The Editing of Northern Lights – Chapter 5 Frustrations

Note: This is the Editing Blog for my FFVII fanfiction Northern Lights (which you can find at the end of that link).  I will be discussing a myriad of topics along with my frequently tangential and harried editing process.  You should be able to garner some enjoyment and insight from this without having read the story and/or without prior knowledge of the original game, but if you’re a fan of paranormal romance and/or dark fantasy, you may find it to your liking.  The story will be spoiled in this editing examination, though I will do my best to mark spoilers for any other narratives I mention.  Thanks for your interest and enjoy!

<–The Nature of Lying and the True End to Chapter 4’s Reedit     Good Gothic Poetry, Chapter 5 Successes, and Ominous Latin Chanting–>

9/25/14
Chapter 5 – Imminent Darkness
Quote: “But we carry on our back full burden time always reveals in the lonely light of morning in the wound that would not heal…” -Sarah McLachlan “Fallen”
“You cannot change what’s over, but only where you go.” -Enya “Pilgrim”
Picture: No
Picture Source: N/A
Picture Satisfaction: N/A

There’s a certain freedom found in knowing exactly what someone is.  This hearkens back to my prior post about truth vs. lies.  If you know and accept the truth, then you also know all that that truth entails.  While it may not be pretty nor be what you want, you at least have a foundation, and from there you can figure out what to do in order to reach fulfillment.

Now that I’ve drowned you in platitudes, welcome back dear readers of my editing blog.  If I’m being generous with my estimates, there’s probably around ten of you here.  I have no idea as I’m writing this prior to even putting the story up, since, well what’s an editing blog if you’re not going to write it while editing?  There may in truth be none of you, and I’m just speaking to the cold, quiet aether, hoping (and terrified) that one day it will answer back.

We have reached Chapter 5 and for this I have NOTHING.  No pic, no quote, no money have I not, and wow…I haven’t quoted Married…with Children in a really long time.  I cannot believe that show first aired when I was seven.  Heh, no wonder my mom never wanted me to watch it.

So Imminent Darkness.  This chapter, though one of the shortest ones in the story at only six pages,  is still one of the most important.  We meet a Follower of Seph who imparts the knowledge of where Lucrecia does lie, and can I just say that even though I am a grammar nut and prolific word smith, I still falter when it comes to “lay vs. lie.”  Thank goodness for smart websites.  Chapter 5 is crucial for Sephiroth as it gives him some direction…after he finishes his first task/obligation towards Aeris.  Seriously, his life is just made up of obligations.  I know I’ve already mentioned this, but when all you’re living for is others (and one is “dead” and one has been dead) when do you ever have time for yourself?  Not that Seph thinks that he deserves any time or much else at all, but for now let’s break down what happens in this part so I can start thinking of what I want for the picture and the quote.  Only six pages.  Short and powerful, kind of like Aeris 🙂

They meet Phaedra Levanah.  (I’ll get into the significance of her name when I get to that part.  Not in this post.  Sorry.)  PL (!!!!!  Did NOT do that on purpose and just noticed that her initials are the same abbreviation I’m using for Paradise Lost.  I have made arguments that you can use a subtext and not be aware of it, but I purposely picked her last name for another meta reason, so I don’t know, guys.  I’m over analytical, and don’t really want to call anything on this one) names him “imminent darkness, black winged death” bringing the fallen back to the past he’s trying to escape.

PL eventually tells them that Lucrecia is beneath the northern lights, which is different from where she was in the game.  Her cave is a bit more south, but I do make mention of that and possible reasons why she’s no longer there.  This is the truth from Phaedra, but not quite the full truth.  I thought maybe a truth quote could go here.  For a picture I was considering a girl who looks like Phaedra, but I’m leaning away from that now since the chapter isn’t really about her; it’s about Seph.  This really is Sephiroth’s first real chapter.  Shadows of the Past belonged to him and Aeris, because their pasts are intertwined, but Imminent Darkness is all about him.  The title itself refers to the former general in how this fangirl sees him, and Phaedra couldn’t care less about Aeris.  Maybe I want a deceptive quote about truth?  Alright get ready for some spoilerific babble…I went off into lots of stream of consciousness thinking here, because I had to make sure that things made sense.  If you haven’t finished reading Northern Lights and if you do not want to be spoiled for the climax/end TURN BACK NOW.  I’ll probably put up some warnings and whatnot when I finally post this telling people not to delve in if they haven’t read the story, but I’m nice enough to put in reminders, too.

Okay, so (again STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED NL AND YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED I’ll put in some spaces in between this and my next words, and I’ll even put the link to the Preamble/Prelude right here).

 

 

 

This sign is your final warning

 

 

 

Phaedra is the Big Bad (sort of) of the story.  Kind of in the same way Sephiroth was the Big Bad of the original story as in not really; he was actually a pawn and Jenova is the Bigger Bad, kind of like Big Jaws, (but if Big Jaws were controlling Jaws)

Big Jaws
Big Jaws

and kind of like how the Night’s King is more than likely (…maybe) the Bigger Bad of ASOIAF.  Oh!  Speaking of that I just watched the Who Killed Joffrey? video by the Ice and Fire Gurus.

Yeah…let me just say this is far more cohesive, comprehensive, and compelling than that Who Killed Aerith video that I (hope I) thoroughly debunked.

(Future Narcissist again.  I’m a little less grumpy about the Cloud killing Aeris idea though I still don’t completely buy into is.  I feel that unless Squeenix was really laying on the dramatic irony, Sephiroth would’ve thrown that in Cloud’s face in Advent, but maybe because I have a huge drowning motif in NL [much more on that in Chapter 8], I’m more open to the belief.  I still think James and LaDonna have much more support for their theory than the Game Theorists have for their Aerith [I suppose I should call her since they do *grumble*] theory.)

