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

This is the chapter I remember having a lot of trouble with when it came to writing up the scene, as I'd imagined the whole thing from an omniscient external perspective, then had to decide whose viewpoint I could possibly use to recount it from: none of the characters are actually on the spot the whole way through. It's a similar problem to the one I would have with my Buquet-story several years later, but in this case I decided to show Erik and Cris eavesdropping through the omnipresent surveillance system rather than telling the story from the viewpoint of any of the actual participants; however, this then raised the question of how I was going to format Erik's little interjections, especially given the extremely limited options accepted by fanfiction.net (bold, italic and underline, basically)!

I think it works...

Chapter 12: A Disinterested Gift

Cris clutched at Erik’s arm, terrified eyes glimpsed through the pale silk of her hair as if through a lying veil of innocence, and he shook her off. She had never been a beauty; with her face blotched and red, she was more ordinary than ever. Just another silly, shallow-minded child, he told himself, trying to staunch the howling tide of pain that swept over him whenever he saw her look at the boy. Whenever he saw her pouring out that sweetness, that compassion, on youthful limbs and a foolish nose... why, it was long enough to provide noses for the both of them, Erik thought savagely. Perhaps he should propose it to her. It was ironic, after all, that one of her lovers should be so gifted and the other so deprived in that department...

“Please—” Desperate hands grasped at him again. “Erik, please — what’s happening to him? Oh, what have you done?”

“You’ll find it’s a question of what you have done,” he flung back, and saw her flinch. There was bitter satisfaction in it, though she still did not understand. But she would. Oh, she would see.

Read more... )

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

I finally got round to doing the picture of 'Rall' and 'Cris' in their crossover "Blake's 7" incarnations that I've been vaguely planning for years -- it started off with the idea of being based on one of my favourite sketches from deviantArt, but once I actually got round to drawing my own version, four years later, the characters took on a look of their own...

(Click to view)

Which means that, for the first time in years and years, there is actually no remaining obstacle (other than the physical separation of computer from Internet) remaining between me and publishing my Grand Crossover Story. A very strange and unaccustomed situation.

(Although I do now have to go back and edit the details of the relevant chapter to make it match what's shown in the picture -- my ideas at the time about Federation uniform turned out to be based on a memory of Tarrant's costumes from the final series rather than what anyone in the Federation Space Fleet actually wore!)

And if I'm going to adopt my accustomed habit of posting new chapters here first for a final check-and-edit, it would probably make more sense, before I start, to post the Prologue chapters that are already uploaded to fanfiction.net...


Prologue-1 )Prologue-2 )Prologue-3 )Prologue-4 )Prologue-5 )

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

Still on course for tomorrow's daily posting... just about...

But I found seven things this morning that needed changing in chapter 2 before I could post that to FFnet -- was it really only this morning? It feels a lifetime ago. But that's what you get for night after night of having to get up four or five hours after you finally got to bed :-(

Chapter 3: The girl at the opera

Comte Philippe looked up, with his fine smile, as his younger brother came rather sleepily into the breakfast-room. They had returned somewhat late from the Duchesse de Montémar’s ball the night before, and despite the Comte’s best attempts Raoul was not yet accustomed to keeping society hours.

His ship had returned to France at the end of September by way of Cape Horn, and the young man had been sent on leave with a commendation from his commanding officer that had been hailed by his brother with an almost embarrassing afflux of pride. But weeks of leave had extended to a month, and then one month into two, before he learned his next posting. The de Chagny influence could not move mountains; but it could, it transpired, achieve miracles where officialdom was concerned, especially when wielded by one so adept in the art as Comte Philippe. The Vicomte had been assigned aboard one of the most sought-after missions of the year: the relief effort in search of the d’Artois expedition, dispatched to explore the Arctic Circle some three years earlier and now overdue.

Read more... )

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

I've almost finished the final chapter of this -- enough to have a good idea of where it's going, anyway, and I think I can safely enter the first chapter for its contest without the likelihood of needing to make any further amendments. It's so short that it barely qualifies as a chapter, and the second scene isn't much better; but they don't really belong together at all, and I don't think I can sensibly run them together as a single first chapter in order to enter them as a pair...

