And -- rather sooner than usual since I have been working on this while tinkering around with Chapter 2 -- here is the conclusion of my 'final' Love Never Dies story, with the not-so-big reveal in it. I'm pleased to see from reviews on fanfiction.net that Raoul's secret has apparently been preserved there through chapters 1 and 2, despite both my test readers finding it patently obvious: hope it justifies the wait!
But poor Raoul... At least he and the Phantom are 'even' now (in the ugly convention of counting characters as trophies of possession), and he is loved and needed. But there is no way that a story set at this point in canon can be anything other than almost unmitigated tragedy.
(Groscek, who was originally a one-line invention to fill the top bunk in Raoul's cabin, rather got away with me in this chapter and started developing a personality of his own. I was quite pleased with that at the time, but now I worry that it does rather unbalance the chapter: it's a gratuitous extra scene that is basically filler since it has no implications in the plot arc...)
( Ch 3: To Hold Me and to Hide Me )
After endless fiddling with just one sentence of this, I've probably got it about as 'obscure' as it's ever going to be (if at all).
Not one of my better chapter titles: I thought there was a neat phrase somewhere in the "Phantom of the Opera" lyrics about a night that would never let you go, but the nearest I could get was Christine's terrified confession on the rooftop: Raoul, I've been there, to his world of unending night...
Unsurprisingly, songs such as "The Music of the Night" tend to be rather welcoming to the idea!
( Ch 2: Unending Night )
And here my new Love Never Dies story. I'm afraid the theme/'punchline' of this one probably isn't going to be such a surprise as I wanted it to be — I've tried it on two readers so far, and one said it was obvious in the first chapter and the other in the second — but I hope the delayed information doesn't appear too ridiculously contrived... otherwise the amount of Raoul-torture that goes on in this one will have been completely gratuitous :-(
( Ch 1: Help Me Say Goodbye )
I've now got six pages in the first scene and twelve in the second half of that, coupled to about sixteen (so many erasures it's hard to be sure) for the original 'second chapter' and another nine for the supposedly brief homecoming sequence and reveal -- mainly because I ended up covering a considerably longer period in the latter than I'd intended. In terms of size this looks more like two-and-a-half chapters, unless I have the second chapter miles longer than the first... which is already (at a very rough estimate) nearly three thousand words long.
I'm rather tempted to post it instead as another three-chapter story with a short third chapter, since the final scene is completely separate from the rest of the 'second chapter', albeit extremely bitsy in itself. I never was much good at writing transitory scenes, and this one has to run across at least four different locations...
I also think I'm going to have to go back and harmonise/revise some of the stuff about Gustave, since my thoughts on his relationship with Raoul at various ages seem to have varied quite a bit before settling back into the original idea that his position was 'usurped' at a later date -- though this may involve losing bits I was fond of :-(
What's rather worrying is that I actually thought it was pretty well-written (with Raoul in character :-p) until it got to that last jaw-dropping plot development :-P
And some trace of this got weirdly cross-fertilised with emeraldphan's idea about a story with Raoul looking back from the deck of the ship as he returns alone to Paris, giving me the idea for what I believe is an entirely new twist on the ending of "Love Never Dies"...
( Read more... )
Circa fifteen hundred completely unexpected words written on a theme that didn't even exist at lunch-time: I am shocked, I tell you, shocked :-)
(Although the theme is buried *even* more deeply under backstory than usual, to the extent that the characters only managed to exchange two words of dialogue in the first thousand words : I might need to rework that a bit in case readers completely lose track of what's going on. I want the punchline to come as a surprise -- if I can manage it, which may not be possible -- but at the moment the clues are utterly obscured by angst ;-)
Posted via m.livejournal.com.