The conclusion James and LaDonna come to with WKJ actually makes sense, because their evidence and support are sound.  GRRM is a very “read between the lines” and see within the seeming type of author, and (again going back to truth vs. lies) there are slew of things we’re being told instead of shown, but GRRM is using this paradigm in the best way I’ve ever seen.  He’s using other characters/narratives to show us what he wants us to think is happening.  He makes us cast our attention elsewhere while something else far more important and profound is going on behind the show.  I won’t spoil whom the Gurus think is the murderer, but don’t just write them off when they first mention it.  Finish the video, let them present their explanation and you’ll see it does make sense.

Um, where was I?  I was going to go into my stream of consciousness talk about stuff.  Oh yeah with Phaedra!  So I was pondering all of this during the edit, because I want to make sure things make sense.  How would Phae know where Lucrecia was?  The truth about her being Seph’s mom is fine.  There were people who knew that, but how would she know where she was?  Well since Phae has been “infected” by Jenova’s cells insofar as having the abomination take her over, and cells call to cells (because Lu is also infected), that could be a possibility.

(FN – Hm, as I’m reading this now I’m wondering if Phae knew because of the infection then why didn’t Seph know?  I was thinking it’s because the cells are no longer controlling him.  I initially thought that they were dormant, but they’re not since he has and always will have his beauty, strength, regeneration, etc., but because they’re no longer in control, he doesn’t know where other carriers are.  Ugh, this is really creepy to be writing this late before bed D:)

Another question was why didn’t she know Seph when she first saw him?  This answer is a bit trickier.  It’s possible that because Phae is only human (even though Jen is in her head), but Seph is human plus so he’s better at hiding/manipulation.  OR Phae did recognize him because of Jen, but the Phae part wasn’t aware because she’s only human, but the Jen part did, but wasn’t strong enough to do anything about it yet.  Once Jen takes Phae over completely, she can see him, but then again at that point he’s not hiding.

Hm, there’s a quote from Enya’s “Pilgrim,” “You cannot change what’s over, but only where you go.”  That’s a possibility.  Sephiroth is torn and tortured by the past: how he wronged Aeris by killing her, how he wronged his mother by…kind of killing her in a way, too.  In FFIX, Freya’s quote (and Freya’s last name is Crescent!) is “To be forgotten is worse than death.”  Lucrecia’s fate really is worse than death, because she tried to take that way out; she tried to end it, but was unable to do so.  Now all she can do is accept the pain of the son who never knew her and who was fated to do terrible things, but you can’t change that…all you can do is rally the future and try to rectify the wrongs of the past.  Sephiroth can change what he does with his new knowledge.  I don’t know…I’m still thinking of a deception quote or something that seems genuine with a double meaning.  Phaedra is the opposite of Aeris in that respect amongst many.  The fangirl is all shadows and secrets.  She mumbles cryptic and glances wryly, while the Cetra is both open and light.

Sarah McLachlan’s “Fallen” is another possibility.  “We believed that we could change ourselves.  The past could be undone.  But we carry on our back full burden time always reveals in the lonely light of morning in the wound that would not heal…”  This hearkens back to Aeris especially with the mention of the “wound,” but also speaks of his own metaphorical ones which are arguably far deeper.  The “wound” can also refer to the Northern Crater.  Go north…I like Sarah’s better, but we’ll see.

Grrrr I hate not finding a picture.  Nothing really pops out.  Imminent darkness so he’s got to have one wing, but he needs to look forlorn as though yes, he knows he’s imminent darkness, black winged death, but he’s tortured by it.

Alright, I give up on the picture…there’s really only one prospect and I’m lukewarm on it.

I will never be a memory...
I will never be a memory…

No wing but he does look forlorn.  I even commissioned the help of a dear friend for this, but alas, it was to no avail.  He did find some nice pictures of Seph (and Seph and Aeris), but no forlorn fallen angel pictures.

So two potential quotes and no really acceptable picture.  Great.  Oh almost forgot, this chapter is where we first hear the “kingdom and foundation” line, which is the main quote of the story and a gigantic meta reference.  Will go into detail with that when I get there.  I feel like this part has been a big introduction to what I’m going to say in the chapter.  I’ll admit guys, I’m kind of frustrated I can’t find a picture.  This is the first chapter this has happened.  Prior I found something before I even started my edit.  It’s alright.  Everything will fall into place.

“It was clean, far too clean to dwell below in the slums.  They must’ve decided at the very last minute that it wasn’t worthy of being above, but the sector remembered and kept some of its pride to shine white light near bright as day.”  Sector 2 is like slums light.

“’Molten metal somehow more frozen than the wastes beyond the far north.’”  More foreshadowing.

“’I just hate what it does to the Planet.  I hate this city.  I hate the corruption…and now it doesn’t even have a face.  They’re all dead.  All the ones who caused it, and I hate that there’s nothing to fight.’”  Evil without a face is the greatest evil of all.  A hundred years in the future those who started the foul turning wheel have been long in their graves.  It’s like the generations before us who started the Industrial Revolution.  They had no idea what disastrous effects it would have, so we can’t really blame them.  They were just doing what they thought was best for the economy and livelihood.  It’s up to us to pick up the torch and extinguish it before it burns the entire world to ash.

Alright enough for now.  This chapter took me three days to first edit.  Like I said small but mighty.  Thank you dear readers to biding with me and my often loopy lines.  Until next time!

<–The Nature of Lying and the True End to Chapter 4’s Reedit     Good Gothic Poetry, Chapter 5 Successes, and Ominous Latin Chanting–>

 

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