mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Not meta, exactly.  Inspired by the battlefield meta that [livejournal.com profile] hooves posted over on [livejournal.com profile] fandom, I finally published the second and third installments of "Lucky Horseshoes," the unheroic exploits of Norne in the War of Heroes.

Most of my in-depth knowledge of the day to day workings of an army comes from the American Civil War, which of course postdates the "medieval fantasy" setting by a couple of centuries, but at this point I really don't care, especially with regards to FE12.  It's not like people behaved any better in wartime just because they were living under the feudal system.  If FE12 posits an army consisting of "platoons," we're already talking a post-17th century way of doing business.  So, yeah.  

-x-

Went to the Old Car Festival at the Henry Ford today with the intention of checking out the replica of the "world's first self-propelled vehicle" they had on-site.  Basically, it's a steam-powered dray for military use.  It was cool; they had coal in the boiler and steam coming out, even though it wasn't mobile when I visited.  Gave me ideas for the "tanks" Grust will use in the Steampunk Archanea story.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Nothing like having another novelization of your pet game on your tail to spur you into an update.  I'd been sitting on this chapter for yonks, but the second half wasn't finished, so I just chopped the chapter in two and released this half.  Yay?

So, Norne the spunky volunteer is starting to falter; the war just keeps getting more complicated, and there are signs that not all the players on the "good" side are actually... good.  Don't worry, it just gets worse from here.
  
ETA: Really, I just want to get to the chapter where they hit Gra.  Because.

Son of ETA: Dammit.  Looking over this again, I'm seeing the stumbling-block at the end of the 'fic.

Spoiler discussion under the cut )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, about a year ago, as I was working through my FE12-induced "issues," I started on this.  A silly and derivative little slice-of-life story with a rotating POV and only the faintest wisp of a plot.  Obviously it was not high on my priority list of Things to Finish.  But I did finish it, and since it's (gasp!) genfic, I decided to post the thing.  It's lightweight but it's not really that silly, given that it's grounded in the general darkness of Archanea-- hence references to assassination, Bad Things happening to small children, and the like.

The style is closer to "Wings of Love" than to anything I normally write.  

Anyway, it features mostly FE12-only characters-- Ryan, Melissa, Luke, Rody, and Cecil, plus the Grust twins (and Marth and Norne).  I say "FE12" rather than "FE3/12" because once the Shin Monshou characterizations got out of the can, it's hard to go back and recall how I thought Luke and Cecil and the rest were supposed to be written.  Yes, the characters went from being stick figures to full-color caricatures, but they didn't really gain any depth by it, IMO.  I condone the direction that IS went with Melissa (mostly), and I can't complain over what I've seen of Rody and Ryan, but Sir Luke the Awesome and Aggro Chick!Cecil seem to both be over-the-top, objectionable in the same sense that I object to a lot of the Tellius gang.  Writing them feels pretty easy.  Writing them feels pretty darned cheap.  They feel very... familiar... in a sense that can't just be laid down to "FE Archetype Syndrome."

The full adaptation, if we ever get the darned thing, may change my mind, but I didn't have to read ALL of Kieran's supports to know I have a visceral distaste for his shtick.  And the end result is, writing straight up "FE12" stories often lands me in this very weird zone where I can't take anything 100% seriously.  I can't discount the darkness and teh drama, but there's always something a little absurd about it all.  See: "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal" and the aforementioned "Wings of Love."

Sigh.

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] sailorvfan10 , this is your fault.  I've been sitting on this chapter since JUNE of last year, but since you mentioned Norne-epics... 

Well.

Anyway, at this point this story's been out there for the better part of two years.  It's not that I don't know where it's going-- the final chapter is already done and I have no intention of changing it.  The problem is the whole uneasy situation regarding "continuity" as far as Archanea games are concerned.  This was begun before FE12 was announced, much less released, and FE12 canon claims that Norne and Athena and Horace and the other gaiden-chapter weirdoes were rubbing shoulders with the old-school members of the Archanean League.  Hell, even Nagi apparently fits into the continuity somehow, which hurts my head to even think about.

Musings and 'fic spoilers )

But, anyway, since I have strong opinions about that odd beast known as the Game Novelization, I feel obliged to lay my cards on the table to explain what I was trying for with my entry into the novelization game.

1) Pick a minor character, a bit player, as viewpoint character.  If I wanted to follow Marth around for the entire story, I'd replay the game.  A supporting character offers a potentially fresh view of the game events.
2) Keep in mind that character's limited perspective and likely activities.  Norne is not hanging out with the whole cast of characters.  She's not with Marth every second, and she doesn't know everything, much less understand everything she does see.  She's not a noble, she's not even a proper knight, and she's Altean to the core.  She sticks with her people.
3) Don't cover every chapter and plot point of the game.  It's OK to skip over some of the bandit encounters, you know?  Also, what's relevant to Norne?  Taking back Altea, dammit.  Not the rest of the crazy stuff.  Conquer Macedon?  Why the hell do we want to do that?
4) Show no mercy.  Characters get maimed and characters die.  Norne will lose friends.
5) This is not the best time for a teenage romance.  Which does not mean that some characters aren't relieving their stress by making out in the bushes.  People are people, and we all have slightly different reactions to extreme situations.  But don't expect a kissy-kissy love fest.

