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... )

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'...


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)
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.
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Research: it looks as if -- even though the Americans didn't have a system of sending over voluntary nurses, which was my original idea for how Christine arrives back in France -- the French hospitals did use them ("infirmières bénévoles"/"infirmières auxiliaires"), courtesy of various voluntary societies. Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
The trouble with this Christine and Raoul scene is that I'm really not sure what order things ought to go in, and I'm not at all sure if the current order of the conversation (with Raoul going off on a rant about nursing before it's even occurred to him to find out what happened to the Phantom) is right...

Decided to change the name of old Philippon to Valentin in order to avoid possible confusions between the maître d'hotel and Raoul's older brother (even though Comte Philippe doesn't even exist in the LND universe). 'Valentin' has the right number of syllables -- yes, I do worry about syllable counts where editing the rhythm of existing sentences is concerned -- and has the right surname/Christian name servant-y aura :-p
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I'm really struggling with this Chapter Two of "In Regret, Always"; I had to rip out another two pages of physical confrontation because the balance of the chapter was just totally out (and the amount of beating-up was getting silly), and unlike the previous material I couldn't even reuse this. Although that's probably just as well, since the chapter is running too long as it is. I'm currently trying hard to get a decent end within my 'framing device', having finally more or less finished with the flashback -- although things are getting blurred, because Raoul is now remembering (in the past tense) without actually being in the flashback (in the present tense), and I'm not sure that makes a lot of sense, structurally speaking.

Meanwhile I've discovered that the 'no remarriage' New York divorce clause came to an end in 1879, so it's just as well I wasn't planning to rely on it... (Raoul hasn't remarried, but then it wouldn't have been a New York divorce in the first place, so I'm not sure how much any of that would be relevant -- not a good idea to make it a pivotal plot point!)

Hard work

15 May 2017 12:57 am
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Finished my fourth concert in two weeks, one I'd completely forgotten I'd said I'd do -- one rehearsal and then basically winging it :-(

And that really is it for the moment, I hope, although concert No. 2 was so delayed from the original schedule that we've got another one due in a couple of months...

Fan-fiction progress:Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Well, we have a title. Not "The Two Letters" -- further letters having emerged in the plot -- but "In Regret, Always".
We also have a summary, provisionally at least, and about six hundred words of beginning (two days' concentrated work; at this rate, the story is going to take some time...)

Apparently I made several wrong assumptions so far as the WW1 stuff goes, partly due to cursory reading of inaccurate sources; there was no 'second wave' call-up of older men, so Raoul would have been involved right from the start. After several days' panic I worked out that the dates are about right for him to be on leave (assuming he's an officer; the first leave didn't come through for the general troops until considerably later), although this of course has knock-on effects on everything else. Gustave is rather further away from official call-up age (twenty in France) than I had imagined, although rather closer in reality than the official dates would suggest. And there was no American equivalent of the VAD for untrained women :-(

I hope I don't find any more nasty holes after I've written the material...
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I'm still not especially happy about the confrontation with the Phantom in this hypothetical new story: the big idea was supposed to be that the henchmen try to chloroform Gustave instead of Raoul, much to both men's fury, thus rendering the boy conveniently unconscious so that the issue of his paternity can be argued outside his hearing while disposing of the chloroform so that it can't be used on Raoul. Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
So apparently I am writing this story, then...
At any rate, I've got a framework for the beginning (Raoul with his old uniform from the Reserves, writing his second letter and getting flashes back from the first letter), an opening for the carriage scene (scratches from Meg--rumours about Gustave--future children--Christine with the Phantom--but he put her there), and the essential New Backstory for their estrangement and the gambling, as required for every LND story :-p

(He had married a woman, not an opera--he had denied her nothing in those days--when she wanted to go back to the stage, the child had affected her voice--gradual alienation from the avoidance of caresses that could go no further--cousin Rodolphe de Sessaies went to Monte Carlo--Christine encouraged him to go with them--a drunken girl staked her pearl necklet and he won it against his watch--to give to Christine, like a boy with a fairing--things were better for a while, and he went again, but it didn't stop there. He was a rich man, after all, richer than Rodolphe--he could afford to lose--and then he couldn't)

Then Gustave wakes to ask again about Christine -- she will hate me. Back to letter.

As I said, apparently I am writing this story, like it or not! So it looks as if I need to work out the deal with the Phantom (always my weak point).
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
After my recent throwaway comment (à propos Christine's hostile reaction after Raoul's renunciation letter) to the effect that if Raoul had taken Gustave then a lot of tragedy all round would have been avoided, I ended up -- somewhat to my disbelief/dismay -- getting more LND plot nibbles...

I'd have to be careful, because this is actually a plotline I've seen done in fan-fiction, albeit in a somewhat different vein. plot elements so far )
Notes on French Army in WW1 )


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