Author Topic: Project Unity - Chrono Trigger: Episode I Chapters 1 - 4  (Read 1901 times)

Lennis

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Project Unity - Chrono Trigger: Episode I Chapters 1 - 4
« on: December 07, 2010, 03:54:37 am »
This is a reposting of the four chapters I submitted for the Dream Splash back in August.  I should have submitted them to the fan-fiction thread months ago.  For those who have already downloaded the chapters from the Dream Splash thread, these versions are unchanged so don't expect anything new.  For those who haven't seen the chapters, I think you'll be in for a treat.  They are not small, however, so I put them in PDF format for readers to browse at their leisure.  I am always eager for feedback, so don't be shy in letting me know what you think.

FaustWolf

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Re: Project Unity - Chrono Trigger: Episode I Chapters 1 - 4
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2012, 11:57:34 am »
Hey Lennis, I'm starting to read through this -- just scanning all the posted chapters right now and I'll get more in-depth as I sock away the time. It's dastardly of me to comment on your writing as it existed years ago now, but I just wanted to say:

1. I'm really impressed with the world building that went into this project.
2. "Lu" is an awesome nickname for Lucca. Now I wish it were in-game.
3. As for pushing your writing further, I'd focus first on minimizing the passive "was" and "were" in your prose. Not because they're weak per se, it's just that I think colorful things happen when a writer tries to work with that limitation. Two years can be a lifetime for a big project like this, so it'll be really interesting to see how you've evolved in subsequent chapters.

The way you start out by pulling back into Crono's childhood came as an unexpected surprise for me. I wonder how much you must have agonized over how to begin? Did you toss and turn over it, or did the opening present itself immediately? Chrono Trigger lends itself to so many possibilities. I probably would have been tempted to kick off with something mysterious or action-y -- Magus conducting a seance, Crono pulling out a can of whoopass on Gato at the Fair, etc. Beginning anything serenely and world-buildy is just a fear I have as a writer. Which naturally means I should try it again sometime!

Ooh! And before I forget... Videogame adaptations being as interesting as they are, I want to recommend to you Jeff Rovin's treatment of Mortal Kombat. I'm not widely read outside fan fiction when it comes to this sort of thing, but that one got me particularly fired up when I was a kid.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 12:06:28 pm by FaustWolf »

Lennis

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Re: Project Unity - Chrono Trigger: Episode I Chapters 1 - 4
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 03:28:48 am »
The way you start out by pulling back into Crono's childhood came as an unexpected surprise for me. I wonder how much you must have agonized over how to begin? Did you toss and turn over it, or did the opening present itself immediately? Chrono Trigger lends itself to so many possibilities. I probably would have been tempted to kick off with something mysterious or action-y -- Magus conducting a seance, Crono pulling out a can of whoopass on Gato at the Fair, etc. Beginning anything serenely and world-buildy is just a fear I have as a writer. Which naturally means I should try it again sometime!

One thing I learned years ago when I was just starting to learn the creative writing craft was that character was the most important element of any story.  Character is the foundation of great fiction, or at least great fantasy fiction.

When I started this project back in 2009, the story began at the start of Crono and Lucca's Medina adventure that I have often referred to in the narrative.  It took me only two pages to realize that it was a poor way to introduce Chrono Trigger and the characters.  We saw Crono and Lucca, but no real history behind them.  More importantly, Marle plays absolutely no part in the events that transpire before the Millennial Fair, and that is inconsistent with the structure of the main story - which is a three-protagonist affair.  The Medina backstory is important, but it is only a backstory.  The emotional core behind Crono and Lucca's relationship is established years before this adventure, so that is where the story must begin.  To establish the three-protagonist arc, we must see Marle enter the stage at an early point in the narrative.  And, of course, Chrono Trigger is all about time-travel, so we need to see our characters time-travel without undue delay.

The thing I agonized over the most for the beginning was how long it took for the Millennial Fair events to play out before getting into the meat of the story.  But what happens at the Millennial Fair is so central to Crono and Marle's characters that I couldn't skimp on it.  It is one of the few times we see the main characters at ease and living relatively normal lives.  I liken it to the Shire chapters in Lord of the Rings.  Without the peaceful foundation established there, the incredible tension felt after Frodo leaves the Shire just wouldn't have the same impact.  And yet before the Telepod incident in Leene Square, Chrono Trigger reads more like a teen romance - complete with a subtle love triangle that we briefly sense through Lucca's initial reaction to Marle.  This prologue goes on for over 30 pages before Crono lands in the middle-ages for the first time.  This is something I think a professional editor would take issue with, but going into the adventure with underdeveloped characters is also a risk.  Without the gentle bonding we see Crono and Marle establish during the Fair, Crono's quest to find Marle feels trivial and quaint rather than heroic.  We see Crono as a dumb lovestruck kid rather than the hero he's supposed to be.

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3. As for pushing your writing further, I'd focus first on minimizing the passive "was" and "were" in your prose. Not because they're weak per se, it's just that I think colorful things happen when a writer tries to work with that limitation. Two years can be a lifetime for a big project like this, so it'll be really interesting to see how you've evolved in subsequent chapters.

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but maybe that's because I haven't edited the early chapters in awhile.  If you could point out some examples where my prose is suffering, I can better examine why there's a problem and how I can tighten the narrative.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my stuff, Faust.  It gives me more encouragement than you know.