Now that I’ve finally completed Tales of the Surly Knight, and filed it away for good, I need to distance myself a bit from writing fanfic…at least for a while. If I don’t, whatever comes out of my ‘pen’ will sound too similar to the story I’ve just finished writing, and I definitely don’t want that to happen.
For example, the Seifer and Quistis I portray in Surly Knight share an unbroken history together. They grew up into antagonists for reasons I hope I explained in the story, but that’s easily resolved within the context of the rather simplistic storyline I chose to follow… Ah! The beauty of Alternate Universe! After all, Surly Knight is just another boy meets girl sort of story :-)!
However, the Seifer and Quistis in Advent of the Necromancer, are much more complex characters, separated by a whole series of issues I bring forth in the story itself. The challenge here, I think, is to be as consequent to the original storyline (presented in the game) as possible, but at the same time to take these characters beyond their original rôles. They were teens in the game. They are adults in this narrative who carry a certain amount of baggage.
The Quistis in Necromancer, carries inside her a lot of existential weight that she must come to grips with, as does Seifer. As we all do. In Quistis case, and because I can relate completely with it, her memory loss. It might seem trivial to some people, but amnesia (forced amnesia in Quistis’s case) is a terrible condition. Is like losing part of who you are, losing part of your identity… I explore this brieftly in the chapter titled Written in Blood, which is part of Quistis’s Journal.
For Seifer, the load he carries is the need to face and take responsability for past actions. The “he was possessed so it’s not his fault” theory is irrelevant to the way I conceive Seifer. I do not wish to make him into some sort of incredible super “hero” who will suddenly save the world… I find it more interesting to explore how someone like him, whom I perceive to be very charismatic (confident, assertive, certainly dominating and very focused in what he wants) allowed himself to be manipulated, and how he handles the aftermath. In fact, his past experience (whether wanted or imposed) as Sorceress Knight will condition Seifer’s worldview in this story. I’ve delved quite a bit into that in Megalopolis.
Hence the naming of Book II as Open Cities – Hidden Cities. It makes reference indeed to the physical ones: Esthar, Balamb, Dollet, Timber, Deling, but it alludes to the space we carry inside as well, which is as complex and as difficult as anything any city can ever be…