Not a form of rebellion.

more about that new thing.
I've figured out the "big idea" for this other Paine/Lulu story I have. I really, really, really don't want to finish Ruska. Chapter 80 is basically the icing, the filling, the sugar and everything that makes the story so sweet as far as the power dynamics go. And then it's all all downhill from there until the end. So yes, I admit that I'm purposely dragging my feet with it. This new story is...different for me. I've chosen to tear myself apart and put most things under a microscope in written word. Despite how much it hurts me to face these things, I think this one is more accessible. You may scoff at the notion, since my trademark is going away from the usual path.

Trust me when I say it's still complicated. My sources of inspiration for the central relationship feel dissociative and disjointed when I think about them separately. But it's all coming together in a way that's seamless for you as the reader. I'm going to capitalize on that for this story. I'm not sure when I'll let anyone see it. Probably once I finish a few chapters, I'll start posting them one at a time. It's extremely personal. I say that about everything I write. This time, I'm painting an idea that I haven't touched on since CC. I didn't get back then why it was so moving to me. I understand it now. I'm doing my best to write with that wisdom without the narrative coming off as self-aware or arrogant. I'll also do my best to have fun with it where I'm allowed. 

Amy Default
n. a moment of awareness that someone you've known for years still has a private and mysterious inner life, and somewhere in the hallways of their personality is a door locked from the inside, a stairway leading to a wing of the house that you've never fully explored--an unfinished attic that will remain maddeningly unknowable to you, because ultimately, neither of you has a map, or a master key, or any way of knowing exactly where you stand.


except I have the map, the key, and the knowledge of where I stand. the only issue is whether or not I think I should give it to you.

Public Post: Ruska analysis part V (68+)
Amy Default
as an aside, it feels weird to continue this tradition of my notes on the chapters. I associate these with two people in my life, one of whom isn't really around anymore because of God knows why. so give me a bit to adjust.

68. The Scorpion (I'm Hiding by Korn)
...I actually don't remember. To be perfectly honest, I fucking sprinted through about ten marathons to get to this chapter. And then right when I finished it, I burned out so badly. I collapsed. I fell. I don't know what happened. I lost it all and I was terrified of never finding it again. That fear came true for a time. I was such an angry person during those months. Up and down, back and forth, everywhere, nowhere--usually nowhere, down and alone. It felt like I'd betrayed the story and the pairing. I thought I was absolute shit at writing and that nothing I could write would ever be good enough, not until I found the motivation to continue this the right way. When I had it before, it felt like a one of a kind gift. I truly was invincible when I had it back then. Nothing could tear me down or even touch me. That was my only right to life before. So you can imagine how I felt without it.

This time, it's...different, but it still tastes the same at the base. This time I'm driven to challenge myself to go above and beyond, building off the few good ideas I've been keeping to myself for these long months. It's all flourished so well. I feel like I can finally breathe again.

69. The Empress (Haunted by Beyonce)
See above. I have no memory of this chapter except for a few abstract things. I don't remember it because I wasn't there, emotionally, when I came up with the ideas. I knew that they had to set an important precedent for the rest of the story. Beyond that, who the fuck knows.

70. Nothing (Even Deeper by Nine Inch Nails)
Gonna have to plead the Fifth here again. See the previous two notes.

71. The Inquisition
Hmm. There is no song for this because I split things up considerably. Kilika was supposed to be one big chapter, but it's expanded far more than a single chapter will allow. I'm awful at coming up with original ideas. I have to imitate something, whether it's noticeable in the final product or not. Then I came up with the amazing idea to use one of my favorite movies as a vague blueprint, just to start and branch from there. Goya's Ghosts with Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem came to mind right away. It's about the Spanish Inquisition and all of the craziness that went on during that time. Kilika in this time looks a bit like it could have been a Spanish city back then, but I didn't describe it with that much detail. Basically everything for this story has blossomed to be its own thing, based off of something else that I love.

