Monday, March 03, 2014

Knitted more than wrote this weekend :(

Thanks to though, easy to find some references in original episodes.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Meanings of Episode 26 "Eternal Love"

The interesting thing about episode 26 is its English title "Eternal Love" in the original Japanese title is actually "Eien no omoi" (永遠の想い).

 想い "omoi" has many many meanings, some of which are:
the heart

While I agree with the English translation for the episode title, I always thought of the actual meaning as "eternal longing," and that's what I'm trying to put into DS.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Skipping Ahead

Frustrated by my crappy dialogue efforts in chapter 6, today I skipped ahead a few chapters to write a different scene. The writing went well and I completed 500 words, but as I wrote more and more I realize that the scene was highly dependent on Van and Hitomi's relationship and how it developed during the intervening chapters. I mean, I wrote it based on their relationship as I think how it should have progressed to by that point, but as to whether or not they decided to get there or to another direction entirely is dependent on their interactions with each other up to that point, and by chapter 6 they haven't yet made those decisions or even knew these things are coming!

Earlier when I was considering if I should skip ahead, I did think about this possibility. But I was--and am still--unsure if this is A Bad Thing because I am making tons of assumptions about the characters, and the round peg characters will be totally incompatible with the square hole scene. Or if this is A Good Thing since I'll have an idea that the characters should become square pegs and in the intervening chapters they need to do x and y to get there.

What I do know is that I need to keep writing. Not to allow myself an excuse to shrink away from difficult writing situations, but I think at least at this point in writing DS, I should commit any possible scenes and ideas down on paper so they are all there, and then when I have more content I will be able to convert and rewrite to make an actual story.

Well, that's the plan so far, anyway.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Day's Work

Wrote a bit of chapter 6 within SimpleNote this afternoon, it's really great to have the text handy all the time via browser or my phone. I'm struggling on the dialogue, though; it just seems so lackluster. Will give it another night and see if I have better ideas tomorrow.

Today's favorite sentence is totally spoiler, so here is my second favorite passage:
She was lying in the middle of a large grassy field, shielding her eyes against the afternoon sunlight to look at the passing clouds. The grasses undulated in the breeze like jaunty cat tails. There was a clump of trees at the very edge of the field just out of her sight, and a little brook.
 One handwritten notebook reconciled into Scrivener.

On. A. Roll.

With a glass of Negroni by my side the evening pile of work seemed to go fast. I am two-thirds through chapter 6 first draft, found my missing Esca drawings on a harddrive, updated my profile (last updated in 2008!), uploaded a "bookcover" image for DS (this is a great new feature), signed up for beta-reading on ff, updated my character sheets and notes in Scrivner (still have 6 more handwritten notebooks to convert), and synced Scrivner with SimpleNote.

Speaking of SimpleNote, I haven't used it in a while and I logged into this note:

2012: Be Awesome!
1. menigioma protocol
2. triathlon
3. gym 4x/wk
4. finish Deeper than the Sky
5. plan events
6. homecooked meals gourmet style
7. 115lbs

I did not accomplish a single thing on that list.
It doesn't mean that 2014 won't be awesome though.

I read through the first 5 chapters of DS that were released, and damn, was the writing terrible. I had to skim through some passages, I didn't really want to read them. Ah well, the only way to get better at writing is to write.

The storyline and ideas are fine, though, and I found a few interesting details I had forgotten that I put into my notes so I'd remember those little bits later. I didn't realize I had so much backstory about Escaflowne and the start of Fanelia, and I'm sure there are tons and tons of backstories in those handwritten notebooks. I think I even sketched some maps and clothing styles.

I really want to finish ch6 and also a much later chapter that I finally solved the puzzle of presenting the story, but sadly, it is way past bedtime and I should really head to bed.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hitomi's character

Okay okay, I know I said just a few hours ago I would commit to writing and here I am, back on the blog. It is addicting to just post whatever I want. I did write for 3 hours...on 2 pages.

On my walk home I was thinking about Hitomi's character. So far in DS I've written her as if I'm Hitomi--a bit arrogant to put myself into the story to fulfill my fantasy of Van--but really she is:
- straightforward with her emotions
- impulsive, immediately thinks of what to do (eg pushing Van on the bridge)
- cheerful
- brave, and also doesn't really see potential risks (eg jumping across the cargo hold)
- generous, forgives easily
- takes everything literally, and says what's on her mind--I don't think she's ever made a joke in Esca
- charismatic--she's not a leader but everyone is attracted to her for her qualities, they can't tell her no
- nosy, but genuinely want the best for people (eg Naria)
- persistent, particularly with Van when she thinks she is right
- kind hearted
- loyal
- more timid to contradict older, authoritative men (eg insisting that Allen let her dowse for Van, her relationship with Folken)
- attracted to a "type" of men like Allen and Amano
- packs a lot into her bag, so she is particular of her personal items
- willing to sacrifice for the greater good, especially for her friends

Now that she is 25, she is still impetuous and butting in if she feels like it's her duty as a friend. Her current character in DS is much more reserved, I need to put her emotions and her straightforward talk back into it. Van's character is a bit reserved too but I think I don't quite have a grasp on Hitomi's character and that's why my writing process suffers.

