October 30th, 2009

Yuna's Final Aeon

Love Her and Despair -- Writer's Commentary and Meta-Babble

I have done a major edit-sweep of LHAD, to help me get all the canon back in my head before I embark on the big battle sequence.

Most edits were cosmetic. However, in response to reader-questions during the Shuyin-confrontation, I've revamped the Via Purifico chapter to make Lenne's cameo somewhat more clear (while still leaving an intentional ambiguity) as well as, "what happened to Maroda?" Hopefully that part of the story is now easier to follow, without losing the subtlety that cumuluscastle likes in some of my writing.

I'm still waffling over the use of Otherworld lyrics during the Shuyin fight. It was an experiment. I'm curious how many readers liked vs. were distracted by it.

I renamed the "Unraveling" chapter (viewing Yuna's sphere) to "Love Her and Despair". So many other plot-threads have developed that the meaning of the story's original title has been obscured. In that chapter, when Auron faces love and despair while viewing Yuna's sphere, the deepest kernel of the story pops out.

I love reader feedback -- it's amazing how much y'all have helped me refine and solve plot issues, even though the basic story and chapter outline have remained almost unchanged since chapter 14! mandyiam gets the prize for killing off a character I hadn't planned on killing: addition by subtraction. owlmoose, muggy_mountain and trekqueen are the Backstory Consultants. cumuluscastle is critic extraordinaire and post-production beta reader, since I'm too danged stubborn to have one.

I am still struggling to reconcile two sets of reader tastes: those who like subtlety versus those who want things spelled out more explicitly; and the readers who prefer 1200-1400 word chapters versus those who prefer 2000-4000. I keep waffling!

So, anyway. With apologies for the self-plug, let me wave the "Readers! Come and get it!" flag for a few of you who were clever enough to hold off until I'd polished the last few chapters.

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