The Editing of Northern Lights – Chapter 8 Should Bring Happiness

These are the Editing Notes 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 Psychology of Chapter 8          The Box Contains More Chapter 8–>

10/19/14
Still no picture 😦  I might have to poll the audience aka take to social media.  Before that though and before we continue the edit, I have to mention one of my many revelations.  I was in the midst of my exercise class when this happened, and I just stared dumbly forward while going through the motions.  Revelations while doing that or jogging are quite common.  As I mentioned before what happens to Aeris’s ribbon was an endorphin fueled miracle while running on Betzwood Trail, and it was both sad and amazing.  This latest one is a meta-reference (of course).

One of the major themes in FFVII is truth vs. lies/knowledge vs. ignorance. In the Qabalah the Tree of Life is about following the path to esoteric and arcane knowledge (seven for a secret that’s never been told…). In the narrative of the game Sephiroth never has the knowledge of who is true mother is and this is a contributing factor to his insanity and subsequent fall. He lacks this esoteric knowledge, which I’m calling such because only a few people know it, and his name is a reference to the Tree of Life and the path that leads to knowledge/enlightenment. So the OS has managed to make not only a profound meta-reference, but also an ironic one as well. #mindblown Goddamn…I wish there were someone I could tell who’d be as excited about this as I am about this.  Whenever something like this happens, I run through my list of people I can text or message, but I know no one who is both a religious symbolism/allegory AND FFVII nerd.  If they’re one, they’ve generally never heard of or thought as much about the other.  It makes me feel very lonely.  I hope some of you more insane and studious fanboys and fangirls will be.

But I should be joyous; I’m currently at one of my favorite parts of this story.  I’ve previously admitted that romance and fight scenes are my favorite to do (“fucking and fighting;” I’ve mentioned that before), and this is a LOT of the former (not the parentheses one.  Be patient!) so without further ado…

“…what…is it?”  The cadence of this question comes from an episode of Aeon Flux, which again I’ve mentioned before.  God…you guys must be so bored with me.  I keep repeating the same shit.  It’s the same episode that I brought up before, too “A Last Time for Everything,” which you can totally watch if you click the link.  If you’ve never seen Aeon Flux before, be prepared for…oddness.  It does not lend itself to simplicity or easy issues/interpretation.  I first started watching it in high school, and I believe it was integral in my desire to dissect the abstract.  I’m going to go into more depth with this since the reference actually refers to something in the narrative and not just the title.  And in an even more meta-reference to align with the one I spoke of above, Aeon’s name of course refers to the Gnostic Aeon or emanation of God.  Aeons are the Gnostic equivalent of the Sephiroth (dare I mention both characters run around in what’s essentially leather bondage gear and have gravity defying hair.  Just saying it…).  Wheels within wheels.

AF is fairly convoluted, and in this chapter the titular heroine allows Trevor Goodchild, her nemesis and sometime lover (it’s kind of like an opposite gender Foe Yay yaoi)

Yep this right here Yep this right here

to clone her.  She then meets the clone

aeon-and-her-clone
Clone yay? Arguably so is the picture of Seph and Cloud above. Technically not. That was just a poor translation.

and switches places with her so that Aeon becomes the lover and the clone takes up the mantle of nemesis with the idea that Aeon will make Trevor fall in love with her so that she can dash his heart on her one made of stone.  Of course love is a double edged sword and Aeon falls just as hard much to her clone’s annoyance.  At their final meeting, the clone (who now looks more like Aeon than Aeon) gives her a scrutinizing glare, which causes Aeon to ask, “What…is it?” in a way where the “What” is almost accusatory, but the “is it” is very meek, as though all of her bluster and bravado are deflated in just those three words (it’s around 18:30 in the linked video).  Cloned Aeon’s answer is, “The stars in your eyes, they’re stolen,” which is a fantastic line.  I always saw it in two ways.  Either the stars she now has in her eyes are stolen therefore not her own aka Trevor’s or from Trevor, which is completely anathema to their plan.  Or the stars that she had in her eyes are gone.  This is far sadder.  Better to have stolen stars in your eyes than no stars at all, wouldn’t you say, dear readers?  Or do you think it’s better to have none if you can’t have your own and eschew borrowed stars.

“Borrowed Stars” would be a great name for a story.  I’ve written a fanfic of similar title called Borrowed Lives.  I can’t believe I never mentioned that before…or maybe I did and I just forgot.

(Remember this is me in the past.  Gah, how confusing…)

It’s an FFVII Aeris/Sephiroth pairing one (of course) taking place in the Sleeping Forest when Aeris is on her way to the Forgotten City.  I do know I’ve mentioned stars in the eyes with respect to angels though and have stated that fallen ones don’t have them.  Seph is still not expecting the answer he does receive for his query.

