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

I've been having quite a bit of trouble with getting an ending for my 'dancing at the masquerade' story — not assisted, of course, by the inconvenient fact that Christine turns out not only to dance with Raoul before their little argument (It's an engagement, not a crime!) but actually gets lifted by him at that earlier stage, which was what I'd been intending to use as the grand climax of the 'dance'.

I eventually managed to fudge the issue about all the dancing sequences shown in my part of the narrative actually being repeats of stuff they've done already, although I can't really do much at this stage about the problem of things happening in my story that don't observably happen on stage — Christine and Raoul stop dancing and argue again at least once, for instance, whereas in the musical it's just one long chorus routine. But since with the exception of the separation and reunion with which I had decided to start the story it isn't even really a narrative ballet scene, it's a bit tricky to make a coherent conversation out of it as it stands.Read more... )

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
More plot nibbles, now actually embarked upon (thanks to an extremely boring session chopping up many pounds of windfall pears — they were either ripe and full of bug droppings, or whole, underripe and extremely hard!)

The idea of Raoul surprising Christine by being good at dancing (having been subjected to mandatory lessons as part of his aristocratic education) is one that I'd had kicking around for some time, but never developed into anything beyond a vague idea that it would have to be at the masquerade. But while Leroux-Raoul and Christine never danced together in canon, Steve Barton and Sarah Brightman were both trained dancers, so their Raoul and Christine did dance (apparently more than in the current stage show). And in the course of my hours of pear-processing I managed to come up with some associated dialogue ideas that actually go somewhere; enough to make a scene, anyway.

What I hadn't planned for at that stage was Christine spontaneously getting naughty thoughts in the middle :-p
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
"Blue Remembered Hills" is finished!

The grand "Blake's 7"/"Phantom of the Opera" crossover project that I started in response to a forum challenge ("least likely crossovers") back in December 2013 is finally typed up and -- barring some proofreading on the final two-and-half-thousand words -- completely computerised. The challenge is long since over, the forum itself is now defunct, and I did wonder with increasing urgency whether the computer itself would survive long enough to see the end of the story... but it's done. The final few months went considerably quicker once I'd given up on trying to get the chapters properly beta-read, alas, but I think the improvement in quality achieved thereby was probably not worth the enormous delay caused by lack of communication at the other end and massive procrastination on my part when it came to tackling edits.Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

Just spent the evening compiling the various 'discussions' that I'd had via fanfiction.net about Teach Me to Live as a respose to receiving further reviews on the story, only to discover that I'd already posted just such a compilation on this site two years ago -- the top entry under the tag-link above -- and included more material there! (The confusion is caused by the fact that I had already cut and pasted sections from earlier detailed review replies into later ones, so there is a certain amount of overlap and differing content depending on which replies I'd originally sourced my analysis from...)

I've now uploaded a combined edition to my website along with a copy of the story itself, though I don't plan to alter the version of the page here; the formatting is too different, and altering it would be a nightmare totally disproportionate to the usefulness of the exercise. Ironically, the one time that article would have come in useful -- when I was responding to those fresh reviews -- I'd forgotten I had it!

At least it provided me with the impetus actually to archive another story on my own site instead of relying on fanfiction.net, although to be honest on past history the latter is probably more likely to stay up for longer. However, I'm totally out of sync now: at a quick count I currently have five POTO/LND stories uploaded there versus 22 on FFnet. The latter is a slightly scary total (albeit including two translations plus two as-yet unfinished works) to contemplate; I really don't remember writing that many! I think the spate of 'one-shots' rather than multi-chapter stories over the last year has skewed it a bit, and of course that total also includes one story about Joseph Buquet and one about Piangi: they're not *all* about Raoul de Chagny. Not quite.

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Ooops, I've just remembered that I'd forgotten about Madame Valerius too...
(Who may well be dead by this point, four or five years later, but possibly ought to be accounted for as having gone with them.)
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)
Finally finished "If I were Vicomte" after all those years; it only took about a week in the end, though it always feels like longer when you're actually in the throes of doing it. There's nothing like actually starting a project for getting it completed!
Read more... )

The first two flowers to emerge out of my smaller second tray were, predictably, yet another daisy and another Jacob's ladder, but I now have two more that didn't germinate in the first batch at all. The big bushy thistle-like thing turns out to be an ageratum:

And the second is heartsease:
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Completed "There is no Phantom of the Opera" (one-shot following Raoul's thoughts on the way up the stairs to the roof) and started work -- finally, after about two years! -- on the number-one entry in my mental 'queue', "If I Were Vicomte". Of course, as I might have predicted, when actually written it isn't coming out as a humorous spoof-fic at all, but as a 'straight' re-telling of the story as a romance with its 'Raoul' as a poor Breton peasant who is socially inferior to Christine, rather than being the entitled aristocrat of so much fan-fiction; apparently I simply can't do comedy.Read more... )
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
I've now definitely started my new one-shot story, "There is no Phantom of the Opera", set from Raoul's point of view in the moments between Carlotta's croak and arriving on the roof with Christine.