Raoul's December birthday has been a part of my head-canon for some time now in order to help with chronology. It had not previously occurred to me that this would imply that his mother's death fell just before Christmas, however, which would tend to drain any enjoyment out of the season in the minds of the rest of the family :-(

The title, of course, is pinched from my translation activities on Gefangene der Angst. (Well, it's better than 'Unhappy Christmases', I feel!) The chapter titles were an even more last-minute decision, but I think I can run them along the lines of 'the girl at the opera', 'the yacht on the pond', etc. 'The invitation in Africa'?

Christmas as it ought not to be

Chapter 1: The boy in the library

It was a cold, grey afternoon outside, and the neatly-clipped trees in their huge pots — each almost as tall as the boy who stood gazing out at them through the long windows — stretched away from the chateau towards an empty fountain that held only a thin layer of ice. The hands of the clock on the mantelpiece behind him, with its hurrying uneven tick, showed a little less than half-past three, but shadows were already gathering in the corners, and soon it would be too dark for the picture-book that lay abandoned on the hearthrug where he had left it, in front of an empty grate.

The window rattled a little on its hinges, and Raoul de Chagny pressed the tip of an upturned nose against the cold, smooth pane, feeling the draught stir the ends of his hair with icy fingers. He was a small, fair-haired child, and dressed from head to toe in black he seemed today smaller and frailer than ever.

Read more... )

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Managed to work an acknowledgement of Philippe's fate into the last chapter of my Christmas challenge fan-fic (I really need to hurry up on that one; even if I posted the four chapters daily I wouldn't be able to get them out before the 25th! Fortunately only the first chapter is actually eligible for the challenge, and it's reasonably standalone...)

It really didn't seem to make much sense to have a happy fluffy final chapter when one of the major characters in the previous chapter had died under traumatic circumstances in the interim. But it wasn't until Christine came up with an unfortunate comparison when trying to keep Raoul out of danger of drowning that this occurred to me. Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Archived for my reference, so I don't have to go looking all this stuff up again...

Interestingly, 'tu' does get used in Leroux -- Christine and Raoul are both very well-brought-up, but they occasionally slip when yelling at/to each other: "tais-toi donc, Raoul!" "Eh bien, dis, maintenant!" "Christine, aie pitié! Je vais mourir dans la forêt... loin de toi!" "Raoul! souffres-tu?" "va donc, Christine, ma femme adorée!"

Erik calls Christine 'tu' contemptuously from the moment she unmasks him, having been very respectful before (but on isolated occasions 'the Voice' declares "Va maintenant, Christine Daaé, tu peux apporter aux hommes un 'peu de la musique du ciel'!" and "Ton âme est bien belle, mon enfant, et je te remercie"): Christine mostly calls him 'vous', but in the final moments she descends into yelling at him: "me jures-tu, monster, me jures-tu sur ton infernal amour..?"

Erik and the daroga call each other 'tu' throughout. Christine addresses Maman Valérius as 'vous', but seeks and delivers comfort with 'tu': "Tu sais, la Voix est partie!" "Ne le crois pas, bonne maman, ne le crois pas..." Maman Valérius calls Christine 'tu' and Raoul 'vous' (though she addresses him as "monsieur Raoul" rather than "M. le Vicomte"). Philippe calls his little brother "tu"; Raoul calls the Comte 'vous'. The directors appear to call each other 'tu', somewhat unexpectedly.
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

I've been holding off on getting round to editing and posting the final chapter because the page stats on fanfiction.net have been offline for the last week, and I rather like to have some idea of how many people are actually reading my work — it's a big disincentive — but of course there's no reason why I shouldn't post it here in the meantime... (where there are no page stats anyway and it basically serves as an extra proofreading stage!)

I've done quite a bit of fiddling and written some extra material for the end — I hope there's a bit more foreshadowing of Erik's appearance now — but I'm still not sure the death scene has come across as I initially envisaged.

