igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I discovered hierarchical tags by observing other people's journals :-)

Spent the afternoon laboriously loading and editing, one by one, every single one of my eighty-plus journal entries categorised under the 'fiction' tag, in order to recategorise them under, say, fiction: blakes-7, producing a neat little list like this:Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

I actually got a 'Please update' review on this the other night :-)

Not that I don't appreciate the involved, coherent, multi-sentence reviews I get from my regular reviewers, but there's an ironic cachet to discovering that you're apparently reaching the mass-market readers as well!

I'm currently trying to juggle three stories at once - this one, "Blue Remembered Hills" and my still-untitled "Gone With the Wind" one-shot, which is supposedly complete but I'm not entirely happy about (it feels very unfocused and random). So things are feeling a bit hectic. And it's slightly worrying that the more recent the material, the less happy I am with it; I actually found myself reading ahead in "Blue Remembered Hills" in preference to checking over this chapter...


Ch2: Make an end

Eight days of leave had done little to ease nerves rubbed raw by shellfire and snipers. A burnt coal fell through the grate with a rattle sharp as a rifle-shot, and Raoul had to stifle a sharp, instinctive movement that brought him halfway to his feet. The sleeve of his uniform caught against the decanter tray as he sank back, sending the glasses clattering together, and he was barely in time to field the nearest as it toppled. Thought caught up with reflex a moment later, still flinching in anticipation of the averted crash.

He stared down at the tremor in his hand, unsteady now as if it had been a grenade and not a wine-glass snatched from mid-air. There had been a time, once — a distant lifetime on the far side of this last winter — when violence had been an affront and not a familiar part of the world. A time when it was still something one expected to happen to other people.

Read more... )

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Well, I've now got a couple of thousand words of possibly-completed (not sure I'm happy with the ending) "Gone With the Wind" one-shot. What I don't have yet is a title -- or a summary. And for something that was supposed to be about Charles Hamilton, I have to say that there seems to be an awful lot of backstory for Ashley in it...Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

Erik really should have answered his messages...


Chapter 9: On the Move

Someone was knocking at the cabin door. Blake groaned and rolled over to look at the chrono on his wrist. Half an hour late for the morning watch: he’d overslept—

The jolt of realisation sent him upright in the unfamiliar bunk and reaching down for his boots before he was fully awake. His head struck hard against a too-close ceiling that should not have been present. Beneath his feet there was only a lurch into open air.

Not his cabin. Not the Liberator after all.

Read more... )

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

I'm not sure this is as good as I thought it was when I started, but... well, I'm stuck with it now.


In Regret, Always

Eight years ago, Raoul left a letter for his wife, took Gustave, and set off to leave Coney Island. Now, as the clouds of war hang over France, the echoes of that night still haunt them all.

Ch1: The final wrong

It was still cold in this first spring of the war, despite the afternoon sun, and a bitter wind crept over the Paris rooftops and rattled the long shutters of the Hôtel de Chagny. There was a fire in the grate of the Vicomte’s study, as if to banish for a few final hours the memories of months of rain and freezing mud, and from the mantel above there came the sleepy ticking of the clock; but from time to time, as his pen paused for a moment in its steady travel across the page, the gusts outside seemed to hold the echo of great guns in Champagne and the Ardennes.

Raoul’s face held lines of strain now in addition to the bitter marks that belied his age, and the bright uniform of scarlet and sky-blue that had served France so well in parades and regimental balls had been discarded for the drab blue of this new way of fighting. Every so often, in an unconscious gesture, he would reach up to run two fingers round the inside of his collar. The uniform tunic was trim enough, but it had begun to hang a little loose on his frame, and there were hollows under his eyes that eight days’ leave had done nothing to redress.Read more... )

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12429881/17/

Well, that's one explanation of "Beneath a Moonless Sky" :-P
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

Fanfiction.net stats July 2017 (private link for my own convenience, if anyone's reading this!)

So much for the time when I used to be able to wait each month for the day on which all of my stories had received at least one hit — this is the first time since February 2016! And as I upload more and more stories, these rare occasions will presumably come further and yet further apart...Read more... )

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

I'm seriously running out of time on posting this one before I disappear, but I can manage to give it a few hours here before the mandatory pre-FFnet reread..

I'd forgotten just how much E/C I'd put into this story in the hopes of attracting the 'mainstream audience' -- at this point, we're practically in classic "Christine is Erik's prisoner and is learning to love and pity him" territory. What with that and "In Regret Always", I seem to have been paying a lot more attention to Christine's relationship with the Phantom recently than I have for a long time!