(Because after all, what did he mean by "there is no Phantom of the Opera"? Presumably not 'what we just saw didn't happen, and neither did the notes signed Opera Ghost' -- however pig-headed you want to believe him, by this point Raoul can scarcely disbelieve that something odd is going on at the Opera. So presumably he is trying to reassure her that whoever is behind this, it's not supernatural -- Buquet's stories of living skulls and the backstage superstitions about all accidents being the agency of the 'Phantom' are just that, superstition. And above all, the Phantom can't really get into her head and influence her actions as she seems to believe; she has nothing to fear but fear itself.

(Unfortunately he isn't quite right on that front, but he has no way of knowing this...)

Since I'm assuming that this one is going to be short, I'm writing it in an unused 2014 pocket diary, which has the merit of being much more portable than the A4 hardback notebooks I've been using. This does mean that I only get a couple of sentences per page, though!

More flowers emerging: these ones seem to be something along the lines of a snapdragon. (As always, click for full-size image -- the thumbnails are a bit useless.)

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
The vehicle that I've called a 'governess-cart' is the little two-wheeled pony-carriage known to Raoul as a demi-tonneau (a name akin in form to the English 'tub-cart'?)

(Click for modern photos of demi-tonneau awaiting restoration)

It seats two adults in comfort and two adults plus children at a pinch -- with Christine, Félix and Victoire accompanying Hippolyte, the driver, you can imagine things getting quite crowded, especially when Victoire gets excited :-D
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
E.M.K.81 has come up with a highly convincing theory about the opera that was being staged on the night following Christine's disastrous disappearance during "Faust": we are told that it is a piece by Meyerbeer (about whom Erik is disparaging) and we know that he plans to commit suicide by proxy through Christine at eleven o'clock, "at the height of the evening performance" according to the Persian.

Now, it so happens that we know of one specific Meyerbeer opera that was in the current repertory of the Paris Opera at the time of this story: Le Prophète, the historical melodrama which featured the white horse César who is trained for the purpose and stolen by Erik. And it turns out that the finale of Le Prophète just happens to involve the heroine setting off an explosion in a powder magazine which destroys the building and the revelling crowd inside it. The coincidence seems far too great: Erik deliberately delays his explosion until the end of that night's performance in order to mirror events upstairs in a fit of dramatic irony.

It seems very likely that Leroux intended the next night's performance to be "Le Prophète"...
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Finally — while taping up boxes — found the connecting link for the elevated 'turn' of thought I wanted in order to serve as an ending for "A Family Man": Christine, of course :-)
(Though I'm not yet sure if the title for this story should have the indefinite article, the definite article, or neither...)

Immediately after writing the ending I suddenly recalled a whole segment of unused material that was in the original development (while I was sitting on the bus... I even remember which road we were going along at the time), in which it is mentioned that Raoul as a child used to smuggle food to Christine and her father, and Christine now admits for the first time that it wasn't actually very suitable food for an invalid, and that her father didn't eat it! But I no longer remember what the line of thought that led to this exchange was (possibly Raoul comparing his wife's figure favourably to the scrawny girl of their childhood?) or how it fitted into the rest, so my subconscious was probably right to omit it.

We have initial germination on the second sowing of seed; a little more quickly than the original batch, I think, possibly because it's now later in the season and/or a lot warmer.
The orange ones are coming up first, which I think I remember.

Unfortunately the first batch got quite bashed about by the billowing curtains when I left the door of my room open with the curtains shut; I do try not to do that because the through draught sends my papers everywhere, but this is a new hazard :-(
I think they'll recover...
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Oops. I forgot that Raoul's nostalgic associations with the "Little Lotte" verse are likely to have shifted considerably after the events of the musical -- however fondly he remembers the actual picnics in the attic, etc :-( Fortunately that section took place as the precursor to a shift into protective mode anyway, so it's easy enough to shade it in a darker direction...