I know I'm onto something when it keeps getting longer in my head. Nothing too long. Mini-episodes along the way of the party finding the "pieces" of Lulu's dressphere, instead of one big, seamless thing like it should have been, had Lulu's story not been tampered with. (It literally was messed up. It's been nearly a year and I'm just now finding my kickass drive to continue this story. THE FOURTH WALL IS BROKEN.) But, yes, I've got it back. I had to deal with some other things and go through a lot of growing pains, but I'm here. I tried to continue on before, but it was so bad that I had to rewind.

I know what I'm doing this time. This chapter was a bit of a review lesson for everyone. It's served its purpose. Oh, and Elysia...LOL. Don't even ask. That literally came out of nowhere and I have no regrets.

72. Reconnaissance (Into the Jungle from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag)
Something overtook me a few weeks ago, and I just had to finish up AC4, even though I hated it. I don't like their cash-grab protagonist Edward Kenway. I hate the focus on gameplay instead of puzzles. I hate the lack of STEALTH in a game about assassins. However, I did find this song, and one another. This one in particular speaks for itself. The rest of the chapter rolled seamlessly from there. I was going to include another scene, but I decided to change the focus for the rest of this episode. I think it's apparent enough what my plans are by the end of this chapter. I've been going back and forth about it. There's no turning back now. Let's just hope I pull it off right.

73. Setting the Stage (Bachelorette by Bjork)
400,000 words!!!!!!!!!!!

I was going to use this song way earlier in the story. For before the wedding. There is a chapter called Bachelorette, if you remember, of the night before their wedding when they went to Overdrive. The idea with this song was supposed be, I suppose you could say. For this chapter, I wanted to show that Lulu's only crime is trying to live her life the way she wants. Paine offers her a way to get rid of her burdens. Lulu gets to see that Paine's serious about this, and it manages to move her. It's an approach that I think would work if they really didn't know each other at all. Lulu refuses to go at anyone else's pace other than her own. I like having Paine put all of her cards on the table, waiting for Lulu to take them. That will work for this era, anyway.

My vision for this mini-episode will be realized in the next chapter (if I don't change my mind and extend things yet again, that is...).

74. Effervescence (I Love You by Woodkid)
I didn't change my mind about anything here. Nothing major, anyway. I tend to spend a bit longer before starting chapters like these. This song is everything. I first heard it last year from a post on a community on this site that I used to frequent. I'd occasionally gone back to the song since then, vaguely wondering if I might include it in a story at some point. Didn't really click with me until I thought to write this chapter. It's such a romantic I figured the chapter title should be an homage to my most romantic story. I hope that the chapter played out the song in a way that you envision well and agree with. Form follows function with me. Pick a song and paint it out in prose for it to fit with the story. That's how I've always done things, sometimes with the focus being heavier, or lighter, or barely there. Here I think it's pretty solid. Be on the lookout for this song repeating in another way down the line, because I was originally going to just use it there. It fit well here. I couldn't say no and I'm glad I didn't.

I've grown to be a big fan of allowing dialogue to tell the story more so than my narration. I used to let my narration tell too much before, years ago. I'm pulling my roots out, clipping them and making them look presentable this time. Things in Kilika are done, but those events will continue in an unexpected way. I've had this next arc in mind for a while... It will be nice to finally write it out.

75. Luca, One Thousand Years Later (Cup of Coffee by Garbage)
So...this chapter was originally supposed to be much lighter and more romantic. But as I got closer and closer to this point, I knew that it wouldn't fit with the next arc, at least not seamlessly. These mini-episodes were originally supposed to be entirely fragmented and separate, with nothing to do with each other. When I made the decision to have them follow in chronological order, that's when all of the doubts sprang up. I didn't want to change the arcs because they're so good. But the original one for this segment made no sense. I had to make it make sense...and this is what I came up with.