A poem

A poem I wrote last year when I lay awake in bed with nothing to do:

My heart passed me by
On a train to neverwhere;
Sitting at the window
Looking faraway
Dreaming of adventures.
The train passed me
With a flattened whistle
Before I could wave.

Working on Chapter 6

After putzing around on the storyline, I finally have some real content that I want to write. I am pretty excited since this fanfic is never far from my mind all these years--mostly feeling guilty about not finishing the story.

In the intervening years though, I've entered my 30s, and I hope that I will still be able to write from the perspective of 25 year old Hitomi and Van.

Some house cleaning stuff:
- will need to update this website, not sure if I still have the main graphic anymore
- re-read the first 5 chapters
- clean up my notes from these years
- read the Compendium again for facts, although I don't think I'll need to re-watch the series since 1) it will take time, 2) I'll be too tempted to do a bunch of other things that are not writing, 3) I probably still have so much of it committed to memory since I am a ridiculous fanatic.

I've started on chapter 6 though it will take another few hours of work to finish the first draft. I think this time I'll attempt to write the story and then do the editing separately, to try to preserve the inertia of committing the story down to paper. Let's see how it goes!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


When Van gets captured at the start of ep5 and Allen tells Merle and Hitomi they shouldn't worry about Van's life, at least, he says, "They say that only the King of Fanelia can operate Escaflowne."

1. There are widespread knowledge and rumors of Escaflowne as a legendary guymelef surpassing normal guymelefs, and that it belongs to the Fanelia royal house, passed from king to king.
2. It seems almost logical to Allen that Zaibach has waged war on Fanelia to capture such a commodity.
3. There must be a bond between the royal blood of Fanelia and Escaflowne beyond merely possessing the guymelef. In the fight with Allen and Dilandu, Van seems to take personal hits from actions on Esca--this is even before strengthening his blood pact.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ep 2 thoughts

I'm in the process of re-watching the episodes (for the 10th time, probably?!) and making dialogue notes since I haven't watched actual content since 2008. I think each time I watch Escaflowne, I am that much closer to my Escaflowne dissertation... So let's start off our multivariate analysis with our favorite character (certainly mine), shall we?

In ep2 when Van first meets Allen, I love those few quick scenes:

- First instance of Van saying Hitomi's name
- Van meets Allen carrying Hitomi and challenges him
- He is defeated in a single stroke, pukes, and falls unconscious

In the series, Hitomi and Van constantly refer to each other as "aitsu", or "that guy/that girl". Hitomi does it in her episode intros, and they refer each other that way talking to other characters. It's a pretty rude and informal way to refer to people, and I think it's so reflective and funny of what they first thought about each other. So when Van first said "Hitomi" was when she screamed bloody murder when they were separated--I think it reflects his personality, as he's particularly vulnerable to emotions whenever he has to rescue her. When there is a chance of loss, he turns very protective and sensitive, probably as a result of him losing his family so young. I think his most endearing qualities appear out of his kingly shroud at these moments.

As to Van's first meeting with Allen, his fateful best companion and competing lover: Van was about to draw his sword, when Allen cautions him that he shouldn't draw lightly as he would surely lose his life. And of course Van drew his sword. Standard anime/movie logic.

But I thought about this scene for a while, my dissertation spider senses tingling. Did Van know who Allen is? Did Van draw his sword because he was protecting Hitomi? But as he drew his sword he kind of smirked a little....

Allen was dressed in the Knight Caeli uniform. Although Van was very young when Aston and his daughters visited Fanelia, as a curious boy he certainly would have remembered the knights who accompanied the King of Asturia. (Later in ep2 when Van interacts with the Mole Man, we can see that Van's memory recall is freaking amazing, as he remembers Folken's discussion of glar leaves before he was 5 years old.) Allen's outpost was the closest neighbor to Fanelian borders, and with Dilandu's comment on Allen's widespread reputation and Allen's non-military-standard striking looks, I think there's a pretty good chance Van has heard about the commander of Fort Castelo.

So if Van knew about Allen's position as a knight of Asturia, he certainly could have been diplomatic in stating that Hitomi was under his protection and that would have been that. Allen would give Hitomi back to him, maybe offer the services and supplies of Castelo for their refreshment. But no, this is Van, who's been crown prince of his kingdom that his father and his brother left for him for 10 years. He had slain the dragon for the Dragonslaying Rite for accession just yesterday, that had taken years of training to prepare and the actual lonely event had required a surprising trip on the Mystic Moon. He just received his monarchy title this morning, and then invisible giants destroyed his kingdom and his people. But he couldn't even see the enemy before everything ended. He wanted to avenge Balgus, who had prevented him from defending the kingdom he was just sworn to protect. He wanted to exact justice for the others slain.

And here is Allen, taking an unconscious Hitomi away, expressly forbidding him to draw the sword of the King of Fanelia. I think that's just too much invitation.