Chapter 3 — Paris

Ships had come and gone in the great bay at Brest Roads, over the years. Raoul had become an uncle three times over as his sisters burgeoned into contented domesticity and families of their own, and had grown out of his shy childhood into a quiet but determined youth. He and Philippe had had a trial or two of wills already, for all their mutual affection; but under Mr. Jackson’s tuition he had been preparing his mathematics to enter upon the rigours of navigation in that nautical training on which his heart remained set, and at this juncture the Comte had more than once been consoling himself with the prospect. Naval discipline might do wonders to curb the boy’s impetuous streak, and with their mother’s excellent understanding and sound judgement he bid fair to shine in the ranks of the cadets. There had been an admiral among their ancestors, after all: the great Chagny de La Roche, who had held high office under Richelieu and brought confusion to the Spanish off Cadiz.

Read more... )

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

I realised belatedly during the writing of this that I'd taken a certain amount of liberty in allowing Philippe to be present at Perros-Guirec and meet Christine as a child, when there's no sign in Leroux that he ever knew anything about Raoul's childhood friendship with the Daaés at all, let alone visited the village. But in a story told from Philippe's viewpoint it does make life much easier if the narrator can be present for the events he is required to describe... and in any case, these scenes were fairly central to my concept of the story's ending by that stage!

And unless Philippe was totally detached from his brother's upbringing at that stage (again, Leroux is somewhat contradictory on that point) I would assume that Philippe must have known that something was going on, given that we are told Raoul was over at Perros-Guirec to play with Christine just about every day that summer — surely their aunt must have mentioned it.

The other thing I'm conscious of is that I haven't shown the 'classic' Raoul/Christine relationship here, with the two quiet, reserved children roaming the lanes begging for stories. I did mean for Professor Valerius to refer to it, but in a flashback narrative I had to cut back severely on direct dialogue, which is just too clumsy to handle (and threatened to unbalance the scene by comparison with the summary format of the rest). So the surviving allusion is pretty elliptical :-(

And I can't really see Philippe welcoming that kind of friendship with open arms, as it's far too close to what he has seen in his father. The two children have both had abnormal childhoods in the exclusive company of much older adults, and I feel that both sets of grown-ups would probably find common ground in the wish to see them romping on the beach. So I'm guessing that a certain amount of that sort of childish play did go on in addition to the ethnological research :-p

Chapter 2 — Brittany

It had been high time in any case that something was done about Raoul’s education. Philippe had resolved to take the boy in hand himself; discovered all too quickly that beyond reading, writing and figuring, the child was little more than a country bumpkin whose native wit failed to cover a head full of fables and a state of lamentable ignorance. Héloïse, who had always had the run of their father’s library, had volunteered along with Suzanne to help remedy the deficiencies of his governess and to teach him a little social polish. But as winter wore on into spring, the two sisters were soon caught up in lessons of a far more pleasurable kind — a de Chagny match was still a marriage worth having, and the new Comte had acquaintances who were not averse to becoming suitors for such an alliance — and old Tante Marguerite down in Brest had seemed at the time to offer the perfect solution.Read more... )

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

The 'Philippe-story' turns out to fall quite nicely into three chapters split chronologically: one covering Raoul's birth and the death of their father, one covering Brest and Perros-Guirec, and one dealing with the remaining 'present-day' material.

So after a couple of last-minute panics and edits (including the realisation that I'd named one of Raoul's sisters 'Laure', exactly the same name that I'd used for the gentle girl who becomes his daughter-in-law in To Ease Your Troubled Mind -- my concept of the characters was pretty similar, and my subconscious supplied the same name!) here is the first chapter... what I haven't got yet is a summary for fanfiction.net publication!

The Sons of Éléonore

Raoul de Chagny had never known a mother... but his brother Philippe had never been able to forget her. And when he plunged down beneath the Opera in pursuit, the past went with him.

Chapter 1 — Chagny

Lost and furious in the dark below the Palais Garnier, Philippe de Chagny no longer knew if he was going to fall upon his little brother’s neck and weep when he finally caught up with him, or simply strangle the wretch. It was a mingling of emotions with which he had become all too familiar of late where the young Vicomte was concerned; tonight, however, much as he loved the boy, he had to admit that Raoul really had surpassed himself.