I woke up this morning completely thrown off of my balance. Just all kinds of fucked up and in complete pain. It always comes up when I feel like I'm not headed in the right direction with my writing. I went to bed the previous night quite calm, thinking I'd know what to write the next day. Well, I did, but I didn't expect all of this. I found this song on Jay's mp3 player two years ago when we were in New York City. I don't think I told her that I liked it and copied it to my laptop. Probably because I had my own thoughts as to why this particular song was on there, and I didn't want to have that conversation. I still don't. Writing about it here is good enough. Shirley's voice kind of reminds me of her singing. I wonder if the similarity is purposeful or not.

Anyway, as I said in my note in the chapter, this was short for a reason. I didn't want to go on and on about things. I ended it on a somewhat-hopeful note. I don't usually write this kind of material anymore, so I hope it wasn't too much.

76. Switch Swift (Your Star by Evanescence)
This chapter was also a bit of a transition to the "big idea" for the next two arcs. I'm not sure if I'll break them up into different chapters...probably not. But anyway, I'm sure the title of this one is very familiar to a certain someone reading this. I got the idea for it a couple of weeks ago. You can think of it as my interpretation of the name in the context of where the characters are at in the story. I know exactly where I'm going with these arcs I'm transitioning into. This installment was a must to include, despite how difficult it was. I had to stop myself from going too far with it and give everything away. Just enough to get you thinking while simultaneously moving the narrative along. This song is probably my favorite by Evanescence, too. I really love the dark instrumentation. Fits perfectly for this part of the story.

77. Lustmord (Para noir by Marilyn Manson)
I've been thinking lately that the story so far has been too agreeable. Everyone has gotten along too well for the most part. Now with this part of the story, I have a lot more freedom. The only linearity about it is in Spira's geography, how it's literally a winding corridor from Besaid to Zanarkand. With this, there have been "unspoken" limits that Lulu has respected in her dominance over Paine. I never thought to breach them because it's not an ~agreeable thing to do. "What's the point?" is I would have said before. Now I see the point, if only to push the limitations that have been in place. There is something else I have to cover before then, but this is what I plan on exploring for the next arc. For the longest, I was going to use the song Spade by MM, seeing as it actually is about Lustmord (the scorned one killing his/her partner who broke their heart), but...nah. Too predictable. I've already explored it enough with the recurring theme of the revolver. It's recurred enough.

This one took a little longer for me to write. I've been coming to terms with the fact that I may end up living alone with this fountain of fuel in my mind and heart. Whenever I think I can set it aside and focus on other people or things, it bursts and breaks inside of me, like a child throwing a tantrum for my attention. When I ignore it, it slips its way into other aspects of my life, cutting them off, distancing me from them and them from me. And the second I turn back to it, it goes back to normal, as if nothing happened in the first place. I don't know why. I don't know what else to do about it other than finishing this story. I will continue applying myself to it one hundred percent.

78. Broken Darksteel (Relics from Final Fantasy XIV)
Every now and then, I have those chapters where I'm crying the whole way through. This song plays during some of the meaningful cutscenes in FFXIV. I thought to use this song for this particular chapter about three weeks ago while leveling dragoon, watching the level 45 cutscene in Coerthas in Boulder Downs. That whole questline kept making me think of Raine in general. Probably because of the armor. I drew a parallel between her and me. How this entire story has taken over my life... It's kept me from other things, other people who've needed me. I'm fiercely protective of it to the point where I wonder if it's normal. So I decided to use this instalment as an avenue to tie up the threads of Raine's involvement in the story, along with revealing her origins. I'd always known that she was a fayth crafted to be Lulu's armor. The theme of serving her family at the expense of her own happiness is something that recently made sense for me to include.

As for how this is going to develop, I'll leave that for you to ponder for now. 

Dancing Mad is complete.
Amy Default

well, it's a skeleton, anyway. Approx. 78,000 words and 262 pages. Only took me two months to finish. I think there are a few things I have to change with the last chapter except for the final scene. I don't know yet. For now I'm glad that the nights/mornings of staying up until 6 or 7am are done for the time being. I can sleep like a normal person. It's ironic that I say that after finishing this particular story. Hmm.

