The State of the Writer: 10/16/22

<–The State of the Writer: 10/2/22         The State of the Writer: 10/30/22–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 2


Project: Story/Series
Working Title:
The High Archon (The Truth Seeker Chronicles)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 11,282
Status: Reorganizing & Worldbuilding
Progress:
Working on language details

The last few weeks have been spent figuring out surname naming conventions for different groups with regards to marriage.  Since I work better when I have examples to use, I had to make up last names for said groups, and those last names had to make sense in terms of the groups’ cultures/background.  I do like that in working on one worldbuilding aspect, I can solidify others.

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy VI – Part 4 Music and Conclusion

Start Here

<–Part 3


Music

Final Fantasy VI has one of the best soundtracks of not only any Final Fantasy, but it  also easily tops the video game music charts.  It’s what got me into VG music and had me making separate save files before certain scenes so I could listen to Nobuo-san’s masterpieces over and over again.  This was decades before game music was readily available (I’m dating myself…and why wouldn’t I?  I’m awesome!), and even when they started publishing it on CDs, they were still hard to come by as imports and also very expensive.

FFVI was my introduction to the concept of the leitmotif, which is a  short, recurring musical phrase associated with a particular person, place, or idea.  It’s usually credited to Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, but he’s not its originator nor did he himself use those terms (also Wagner was a proto-Nazi i.e. would’ve been a Nazi if Nazis had existed, so I kind of put him in the same wheelhouse as H. P. Lovecraft in terms of shitty but sadly relevant, but I digress), and Nobuo-san (who is delightful) used such a concept masterfully to not only give each character in the game a theme, but also tied certain themes, like Locke’s and Celes’, together.

Let’s start with the beginning “Omen,” though, which is the piece that plays as the game loads.  It serves as a nice bookend to “Dancing Mad,” the final boss music, and both songs are reminiscent of Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” (and I’m talking about more than just the famous opening) with that Gothic church music motif.

Lots of YouTube links incoming:

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy VI – Part 3 Story Analysis

Start Here

<–Part 2                                                                                                                                                         Part 4–>


Story Analysis

Final Fantasy VI is a tale of two sides, a common theme in the series, those sides being Celes and Terra; ice and fire; general and slave.  But deconstructing the dichotomy shows how even the former was in bondage long before she was imprisoned in South Figaro.

Final Fantasy VI has long been lauded for numerous things, but a major facet of this praise centered around it being one of the few games of that era to have a female MC, and VI boasted two.  While it can be argued there is no main character, since VI allows the player to pick and choose who to include (within reason), rewarding them with extra scenes if certain people are brought along, the World of Balance and World of Ruin beginning with Terra and Celes respectively is not mere happenstance.

Both parts of the game begin with protagonists whose names mean “earth” and “heaven” with the first focusing on the mundane realm of war and political machinations until it culminates in the heroes literally miles above the ground on a floating continent.  The second half then features with a character whose moniker refers to the celestial realm gathering everyone together in order to cast down a false god and restore the balance of earth and heaven.

As above, so below.

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy VI – Part 2 Story Synopsis

Start Here

Part 3–>


Author’s Note: I was going to include the Story Analysis here, too, but that would’ve made this section way too long, defeating the purpose of breaking up the review anyway.


Story Synopsis

World of Balance
After the War of the Magi reduced the world to a scorched wasteland, magic (the equivalent of WMDs in our world) ceased to be.  People forgot it ever existed ,eventually rebuilding with technology, which is why Terra, born with the gift of magic, is a major catalyst for the narrative and the reason her existence is such a game changer for the resistance.

Terra Brandford by Amano on black background

Terra Branford by Amano

The story opens with the fore-named without one (it’s literally ???????) and two imperial soldiers, Biggs and Wedge (eternal Star Wars reference) looking down on the mining city of Narshe.  Narshe is significant not only for narrative purposes, but also for being the one town found in a mountain crevice.  The only other such places are caves or dungeons.  The soldiers and the unnamed girl are riding what’s revealed to be Magitek Armor, granting them untold military prowess, which quickly explains how the Empire conquered so much of the world.

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Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy VI – Part 1 Introduction and Gameplay

Final Fantasy Reviews

<–Final Fantasy V                                                                                                           Final Fantasy VII–>

This is the part of a long-term project to play and review/analyze all the Final Fantasy games.  Whenever possible, I will play the original version, but in cases where it’s not available and/or there are time constraints, I’ll use a port and/or watch a Let’s Play, both of which contingencies will be indicated in the review.  Ideally, I will attempt to play a portion so that I can remark more accurately on the gameplay experience.  These will be long-form reviews with detailed plot analyses, so please be wary if you do not want spoilers.

Author’s Note: This took me over two years to write and edit, and it’s over 25k words, which I think is way too long for one post.  I love longform reviews, but I find them difficult to read in one sitting, so I’ve broken this up into parts with links to each.