Only Raoul, in the first place, could have contrived to instil confusion into a perfectly ordinary intrigue with a pretty opera-singer by reviving the phantom of a boy-and-girl affair between a pair of children in a Breton village. Only Raoul, with an infuriating mixture of obstinacy and innocence, could have failed to recognise in his enchanting Miss Daaé a conniving minx who’d had her Vicomte dancing on a string for months. And only Raoul, in league with that confounded girl, could have managed to botch up their elopement in a manner calculated to inconvenience to the maximum not only his long-suffering elder brother but the audience and employees of an entire opera house.Read more... )

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Finished the story now provisionally known as "The Sons of Éléonore" yesterday (well, it sounds better than "Éléonore's Boys", which was the first tentative suggestion!)

Things to look at:

  • I'm not sure about the end (I probably need to make it more clear what is actually happening, and try to avoid implying that Philippe associates Raoul with murder!).
  • Philippe's adoration of Éléonore probably needs to be more established before she dies, since at present I feel it is only introduced afterwards.
  • Can I work in my Richelieu-era Chagny de La Roche head-canon? It was supposed to get mentioned at some point, but got forgotten.
  • And do I need to make explicit the point at which Philippe recognised the grown-up Christine as the daughter of the fiddler at Perros? (I don't think he can have done so at the time of the gala, although Raoul does.)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I've definitely started a new story now (several days' steady progress :-D)

Based on the idea of writing Philippe de Chagny's last moments as he searches vainly for his brother beneath the Opera, but it's basically a retelling of the relationship between the brothers de Chagny from Raoul's conception onwards, the whole thing being done in flashback. (And in consequence all in the perfect tense, which is getting a bit awkward.) I'd hoped to write this while I was on holiday, and took a pen and notebook with me, but I never really got enough peace of mind until the last day when I did a solo walk... and came up with about half of it there and then, establishing the rest over the next couple of days. Giving Raoul's older brother something of an Œdipus complex was an interesting explanation as to why he hasn't married (and not one of the two or three I'd previously come up with!), and also as to why he resents Christine so much (Raoul is effectively desecrating their mother's memory by putting this hussy in her place). It was an unintended offshoot of the idea that it might be more interesting to have a domineering mother and an ineffectual father, though, since by default people assume that Raoul takes after a gentle mother...Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Horizon)
I'm fascinated to find that the original serialisation of Leroux' "Phantom of the Opera" contained a lengthy scene between Raoul and Christine in which he offers her honourable marriage and she turns him down -- for more or less the same reasons I ascribed to her in Chapter 2 of "Count Philippe Takes a Hand"! Always nice to know that my character-extrapolations from canon were accurate :-)

(And if this scene -- in which Christine avows her love for Raoul in the clearest of terms -- had been retained in the novel's published version, instead of being cut in order to keep the young man in a state of constant uncertainty, would we still have fangirls asserting that "Christine was in love with Erik!", I wonder?)

Elle le voyait d'abord tout petit, quand il lui avait rammassé son écharpe dans la mer, et elle lui disait qu'à partir de ce jour-là elle l'avait aimé, à cause de son courage d'homme, et puis, elle se le rappelait quand il écoutait, à ses côtés, les légendes du père Daaé et elle l'avait encore aimé là à cause qu'il était doux comme une fille; et puis, quand il était revenu plus tard, elle l'avait détesté, parce qu'il n'avait pas osé prononcer des parole que son cœur, inconsciemment, attendait, et ceci était encore une preuve qu'elle l'aimait. Elle n'avait jamais cessé de l'aimer du plus chaste amour, si loin pouvait-elle remonter les années.