Such a fucking relief. 

How could I forget
Amy Default
Every time I stare at Microsoft Word, at the pages and pages I've written, wondering why I can't write anymore, I forget my strength. When I feel this way, the only solution is to spread out and do it big. Hating my work, feeling worthless, all of goes away each time I think of that one thing. That one thing that has always driven me, no matter how much I try to mask it in every single thing I write. I keep getting the idea that I can move on from it, or get away with not including it. I can't. I have to fucking accept it and go with it. Anything less just holds me back. Fuck that noise, man.

I don't know what's going on with Ruska. It's practically finished but I hate the way it's turned out. I can't find it in me to post the rest of the chapters. So...I'm going to do a system restore so to speak and delete some of the chapters. Basically all of lolpartV. I have to start over. Chapter 68 is fine, but after that point, no. Just no. It is unacceptable. I'll need to rework things and repost once it's all finished. Might take some time.

In the mean time, I have something new I've been working on. I will post it soon enough. I'm a bit mental about having seventeen stories up at a time, because that's my favorite number. So I will just delete one when I post this new one. I know exactly which story I want gone. This should tide you over until the fated day when I post all of the improved chapters. It's very different than anything I've written before. It'll be fun to see how it's received.
Tags: ,

Dancing Mad.
"I may not know how to get it done, but I know someone else who does. People tell me she's in the mirror. I've never seen my reflection."

Venus, "Astrid," and Vevina.

I. One of a Kind from Bayonetta
II. Paradiso - Graveyard of the Memories from Bayonetta
III. S.V.E.R. Global Conflict by Apocalyptica
IV. Perfection by Clint Mansell
V. A Swan Song (For Nina) by Clint Mansell

Public post: Ruska analysis part IV (51-67)

51. Fury (One of a Kind from Bayonetta)
I have to just go with this part of the story. I wrote this chapter in two hours straight with no breaks. No more sitting around twiddling my thumbs, passively thinking. I've done enough fucking thinking. I've been thinking and thinking about this part of the story even more than I did the first three parts when I worked on them. The song is the palette, the ideas come from there and from months of consolidation, and the writing has to honestly go without stopping to fuss over quality. The chapters most likely won't be that long. I'm going for raw emotion this time with the narrative instead of careful craft. You probably won't get the imagery the first time around all the time, so you may go back and re-read, extending the chapters that way. I want this.

Daily updates is the goal until the end of the month. That should put me at about 20 completed chapters for the month of July x_x

52. Fuck Off (Gina Escapes from Battlestar Galactica)
The remastered or whatever you want to call it edition of this sci-fi show: I watched a few seasons of it. I got bored of all the space battles at some point, but a few key scenes have stayed with me over the years. I didn't quite take this chapter where I anticipated it going in relation to this song and the accompanying scene... what I came up with is better. You may think you know where this story is going, but I can guarantee that you don't~ However, the parts about Lulu's story "coming true" will in fact happen. How remains to be seen. I will update again tomorrow, so stay tuned.

53. Oblivion (When I Was Your Man [Bruno Mars cover] by Boyce Avenue ft. Fifth Harmony / Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla)
...this chapter is something of a criticism against myself. I'm a "romance" author, but my stories don't have much romance in them in terms of the little, meaningful things. When I think about what's going to happen, the first song applies to me, the author, in relation to what I should have allowed to characters to do. I've been so focused on getting to this part of the story, writing only "essential" scenes... I actually cringe at the thought of public displays of affection like the ones in this chapter. I most likely won't be reading this chapter over because of it. If you want to know how I felt while writing the first half of the chapter until the scene shifted to them at home, see Raine at the start. I'm going to pretend like I didn't admit anything now. Reputation's trashed, but whatever. It was worth it, for the story.