“Your beauty…it’s…indescribable.” Aeris is speaking of his beauty as an absolute; something that just is without the need of belief or validation.  Beauty is one of the Holy Sephiroth, too, Tiphereth, which is where Tifa’s name comes from, and her song just finished on my iPhone.

If you didn’t click the link I just have to mention that Tiphereth is associated with spirituality, balance, integrity, beauty, miracles, and compassion.  They did their research.  Tifa is the one grounding factor in Cloud’s life.  She’s the girl next door, the one he can always come home to, the one on whom he can always depend.  She can also take care of herself to kind of counterbalance the fact that she’s a passive source of reliance.

“He looked like a ghost that was haunted by rue bleeding light from his Mako green eyes.  He’d never combine that and think, *Here is beauty,* and memory poisoned the vanity he’d had…”  Sephiroth knows what he looks like and no longer has any delusions about himself.  In a way this extreme opposite is a far guiltier deception, because he’s missing what’s actually there and what Aeris can see with her lack of guile, which is exactly why…

“…she stole the cruel words from his lips with her own.”  Ahhh the first kiss.  So important!  I hope I didn’t fuck it up.

“Utter shock shivered beneath his skin as he kept his slivered eyes closed.  The world was turned and this gift he’d been given belonged to some righteous other, but it was his for now and it would be neither wasted nor untasted.”  “Wasted nor untasted” was entirely inspired by Les Misérables’ “I Dreamed a Dream.”

Holy shit.  How perfect is it that the video link is showing the exact line I’m talking about.  A bit of serendipity.

The line “No song unsung no wine untasted…”  Sephiroth doesn’t believe he deserves this in the least, but he’s wanted it oh so much, and even if he’d be cursed forever, he’s not going to miss a moment of this opportunity.  I thought a lot about that first kiss scene and knew that Aeris would have to be the one to initiate it.  I figured him waking with her on his lap would be a good preamble.  There’s a lot of interesting deconstruction in Northern Lights of ideas I presented in my novel.  Probably because I’m writing this now and I finished The Serpent’s Tale four years ago.  Holy shit…I had to look that up.  I started that almost seven years ago and finished it in January of 2010.  Wow…now I’m even more depressed 😦  *sigh* I had to take a break and watch some American Dad because I needed a moment of levity.  It’s very depressing to realize you wrote something nearly five years ago and nothing has come of it.  I still feel pretty crappy, but I need to finish up this entry, so I thank you for bearing with me if you’re still here.  The point I was going for was virginity, which plays a huge role in the novel, whereas in NL not so much.  Aeris is pure, but purity has nothing to do with virginity.

“Tilting back her head he claimed her soft mouth, which was cool and sweet as her lilies.”  He’s warmer than her so her mouth would be relatively cooler.

“He tasted like the steam above vanilla tea with heat enough for a dragon’s belly.”  Vanilla again.  Vanilla is a good smell/taste for angels, wouldn’t you say?

“’You deserve to touch me, Sephiroth, because I say you do.’”  And that’s the long and short of it.  This bleeds into real life and should be a universal.  “’If I didn’t want you to, well…I couldn’t stop you, but you be can certain that I’d fight.’”  This is where Aeris is wrong.  She could stop him with less than a word, which we’ll continually see.

“Aeris’s head was slightly tilted as she leaned against his chest.  ’I don’t know how they did it…’
’How they did what?’
’How they made your eyes so green…it’s like an emerald sea without stars.’” 

Omg green eyes… they’re my favorite.

This isn't real life (it's photoshop).
This isn’t real life (it’s photoshop).

This is the start of an interesting conversation about how all of his attributes are just the product of genetic manipulation “genes and cells” as he’s mentioned before, which we can tell from Aeris finishing his sentence about it (and being quite amused).  The concept is repeated again a little later when she brings up how tall he is.  It’s a oddly cute way to discuss a concept that’s literally plagued him from the beginning.  The alien cells he carries were the cause of his downfall.

“’So you’d compare me to your past lovers?’  This part is actually really cute.  ‘I’ really wouldn’t call them ‘lovers,’ but you know I dated Zack…’
The past shrieked to destroy this moment so he held his gaze to her face, while Aeris turned to yesterday without any fear so that she could follow her musings.

’Ah that poor boy…he was so awkward and adorable just like-‘
‘A puppy.’”  They both said it and the laughter was shared as he leaned his head down to hers.”  Hahaha, omg, poor Zack, well they do share that past.

“’None of the others had eyes like that.’
‘None of the others were monsters.’”  But THAT past always waits.

“Staring into endless green was like falling through doorways of light.”  I changed the title of the last chapter to “Final Judgment” at one point but at seeing this line here, I changed it back to “Doorways of Light.”  The last chapter isn’t about judgment; it’s not about judgment at all.

And with that I leave you until the next editing installment.

<–The Psychology of Chapter 8          The Box Contains More Chapter 8–>

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