Chapter 8: The Land of Lost Content

The third time Cris woke from the nightmare, it was dawn, and light was flooding across her face.

She curled up shivering, attempting to stifle the whimpers. Every time it was the same. She woke... only to exchange the dreamed horror for one that was real. She was trapped here, trapped in a tomb— with a monster who loved her.Read more... )

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Fanfiction.net appears to be malfunctioning again...

I discovered this yesterday, at the point where I was attempting to post about having a panic due to losing the notes I'd thought I'd made for a putative "Gone With the Wind" fan-fiction. It was an idea that came to me during an exchange of PMs after writing The Paths of the Living, several years ago now, and I thought I'd written down the salient text and tucked it into the front cover of the red leather notebook I was using at the time. When I actually got round to looking at the sheets in question, I discovered that they were notes for Lost and Found instead, which was also sparked off by a PM conversation at about the same time...
Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Finished rough-typing my final chapter of "In Regret Always", which comes out at 5,500 words; that makes the whole thing twenty-one and a half thousand, definitely one of my longer efforts. Unfortunately I wasn't particularly happy with Gustave's big flashback speech in this chapter: the actual scene is fine plotwise, the details of what happens are fine, but I'm not sure his wording is getting it across as vividly as I can see it in my mind's eye. I remember having a lot of trouble in writing that bit in the first place; I wasn't particularly happy with the outcome at the time, and sadly it hasn't improved with being away from it.Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Chapter two of "In Regret, Always" completed: i.e. typed, heavily tweaked in places in an attempt to make it work better, and proofread for transcription errors (in that order!)

It eventually came out at 5,800 words, which is probably the longest single chapter I've done -- actually longer than several of my existing multi-chapter stories in their entirety. If it hadn't been for the framing structure I'd probably have elected to simply to split it at "an equally brave lie", but I had enough trouble getting in and out of the frame in order to split off the first half of the scene (an extra 3,500 words; just as well I did :-p) In any case, I seem to remember that chapter 3 in the manuscript is going to be even longer... Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

I've been spending an awful lot of time over the past week or so up to my ears in French, but here we are finally with the essential scene in any Phantom retelling: the unmasking scene (combined here with the kidnap, since events are being compressed into a single day...) And an Erik-PoV chapter; the gentleman known to my fandom-blind beta-reader of the time as "Crazy Erik" :-p

It's interesting writing a character who is insane but -- of course -- isn't aware of it...


Chapter 7: Behind the Mask

The great chamber beneath the hillside was dark, lit by only the faintest midnight glow through the viewport from the dust-laden sky high above. The shadows of the gallery stretched away far out of sight, in long shapeless aisles that threw back only a random glint or two in answer to the faint pool of light at Erik’s feet as he moved; at any other time he would have welcomed that refuge, a deep anonymous night in which all men were equal, both marred and unmarred. But he was no longer alone. And she— she was not at home here as he was. He had to see that all was well; that all was ready for her.

His body still ached from the vibrating drone of their long flight, but he would not have sacrificed one hour of it. To have her there, cradled close in the soft black leather of the seat with her white throat thrown back, utterly yielding in the heavy-breathing stupor of her drugged doze... If he had reached out — taken his hand for one moment from the yoke of the little flyer — he could have brushed that wisp of hair that curled behind her ear, or set his gloved wrist against the smooth curve of her cheek that still held the downy bloom of a child. He longed to set loose those tight-bound braids and see her veiled in the sheen of her hair, brushed out like true rain as Newparis would never know it. She had been close enough to touch... and that had been enough.Read more... )

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
The first flowers have come out on my windowsill -- and they turn out to be purple Virginia stocks, which are apparently notoriously quick-growing. These were some of the smallest seedlings and have rushed upwards and into flower before many of the other varieties have managed more than a couple of leaves yet. I've been trying to thin them out (they don't have much root to speak of) but there are still far more of them than anything else at the moment. I'm assuming they will die off once they finished flowering.Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Of the late-sown plants that failed to flower last year, one turned out to be another sweet alyssum and flourished mightily, the ageratums died, the wallflower-like things withered and died one by one through winter and spring, the creeping thyme-like stuff with tiny leaves gradually died off, the love-in-the-mist-like frondy thing is still sitting there looking quite vigorous but showing no signs of flowering, and there's another one that has been clinging on underneath the alyssum with its leading shoots looking deformed.

Meanwhile I sowed another packet of random seed from a "Little Miss" flower kit that was date-expired (rescued from bric-à-brac donations).Read more... )

The end?