54. Renegade (Suicide Mission from Mass Effect 2)
Just keep reading, folks. Just keep reading. You want to know how the rest of this is going to play out. Also, totally sick of this song after listening it to repeat all day. So I'm listening to some shameless girl group pop music (Fifth Harmony) to find some energy again. Oh, yeah: "Sir Chrono" is a reference to Chrono from the PS1 game Chrono Trigger, which deals with time travel. He really does have that crazy, Dragonball Z-esque hairstyle, since Akira Toriyama helped with the character designs. Way back in chapter 16, Baralai tried to warn Paine and Lulu about Trema. They didn't listen. And now shit's about to start.

Oops, I forgot to add: there is a (purposeful) discrepancy in the story at this point. Lulu claims she did not write this in her story, and yet the past couple of sonnets, including this one, make mention of the war and what's going on exactly as the chapters are written. Keep an eye out for the explanation in a few chapters. It's a big deal for the rest of part four.

Come at me in your reviews and PMs. I dare you.

55. The Great Colossus, Vegnagun
I didn't really listen to anything. I was going to listen to a song from Assassin's Creed III, but it ended up not working. Reunion from Final Fantasy VII works if you've played the game. I didn't want it to spearhead the chapter. Similarities to FFVIII's ending are here...lots of symbolism. Edea from that game does look an awful lot like Lulu, at least to me. Please be sure to read my note for 54 just above. I added more to it later on after posting it. Pay very close attention to the sonnet in this chapter, too. I anticipate these upcoming chapters won't be terribly long... I'm going for emotion. Have to just go.

56. Flowers (Flowers by Lee Soo Young)
This song and the music video have been with me since 2005 when it came out. I'm not going to say anything more, except to keep reading. Translation from Korean:

FlowersCollapse )

57. Ruska (Ruska by Apocalyptica)
After all of the growth during the process of writing this story, I have reached the point where I can express why I write it. I despise stories that are afraid, clearly afraid, to push limits and break free. Whether it's because they can't think of a good enough reason to include conflict, or they avoid it consciously or otherwise, it doesn't matter. I can't deal with that kind of writing, hence why I don't like to read. It's rare for me to find something that is true to life, for me, so I prefer to obsessively write instead. Using all of the tools in my arsenal is what completes the story, not just picking an idea and seeing it through to the end at chapter X. I get annoyed when I come up with an idea and I don't see the reason behind it. If it is a just because thing, it better damn well show you something.

It's better to control the uncontrollable than to let it go on its own in ways you won't expect. You know life is going to have some downs as well as ups. It's better to write those downs as you see fit, even if life is forcing you to include them because they're inevitable. Control how they will go instead of passively letting shit happen, whether it's with a pen in Lulu's case or with determination and courage in real life to face it head-on. Lulu knew in her heart this was going to happen because she wrote it so, to show Paine how much she loves her in not only happiness but also in despair. This arc here has the potential to devolve into an abusive relationship. That's not what I'm/she's going for. After breaking so many hearts, not giving a damn, Lulu finally knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of that anguish. She needed to know, she had to face that and deal, no matter how much it hurts. That is the exact same thing I do every time I decide to write about something I've gone through, putting it in writing: facing it, because my words are shaped better by what I think I want to avoid. I'm not afraid of anything anymore now that I've accepted this.

Controlling events...controlling people, actions--this is what I do with this pairing, using myself in both of them to write them in-character. I know what to expect, I don't get frustrated with them for endlessly pissing me off or not understanding me, I don't scream and yell at them for not fucking getting something that I've explained fifty times, I don't avoid them for days on end, I don't suddenly grow cold on them, I don't convince myself that they're not good enough for me. They are me, both of them, with these "multiple personalities" of myself transposed onto two different characters. Their qualities are mine, together, in me, even though I'm one person. There is no ambiguity there. I'm sure of myself, I know myself, I love myself; I'm sure of them, I know them, I love them. This is why I get fed up with actual people so easily, why I cannot STAND being around people that don't know any better about me. I prefer to be alone, single, living through these fictional characters that I can control instead of "putting up with" imperfections in real life that serve to only piss me the fuck off. That is why I write this story about these two and update like a maniac. I don't want to know anything else right now. I don't need to. A very narcissistic pairing this is for me, hence this constant trope of doubles, twins, mirrors, multiple people that represent the same person...