Other scenes that were cut mainly involved the misadventures of the managers (although the loss of a detailed description and reference to the Persian in the middle of the story is unfortunate, since it results in the character's coming across as having been invented only as a deus ex machina for the final scenes). However, the relationship between the Count and Sorelli and the Count and Christine was also originally touched upon in some detail in a
passage describing events during the entr'acte of "Faust"
-- again an omission to be regretted, since Sorelli is another character who simply disappears from the action of the published novel.
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Horizon)

I deliberately altered the end of Chapter 3 to make it more explicit that Eustacie was married to Philippe and not to Raoul, but apparently this still wasn't clear enough for Fanfiction.net readers..! I really think there are a lot of clues in there when you look back at it — Christine and Eustacie having their conversation exclusively about how the Count liked the opera, and Christine's remark about how "you both must be very proud of your son" immediately following Eustacie's reference to Philippe — but people will see what they expect to see... especially, I suspect, if they're not particularly enjoying the story or appreciating the humour. And the humour in that chapter is almost entirely at the reader's expense, with that final twist...

Epilogue: In which old ghosts are laid

Quoi qu’il arrivât, votre situation dans le monde m’interdisait à jamais la pensée d’une honnête union... (Ch. XIII, “La Lyre d’Apollon”)
Read more... )

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

Apparently I'm giving the impression that Christine is being wrongfully oppressed by Philippe, whereas in fact she's using him for her own purposes and -- as will be seen in this chapter -- he eventually realises this...

Chapter 3: In which Christine enjoys worldly success

Si je devais donner mon cœur sur la terre, elle n’avait plus, elle... la Voix, qu’à remonter au ciel. (Ch. XIII, “La Lyre d’Apollon”)
Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Horizon)

Well, Chapter 1 seems to have gone down pretty badly on Fanfiction.net; evidently writing the whole thing from Philippe's point of view would not have been a good idea!

Whether the events of Chapter 2 (which was, like Chapter 1, written with love for the characters rather than as an attempt to pervert them) are likely to win over the readers or simply to revolt them we shall have to see. I have to say I wasn't expecting distaste from the Raoul-lovers, while given the cast list the Raoul-haters are unlikely to be reading it in the first place...

N.B. I appear to have written a nautical Raoul in this story, as opposed to the unintentionally equestrian one of Waiting in the Wings!

Chapter 2: In which Raoul is unworldly

“Nous ne marierons jamais, c’est entendu.... mais ceci est un bonheur qui ne fera mal à personne.” (Ch. XIII: “Au-dessus des trappes”)
Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Horizon)

Chapter 1 of my 'bodice-ripper': I'm not quite sure whether this still falls under the humour category or not. I was under the impression when writing this chapter that it did, but that's mainly because the cynically amused Philippe turned out to be such fun to write — maybe I should have tried to write the entire story from his point of view!

The setting is a slightly Alternative Universe Leroux canon: events as we know them at the Lyre of Apollo never took place, and Count Philippe is getting tired of waiting... This story is all the fault of [livejournal.com profile] wild_concerto, who prompted a crackfic speculation into the form of a fully fledged Victorian bodice-ripper!

Count Philippe Takes a Hand

Chapter 1: In which Philippe is worldly

Le comte... désireux de savoir à quoi s’en tenir, avait demandé un rendez-vous à Christine Daaé.

(Ch.VIII: 'Où MM. Firmin Richard et Armand Moncharmin ont l'audace de faire représenter "Faust"...')

Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Horizon)
"I don't really want to spend the rest of my life writing romances for Raoul and Christine" -- *groan*.

Well, it looks as if I've got at least one more coming up, and this one a full-fledged 'historical romance'... in the least reputable sense of that description! I'm not entirely sure I can pull the necessary heavy-breathing off and keep it at least plausibly within period, and while I'm sure there would be a readership for the same plot if the Phantom were involved I suspect the audience for Unresolved Sexual Tension between Leroux-Raoul and Christine is a sorely limited one.

But the image of Count Philippe attempting to fast-forward his younger brother's love-life in the name of broadening his education is a very tempting one, and Philippe turns out to be enormous fun to write! Whether I can get away with slipping the intended mention of the Phantom's death into the final scene I don't know; it originally struck me as the twist that was needed to form an ending, but I've had a new twist involving Philippe since then, and I fear that killing off Erik under these circumstances might come across as rather poor taste. However, it does otherwise rather invite the question of just where he is in all this Christine-based activity -- and suicide seems a plausible alternative to murder for an Erik who is likely to be exceedingly disillusioned at the outcome...


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