Still not finished, though I must be very near the end now; I've put the Countess in. Maybe another page? I should finish before the end of the notebook, anyway, although I certainly shan't get the 'family' fic in as well, as I had originally fondly imagined.
should I cheat on the FFnet tagging? )

One of my anemones has fallen flat and seems to have snapped off from its root at ground level. Probably mechanical damage from drawing the curtain, I think, rather than rot or insect damage.
Oh well. I have four others and it wasn't doing anything interesting anyway -- just sitting there with its single leaf on a long stalk...
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)

Yet more stuff archived here for reference so that I don't have to keep searching through unhelpfully-named messages in order to locate my own analysis again...

I don't think that Christine in the musical ever does decide to spend the rest of her life underground in order to save Raoul; I think that her kiss is an attempt to find a third option beyond the two that the Phantom offered ("love me and he lives, refuse and he dies"). In the novel, of course, the threat and the situation are both somewhat different...

But I always assumed that what she is trying to do in the musical is to show the Phantom that "he is not alone" — that his face is not an insurmountable barrier to contact with humanity as he claims to believe. I don't believe that her kiss is supposed to be an acceptance of his bargain or a signal that she will marry him: there are easier and more reliable ways of telling him that! The kiss appears to be a rejection of both choices and an attempt to win his sympathy by demonstrating empathy — it's the classic 'communicate with your kidnapper and force him to see you as a human being so that he will find it harder to kill or torture you' tactic.

She isn't accepting his proposal (which she would have done with words of hatred and resentment); she is showing him that it is possible for someone to display enough pity to bestow a kiss of her own free will and without blackmail even upon someone who looks like him, and therefore that his face does not make him irredeemable.

I always assumed it was obvious...

Erik says "Will you marry me? Yes or No?"
Christine says "You poor thing, have a kiss" -- which is neither Yes nor No, but is greater sweetness and pity than he would have got from the Yes answer.
And the result is that he then shows pity and humanity to her by sparing Raoul, which I imagine is what she hoped for but presumably could not possibly be certain of.

I've never seen the final lair scene as Christine's choice to stay with Erik -- it never even occurred to me that anyone would make that assumption until a fan mentioned it as a casual belief a few months back. Erik says "Make your choice", but Christine *refuses* to play that game. She *doesn't* choose: if she wanted to say Yes she would say it with tears and loathing, as she does at the start of the scene. If she wanted to say No she would hurl it at him.

What wise, clear-sighted Christine does is to evade the question altogether: her response is neither to accept the trap or to give her tormentor an excuse to take his revenge. Erik says "Yes or No?" Christine says "Oh, you poor thing -- here, have a kiss."

And it works. By showing him that he is part of humanity, she gets him to see her as someone whose happiness he cares about, and not as a possession.

It's the classic kidnap gambit, really: instil empathy in your captors and get them to see you as a person. It's ideal. Under the impossible circumstances it's *brilliant* -- and it's very Christine. She forgives her enemies, and in so doing she wins freedom by her own resourcefulness.

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

I thought I'd already linked to this, but apparently not... For my reference, then (so that I don't have to keep searching for it), F. de l'opera's theory that Christine's 'red scarf' was actually a peasant headscarf: http://operafantomet.tumblr.com/post/96354400557/fdelopera-operafantomet-fdelopera

igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
Over the past two days I've ended up with ideas for not just one but two different short pieces of 'fluff' fiction for Christine and Raoul (i.e. fairly plotless vignettes designed to give readers of that persuasion happy fluffy feelings about the characters' relationship). It seems to be something to do with bus travel, of all things - perhaps it lets my mind wander more than cycling does.
A slightly expensive source of inspiration, if so, since the bike repairs cost me £45 and a couple of days' bus travel cost me several pounds on top of that — but inspiration is inspiration and one can't complain!
Read more... )

Now I really must get on and write them down before the whole thing gets forgotten, rather than getting distracted by Things on the Internet!
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 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" (Default)
Deleted scenes from the 1925 Lon Chaney Phantom:

(Christine with the Daroga, Raoul at Perros-Guirrec, Raoul with Mama Valerius)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Horizon)
I discovered yesterday that at some point since January, the author sparklyscorpion decided to remove all her fanfics from fanfiction.net -- which thus removes them from my Rescue Raoul collection. Which is a pity, as she was a seriously talented writer, and they certainly weren't anything to be ashamed of: not self-indulgent gushings or fix-fic, but well thought out reflections on the characters and situations in the original that no published novelist need be embarrassed for.

The following is what I've been able to glean of the five that went missing (plus another one that was in my Favourites but not in the Raoul-collection: "When Summer Fades", I think, though I'm no longer sure why that wouldn't have qualified!)

Read more... )


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