There is still some doubt that Lulu has about Paine returning to her. That's natural. This change in her person is necessary for Paine to see for the next few chapters, because without it...well, let's just say that perhaps she won't share that determination her wife has.

58. Soaked in Tandem (Soaked by Adam Lambert)
Would you believe me if I told you I've been holding onto this idea since chapter 20? I believe I mentioned in my note for that chapter that I had planned something different...except I moved it to a later part of the story where it would make much more sense, emotionally. This is what I meant. It didn't make sense for Lulu to want all of this back then, just because she was "upset" over Paine taking a beating during the tournament, trying out the Copycat dressphere. Then again, I'd planned on them breaking up and all of that because of her guilt over Wakka. Obviously said screw that to the idea and consolidated that fantasy into the events surrounding this chapter instead. When I wrote chapter 24 and had Paine blab about her previous flings, I had this exact chapter in mind to foreshadow. And chapter 28 with the abandonment, I envisioned having this mirror of Lulu willingly putting herself through the same thing, if not for the same amount of time. It feels beyond wonderful to finally tie that foreshadowing up...mostly, anyway.

(Consensual) gangbangs are a major turn-on for me. Then again, I prefer monogamy. I was conflicted on this fantasy for a long time until the idea for copies of one person struck me, hard. It goes with my idea that I put multiple people (from myself) into this pairing. It all makes sense, it's cohesive, they're in-character...that's great, but there must be something more derived from such a metaphor. Lulu shoving aside all pretenses and drowning in this (white)...I have spent a long, long time forming this chapter in my head. I first heard this song at the end of 2012, right before I picked this story up again. It helped me a lot with coming to terms with my mortality and fallibility. I have a silly delusion that I'm never going to die. That won't leave me. I'd had enough of thinking I absolutely need things that other people do... I daresay this song helped me get over someone for the last time, and move on to these two.

59. Pretty (Pretty by Korn)
With this limited time, I only have room for a few scenes that leave an impact. I didn't need to try too hard. Didn't need to think too hard about it. None of this is personal for me--I am building off of what I started earlier in the story, wrapping up the reasons as to why Paine kept such distance between herself and her parents. The main point to this chapter is that Lulu is giving away more and more information that she technically shouldn't know about. Paine will find out how she knows in the next few chapters...

Lol, oh--when Paine says, "I never asked for this!" it's a nod to a meme from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Adam, the main character, gets infused with cybernetics that make him stronger after a tragedy he faces. One of the responses to select for him in response to someone asking how he feels about this new strength is, "I never asked for this." Paine is going to be much stronger in battle from now on. That's what made me think of it.

60. Bitch, We Got a Problem (Bitch, We Got a Problem by Korn)

I've spent a long time listening to this song, thinking about the possibilities. The final scene of the chapter was always going to be this way--that never changed. For the longest (I was originally going to put this concept in chapter 23 for Paine's first birthday in Zanarkand...that is how long I've been thinking about this), this chapter was going to be a mirror of 58, with Paine blindfolded, letting Lulu's copies fuck her, thinking that they're all men at first but taking it/enjoying it anyway. However, this was before I came up with the idea for 41 (Narcissus Narcosis) with the two Lulus. Plus, with that AND 58, the novelty of the copies has worn off now, so I decided to go for a different approach. This different approach came up from thinking back to a number of cues:

1. My first ex was obsessed with the idea of me being a man, swearing she would still date me, fantasizing about how I would look and act. She claimed she was not bisexual. I have a strong feeling this had to do with desperately wanting her family to accept her relationship with me. Whatever.