Final Fantasy VI was my first Final Fantasy, and like the game narratives themselves, one could say I began them in media res.  When I first saw the ending at age fourteen, it was so joyful and full of promise the excess (at least for a time) rubbed off on me.  While I hold up Final Fantasy VII as my pinnacle narrative, that’s (partially) because I revel in grief.  Before that and other tragedies, FFVI represents what could have been.  Trauma muddles your memory, especially when what comes to pass happens around the time your age changes, and Final Fantasy VI makes a sharp, almost mocking, delineation dividing childhood and forced maturity, a line between hope and despair.

Final Fantasy VI Banner

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The State of the Writer: 9/19/21

<–The State of the Writer: 9/5/21         The State of the Writer: 10/3/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 770
Prior Word Count: 676
Word Difference: +94
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

What?  Drafting progrress??  An increased word count???  WHAT???!

While I didn’t fulfill my goal of drafting Chapter 1 on my two week vacation, I did at least make progress, and there’s actually a lot more done in the background.  Even though I added less than 100 words, I did a lot more work with the world-building, organization, and micro-outlining.  I’m also having an extreme amount of fun writing the dialogue for the main character Maya and her BFF Caemlyn.  It’s this friendly, flirty banter that’s hamstrung in the beginning by the MC’s anxiety about something happening tomorrow.  I’m very adamant about showing as much as possible, so I’m trying to have his reactions to her perceived grumpiness reveal that this isn’t their typical dynamic.  I’m also being a presumptuous prig by doing this sort of metatextual foreshadowing (I implore you to try using that in a sentence without sounding like an elitist ass lol), and I just hope it works out.  I know drafting is just supposed to be about shoveling the sand into the bucket for castle building (editing) later, but I have to make sure I”m laying the groundwork for exactly what I want to build with maybe some surprising embellishments.  I do feel like I can move forward now and continue drafting (when I have the time/energy), and I actually look forward to it, too 🙂

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The State of the Writer: 8/22/21

<–The State of the Writer: 8/8/21         The State of the Writer: 9/5/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 676
Prior Word Count: 676
Word Difference: 0
Status: Organization
Progress:
Chapter 1

I wracked my brain for a week over what to do and where to put my “false” starts.  I wound up making a separate section for them on Scrivener.  I have two more to sort out, but one of them occurs later in the story when the two protagonists meet, so I might just hold off on putting that anywhere on Scivener since I don’t know what chapter that will be.  I’m not sure when I’ll start drafting again, but I am on vacation for two weeks in September so I might plan it out then.  I’m hoping if I can get over this beginning hump, things will be easier.  This chapter has a radically different tone from the rest of the novel, which could be one of the reasons it’s giving me so much trouble.

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The State of the Writer: 8/8/21

<–The State of the Writer: 7/25/21         The State of the Writer: 8/22/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 676
Prior Word Count: 676
Word Difference: 0
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

I moved all my notes for Chapter 1 to Scrivener, so now I have those and my outline on that program.  I did some more world-building over the past few weeks as well, since there were a few things I needed to figure out.  Now I want to look at all of my “false starts” over the years and see what I can glean from that.  No clue when I’ll start drafting again, but I at least know the direction I’m going.

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The State of the Writer: 7/11/21

<–The State of the Writer: 6/27/21         The State of the Writer: 7/25/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 676
Prior Word Count: 676
Word Difference: 0
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

A little bit of progress?  Like not really in the word count department, but any progress is good, I suppose?  I left myself a note in a previous session to work on outfit descriptions in the next.  I’m not there in the draft yet, but if I have a destination to strive towards, it’s possible I could “build a bridge” per se, so I’ve been working on that.  So far, I’m in the midst of Maya’s (the female MC), and of course as per my brand, I’m adding more than I expected lol, but it’s alright.

*sigh* I also started going back to the worldbuilding, because of course I did.  That’s okay, too.  One of my lovely friends made an excellent point.  She said that even just daydreaming about your projects is working on them, and I’m doing more than that.  Because just thinking about them is solidifying things in your mind, so I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, especially in light of all I’m fighting against.

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The State of the Writer: 6/27/21

<–The State of the Writer: 6/13/21         The State of the Writer: 7/11/21–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0


Project: Story
Working Title:
The High Archon
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Original
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 676
Prior Word Count: 613
Word Difference: +63
Status: Drafting
Progress:
Chapter 1

I’m making progress even if it’s painfully slow.  I at least wrote one line I’m proud of.  “Promise the moon when you’re too short to reach the sky.”  It’s not the vision I lack; it’s the concentration to put what I’m seeing into words.  I haven’t even gotten to the part I micro-outlined.  I’ve been going back through what I wrote before to iron some things out.  Lots of writers wait until they’ve written the thing before they do any edits, but I always re-read what I wrote last time in order to re-ground myself in the story.  If I don’t, I feel unmoored and disconnected (which…tbh is how I’ve been feeling in general with life).  It takes longer, and I spend less time per session writing (or have to extend the session), but I get more out of it.  I also get to spend more time with the characters and come to a better understanding of where they are.  Like when I outlined this chapter, I had thought the air of it would be more playful and adventurous, but there’s an undercurrent of anxiety because my MC is really worried about something, and her BFF notices because she’s snippier than usual.  I like where I’m going with it; it’s just…life/reality bullshit is getting in the way haha.

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