Yeah.  If I think of something else, I'll add another point.  
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Haven't done a legit food post in a while, so here goes:

Fuyu persimmons, the ones that look like orange tomatoes, have been in shops for a while, but I finally scored a pair of large Hachiya persimmons last week.  Those are the ones that must-- MUST-- be ripened to mush before they are edible.  If you've ever eaten an under-ripe banana and got that yucky coating of starch all over your tongue, imagine the feeling multiplied by a factor of 100 and you have some idea of what an under-ripe Hachiya will do to you.  Any more noxious and the things would be poison.  But when ripe and soft, they can be eaten with a spoon (I love persimmons for breakfast) or used in baking, the same way you'd use applesauce or other fruit pulp.  I bake a persimmon dish every autumn/winter, usually the Persimmon Pudding from my battered old Sunset Magazine cookbook.  I do mean "pudding" in the old-fashioned sense; it's baked in a pan in the oven and comes out much like a dark, gooey, walnut-studded gingerbread.  Like gingerbread, it can be served with lemon sauce, but I usually just eat it plain.  It also makes a nice breakfast.  :)

Anyway, one's baking in the oven ATM.  Yum.

-x-

Oh, yeah.  I updated "A Kiss For Luck" over at EFFN.  That's the M-rated Norne story.  Yeah, the one with her and Marth.  No, I don't ship that on a regular basis.  I consider this to be a respectful exploration of the pairing in question.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 OK.  Just posted Chapter One of a three-part giftfic.  It's not here, and it's not at ffnet, and it's not at my DA account.  

Click for explanation. )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 So, I've made scant progress on my [livejournal.com profile] fe_contest  entry (got about 600 words in), as it's been a very active weekend and the writing time I have had was allocated to Norne.

Lucky Horseshoes is basically going to be just a series of sketches-- chronological but not necessarily linked-- about the misadventures of Norne and her circle of comrades during the War of Heroes.  We're not talking grand acts of heroism here... more like the behind-the-scenes dirt and annoyances of army life.  Anyway, consider it an attempt to apply, in 'fic, some of the theoretical issues we've discussed in the journals of various writers 'round here.


Spoilers for the 'fic and its parent games... )


I'm going with my standard Norne characterization here-- a no-nonsense, spunky girl with an solid understanding of where she fits on the social ladder and what the consequences are.  She's not an angel and she's not omniscient... the first installment features her a) telling lies of convenience and b) giving Ryan advice that is sincere but 100% wrong.  She has faith in her "betters" but feels that, in the end, the gods help those who help themselves.  I like "my" Norne, but if anyone has translations of Norne's recruitment scene or My Unit convos from FE12, they would be appreciated.

The overall "feel" of the army is based a lot on 19th-century armed forces, but I feel that FE12 wreaks enough havoc with Ye Olde Medievalism that such is excusable.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 So, I promised myself I'd stick all the FE3-inspired stuff to one side and concentrate on my backlog of FE11 stories.  My Norne-centered account of the War of Darkness is high on the list of shamefully half-finished works, as I'd not updated it since August.  But a recent blast through some books on the American Civil War got me inspired enough to finally finish chapter three, and chapter four is nearly ready to upload as well.  The story is twelve chapters long and I don't plan on going beyond that, so that's a little more respectable in terms of progress.

Norne is a nice change of pace to write, in terms of both vocabulary and in general outlook, and she's a good means of exploring some social issues that the noble characters don't necessarily consider.  Her story also allows me to present a slightly different take on the main cast of characters; Norne's very presence means that one of the canonical stalwarts isn't around, and everyone else shifts to some degree to accommodate this new reality.  All the Unified Kingdom stories assume a more or less "perfect" playthrough of both games, but this one does not.  And, since the removal of some canon characters changes the fates of some of the gang during the War of Heroes, this version of events may go in a slightly AU direction.

Anyway, it's a little bit different from the other stories I've worked on, and I enjoy writing it.

Also, I had a dream last night about the trailer for the actual "Fire Emblem 13," which in this dream was a 3-D console game featuring a return to Magvel.  Only instead of random creature battles, it spawned random Disney-esque musical numbers.  Yuk.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 I had a feeling that reading about Custer and Sitting Bull would unlock something in my brain, but I'd hoped it would be a 'fic involving actual in-depth battle scenes, like "To Freely Serve" (Norne 'Fic) or "Widening Gyre" (Peg Sis 'Fic).  Instead, I ended up flying through the second installment in my planned Caeda Trilogy, "The View From A Glass Kingdom" (Gundam Wing reference totally intentional).


Read the 'fic before you read the notes or it's not as much fun. )
BTW, the new Arcade Fire song sucks.  
mark_asphodel: (Manga Marth)
No, it's not discontinued. I simply have to retool some things. Basically, I decided to fully embrace the possibilities of having a 'fic based around a gaiden character from FEDS. Norne's very existence shoots a hole in FE3 canon-- if we follow the game script, replacing her for Gordin basically dooms both George and Astram in the War of Heroes, which will lead to who-knows-what in the post-war Archanea scene. No George means no Free Knights, which can only be... bad.

So I changed some things in my 'fic timeline. Some major characters die and stay dead. Elements from Book Two of FE3 occur far earlier. Norne and her 'mates take a trip to the magical land of the Altarspire. And the world map at the end of the War of Darkness is going to be a bit different. So, instead of a straightforward FEDS novelization that just happens to star Little Miss Norne, we've gone AU. Which is likely for the better.

Until next time....

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