2. Someone I had a conversation with who does not like Lulu's voice (for SHAME) because it is "too masculine."

3. Previous mentions of forced bisexuality in the story, but not really going anywhere with the kink out of hesitation (because, hey, this is femslash, therefore, no boys allowed, right?). I threw said hesitation out of the window and went for a philosophical approach for these different personalities and this exception in Paine's sexuality.

4. Having watched a few documentaries over the years about lesbian relationships, where one or both partners decide to get a sex change. I wondered why some of them were okay with this change, why some weren't...

I really had to step outside of my comfort zone to write this chapter the way I wanted. I have never done anything with a man...I've hardly touched one outside of the extremely rare hugs with my uncles. Sooo, I'm sorry if this was not "immersive" because of my utter lack of experience. The mind fuck value is present, yes? That's all I care about.

Sigh. So, it's back to the plot for now. They've had their much-needed diversion. Forgiveness is a lofty subject right now.

61. Via Infinito (Faded Memories from Final Fantasy XI)
I was going to listen to the song from FFX-2 that plays in this just didn't have the tone I wanted. This song plays in the Promyvions in FFXI: surreal battlefields hidden in the gaps of reality. Very drear. Those missions were difficult as fuck back in the day when this expansion first came out. The environment and monsters there actually creeped me out, because of the difficulty.

Some of you may argue that this is a filler chapter...I really needed to show Lulu's state of mind/emotion for this part. Didn't see the point in detailing something you can easily go on YouTube or in the game to watch yourself. Felt lazy to copy the battles from the game. Trema and the boss right before him are underwhelming superbosses compared to the ones in FFX: International. Those bosses and the Via Infinito itself are a joke with the Cat Nip/Trigger Happy trick. I have to up the ante in the next chapter, not just copy what's in the games. It's like practice.

62. Paragon (Summoned Beast Battle from Final Fantasy X)
So surreal to scroll down this far in the post, knowing how much I've written in this month alone... You all have no idea how I've felt in getting this far. In time, maybe you'll understand. The war is over. Trema has been dealt with. The portal to Zanarkand will close, keeping everyone in the city, keeping all threats out. Now is the time to take the steps to start Lulu's story with all of that out of the way. Are you looking forward to seeing what she chose to write about? Because all of part four was also from her muse and creativity. All of my words are hers. No, she doesn't remember chapters 52-67, and there is an imperative thread in part V that she also cannot recall...she will remember, soon.

Hope this chapter was Final Fantasy enough. I chose this song with the utmost care, making sure I saw no reason to have a repeat listen for any chapters in the future. It's a powerful piece. It plays in FFX when Yuna has to defeat all of her aeons to bring out Yu Yevon. Though I still think that segment was entirely unnecessary, I appreciate the emotional angle these fights went off of with this song. It also plays during the fight against Penance, FFX's superboss. He shows up after defeating the dark aeons in the International version as Yevon's last-ditch effort to kill Yuna and her guardians--the "traitors." I can't wait to actually fight him myself when the remastered editions drop. I'd hoped that it would've been out by now so I could have hands-on experience in writing this chapter. Oh, well.

63. Penance (Ending Theme from Final Fantasy X)
...I'm sorry.

64. Judgement Day (Secret Door by Evanescence)
Procrastination Nation over ~1100 words >_<  Sorry. I have completed my goal of finishing 20 chapters in the month of July. Nearly 100k words. Did not realize this until this morning, and then the self-fulfilling prophecy of eternal "ugh"s followed. I can keep's just a little bit farther... Chapters 65, 66, 67 won't be too long, either. Trying not to be overly-wordy. There is a possible pitfall of being too angsty at this point (yes, this is possible, even given the circumstances of said angst). Anyway, this song...the message speaks for itself.

