shades of Grey (which I will not link to) and other narratives that glorify abuse and sexual violence. Fuck, The Broken Rose is all about the latter, but four years ago I posted Borrowed Lives, which unabashedly showcased this. While you might say, “It’s just a fanfiction/story. Who cares?” Well, what if a survivor of said situation read that? While Seph is obviously the antagonist of FFVII, in the fanfiction, him and Aeris have a prior relationship. They know each other. Most people know their rapist. The way the assault went she was struggling against him, but he wouldn’t be denied; however, in the end I implied that she enjoyed it. That. Is. Seriously. Problematic. Because many victims have “enjoyed” the activity even though they didn’t want to do it. It doesn’t make it any less rape. If a survivor of such reads this, they may see what happens to Aeris as no big deal since she wasn’t physically injured because of it, appeared to enjoy it, had a prior relationship with her rapist, and still trusted him afterwards. Their relationship doesn’t change, and that’s not right. I don’t want anyone to ever feel that their experience isn’t valid or that what happened to them wasn’t wrong, but before correction, that’s what Borrowed Lives did.
On the opposite end, there could be rapists who read this who see the situation like, “Well that’s okay as long as the person enjoys it!” It’s doubly dangerous, and I also don’t want to paint Sephiroth that way even though yes he’s the “villain” of the original story. I have some pretty strong opinions about that anyway, and in this story, he still has his own will. I don’t want to write him as a rapist.
Project: Book Reviews
Status: Active Progress
I updated the reviews for The Maze Runner and The Golem and the Jinni last week in addition to posted two new ones for Spectrum and The Slow Regard of Silent Things. This week I’d like to update the review of my favorite standalone novel The Fault in Our Stars along with the one for By the Sea, which is by my friend and fellow writer/blogger Kat McIntyre. I’m almost caught up on my review updates…on WordPress at least.
There are more books I need to post reviews for on Amazon, but if I can update them here and Goodreads, it makes putting them up on Amazon all the more easier.
What are you currently working on? Is it a creative writing project, essay, review, or something else? Have you just started something new or are you wrapping up a long term project?