28 June 2017 03:11 am
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Right, I think I've come up with an end: Gustave's poetry, if I can get it right.

(If he does end up in the trenches, the suggestion is that he will be one of the 'war poets'; the other idea is that the story of his parents will at least offer the potential to be immortalised as tragic poetry, if nothing else. Not sure I'm succeeding in conveying either at the moment yet...)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Finally reached the point in my fourth (and last) chapter where I can insert the letter Raoul is seen writing at the start of the story. Copied more or less verbatim from the notes I made after the London Marathon, which is the point at which I had only just developed this section, and was thus able to recall it in far more detail than the rest; I changed very little, and as a result ended up crossing off the last page of my 'summary' at a rate about a dozen times faster than the rest of it!

Which means I'm almost finished after about sixty days of writing (has it really been that long?)

Now I just need to find an end for the story; I was thinking along the lines of 'romantic idiots'...
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

And here's the other half of the Blake/Gan chapter; Blake's scenes weren't really long enough to stand on their own, and Gan's big scene would have made a very long single chapter in contrast. So we have here the combined outsiders' view of some fairly tumultuous events (and I've tried to distinguish the two different viewpoints).

Chapter 6: Broken Trust

Gan felt his mouth go dry. The spectre in black and white held them all, effortlessly, by sheer force of dominion. The voice, when it came, was distorted: a rising inhuman hiss through circuits that shielded and manipulated alike.

“People of Newparis— I have brought you here to make an example. An example that some among you have forgotten. An example to all those in whose talent we trust.”

Long, gloved fingers gestured, and a girl somewhere to the right cried out in one short sharp whimper of surprise. The crowd stirred, parting, as two broad-hewed men in dockyard clothes elbowed through with the chosen one caught up between them.

Gan got one glimpse down at her face, white as ash beneath the pale plait that crowned her head; the whisper of Vargas’ double axe sang ghost-like through his mind and he almost reached out to her, but Blake caught at his sleeve, both of them unsure in that moment if she was to be heroine or sacrifice of the hour. “Gan, wait— we don’t know—”

And then she was past and gone, hastened up to the stage where Dar stood rigid and grim, and Gan had only the memory of blue eyes pale as waxen thread, filled with all-consuming terror of the Ghost.Read more... )

Rewrite

22 June 2017 03:01 am
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
For some reason I seem to be having a lot of trouble getting effective phrasing for Gustave's big speech in chapter 4 -- despite having the whole thing pretty much planned out in advance, as opposed to the trouble I had in 'winging it' with the Phantom in chapter 2. I sincerely hope I don't end up having the same problem when it comes to Raoul's pivotal letter...




Here's a quick piece of unsolicited rewriting that I did instead as an exercise on somebody else's fiction, in an attempt to prove that I still had the knack of turning an improved phrase.

"With the main hall's lights only at half current, both men standing amidst the Symphony Societies chairs on the otherwise empty stage of Carnegie Hall were cast deeply in the relief of the subdued illumination. A hesitant melody issued forth from the strings of a solitary violin before a short laugh once more resulted in an aborted attempt" -- this jarred particularly heavily on my ear :-(

My attempt at getting the passage to sound more natural: "The lights of Carnegie Hall, currently only at half-brightness, cast a dim illumination over the rows of chairs set up for the Symphony Society on the main stage, and laid deep contrasting shadows across the features of the two men who stood together there. A solo violin began to play, hesitantly, but the player broke off the melody moments later in yet another abortive attempt, with a short laugh at his own expense."

(The answer, I suspect, is that it took me ten minutes to rework those two sentences, and the author, with fifty or sixty chapters of Grand Epic to spin out, didn't spend anything like that long in contemplating the question...)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
This is the summary I came across: http://www.placedauphine.net/projects/inheritancelaw.html

This is the actual law:
http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/government/code/book1/c_title07.html
In the original French: https://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/Code_civil_des_Fran%C3%A7ais_1804/Livre_I,_Titre_VII

(Section relevant to Gustave's situation: VII.I.2 "De la paternité et de la filiation" ) 312. L’enfant conçu pendant le mariage, a pour père le mari. [...] 313.
Le mari ne pourra, en alléguant son impuissance naturelle, désavouer l’enfant : il ne pourra le désavouer même pour cause d’adultère, à moins que la naissance ne lui ait été cachée...
)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I'm not sure how much, if any, of this is relevant, but it's interesting period information:
Paris War Days by Charles Inman Barnard, a diary of the outbreak of the war by an American in Paris.

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