65. In Memoriam (In Memoriam by Apocalyptica)
First, about this song: I don't like when it picks up near the middle. I always skip that part. I was originally going to have Paine be angry and lash out at Lightning, hence why that part of the song would have been acceptable. Let's just pretend like it's not there. The song is a little iconic for me because I remember listening to the first minute or so on repeat while writing chapter 15 (I think...) of Effervescence when Fang and Lightning go to Palumpolum. Fang storming through the snow and Lightning has a cold, going after her anyway...the beginning of the chapter is an homage to that.

I know that this is a difficult part of the story to get through. This chapter has been in my head and emotions for months. It's not that I'm going easy with the angst. I'm (not-so) subtly hinting that Lulu's interpretation of Paine's character is creeping through the narrative. Without that help, I don't know what Paine would have done. Without Lightning, too, there's no telling what I would have had Paine do. I try not to think about it. I included Lightning's original entry back in 44 for the explicit purpose of revealing what she actually wrote during this chapter. I hope this chapter in general has answered plenty of questions. I have a lot more answering to do over the next four chapters until I slow down the updates... Still can't believe I'm this far ahead in the story.

66. The Arbiter of Time (Lulu's Theme from Final Fantasy X)
lol...first, I should explain that the concept of Lulu's silhouette leading the way like this is an idea from FFX-2. When Yuna gets lost in the Farplane Abyss at the end of chapter 2, there's the option to press square to hear Tidus whistling. His (yellow) silhouette appears, leading Yuna out to the Farplane Glen. Instead of the iconic whistle, I keyed in on a purposeful sound I kept repeating again and again throughout the story to signal Lulu's presence. That chime of her accessories and the drag of her's a sound I can't forget. Whenever I hear anything like it, I always think of her.

The bit with the piano path was inspired a little from Bayonetta. That game has a lot of surreal environments. I remember playing it one day a few months ago when I got the idea for this. I think it's pretty cool ^^

And now...yes, Wakka is the one who helped put all of this together, lmao. Why do you think he kept knocking on Lulu's door? Back in chapter 44 when he comes to see her, Lulu is not happy about it, and in response to one of her lines, he says, "Make myself useful! That's a good one, eh?" because he IS the one doing all of this, making her words come true. LOL. I purposely kept referring to the Arbiters of Time as these statuesque, armored men for you to get the idea that they're all supposed to be like that. Nope... And yes, obvious cliffhanger at the end. People who have been asking me about the you-know-whats, you know what's coming.

67. Ark Angels (Sapientia - In the Choice between Good and Evil from Bayonetta // This Is Your Story from Final Fantasy X)
Well, this chapter only took me seven hours straight to write... x_x  I was going to listen to the song that plays in FFXI during this fight, Fighters of the Crystal, but I dismissed that idea pretty quickly. Ever since April I've been listening to this song from one of the boss fights in Bayonetta. I'd always have this whole fight scene playing out in my head, Paine beating down her opponent with the motivation Lulu's given her. I think I nailed it. I also had a very specific reason in not making Raine the Ark Angel of Rage...part of it has to do with how Paine couldn't have beaten her. She's not that strong yet.

For those of you who thought the story was "over" after Paine beat the was just another beginning. She has a long way to go, but Lulu will be in the story again soon. Don't ask me will know more or less how by chapter 68. In the beginning of FFX, Auron does the "this is your story" dialog with Tidus. In 64's flashback when Lulu asks for his dialog, it was because she didn't remember Tidus' story of the event--that's what she meant. This was Auron's special role. A HUGE hint about what part five will entail, including what Braska says... Don't you remember what Paine and Lulu would always fall back and talk about multiple times throughout the story? (hint, hint--what things would have been like if they'd known each other sooner...)

That is the end of part IV. Sigh of relief, pop some champagne... I'm not worn out, not at all, I just need to consider a few things as I've said. Part V is the last part of the story, but it will be considerably longer. If you got the hint, you'll know why... Thank you, as always, for getting this far.  

Happy birthday, loser.

You are viewing yoshiyuki_ly