A Winding Path Author's Notes

By Nico Turner

(note: please don't read this before reading the story :P. However it is highly recommended that you read the story again after reading this <g>)

Further questions or comments? Send feedback!

For the very bored, check out my Original Outline! I didn't change it from it's original form as I wrote the story, only added notes to it (surrounded by *** or **). You can see how the story may originally have been.


In the Beginning

time | character names | character behavior | Crono's Mom | Crono and Marle | "Mar" | Marle's eyes | Royalty | More on Marle | Technology | Terminology | the "Amazons" | the Pendant | the Title | Errors

auggghh! I can't believe how complicated this story got! And considering how I tend to go *close word processor/turn off puter* <think> "hey wait... The cat was staring out the window hopefully.. Why don't I name it HOPE!!" *turn on puter/open word processor*.. It's amazing this turned out as well as it did <g>. If you don't believe me then go read it again with what you know now and see all the foreshadowing and "hints" that Marle drops while talking (not to mention all the questions Crono asks that she deviously evades :P). Half of it you pass over because you have no idea it's important. And since Authors tend to have this strange idea that everyone will think exactly like they do and know exactly what they were trying to say... (and they never do :P)... here is where I'll try to explain some of the stuff in there. <flail> (I did say TRY)

do note that NONE of this story was INTENTIONALLY based on anything. When I get really nit-picky and start reading over it again I can see things like "gah she's just like Ayla!" or "That sounds like the movie 'DragonHeart'".. But I didn't mean to!!! Honest!!! (um.. Except for the "you can only marry a prince" law. I kinda borrowed that from "Aladdin". See "Royalty" below <g>)

Do ALSO note that if you happen to have a character that happens to be exactly like a character in my story.. I did NOT steal it from you :P. It's a freaky coincidence. I hardly read any FanFiction before I wrote this story out and seeing as I have now read about... 2 and a half <g>... I highly doubt it. Everything came from my twisted imagination mwahahahaha. If you DO happen to have a character that happens to be exactly like mine for some freaky coincidental reason, I will be happy to add a disclaimer here that the two are unrelated (unless you stole it from me... in which case you must die. Death by copyright!)

There is also lots of 'history' in the story that I didn't get to make use of... however I left it wide wide wide like gaping wide open for a sequel hehe. However before I even attempt to write that I need a plot :P.

In the beginning: How did I write this story? Well... I played CT until the cartridge started to smoke and the images were permanently burned onto my TV screen... and totally fell in love with the characters. Then in my typical way... I went "hey.. It's over! I want more!" and spend the next 4 years writing out what would happen to them next in my head <g>. I do this for everything. Games, books, movies... Only about 2% of them ever make it to paper though. And until this.. 0% of them made it to the public eye <flail> (but I'm really proud of this one so I posted it <g>)

It was insane. I'm lying there at 4 AM... unable to sleep... (I had just gotten over a bout with the flu and the decongestants (or rather.. The lack of a decongestant :P) threw my sleeping schedule) and I think "hey. I think I'll write my CT story!" By 6 AM I had 4 pages full of printing written out. The next day I typed it onto my word processor and kept going. Had 10 pages (word processor pages... which are larger than normal pages) by the end of the day, and 20 the next day. 4 days later I had 60 and they had just met Jaina <g>. The story ended up being 137 Wordperfect pages long and over 180 pages long in HTM format.

And I loved (almost) every word! Usually my stories sound so good to me in my head and then I try and write them out and I go "ugh that is SO stupid!" and I toss it into the trash bin, never to think of it again. But there were lots of scenes I was really proud of in this one. At times I would read over it and go "I wrote that?" (Yeah I know that sounds conceited. Live with it :P). I guess my muse came for a visit <g>.

In fact, I got so into this story that I almost started crying when Crono's mom died. <flail>. I ALMOST deleted that part and had her just really hurt for the rest of the story... But I didn't. (Pretend I did if you're mad that I killed her <duck> *I* was mad that I killed her so I don't blame you if you are <g>)

I just hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it <g>


time: I tried to make the time match up perfectly but it was very difficult. Over here you have Marle and Crono etc who aren't getting any younger... (hey I want them to get married sometime before they're 40 :P. They're over 30 as it is here. Do the math. Lets say they were 15 when CT happened (and I think that's reaching a bit. Some people say they are all 18)... allow for two years buffer time between then and now.. 17.. 10 years for while Crono is in Choras.. 27.. And then about 6 more for the events of this story is 33. About the minimum you can say is 32 if you say only one year between CT and this story.)

And over there you have Marle's daughter who is TOO young for what I wanted..

So I had to somehow balance between not taking a ridiculous amount of time, but not making it too unrealistic. I mean its not like the minute Crono left Marle got married and popped out a kid... I think I gave her 1 year to find Ben and get married.. And in the second year she took the throne and got her "announcement" messages from Revick. So lets assume she got pregnant not long after taking the throne... 2 years after Crono left. That still means that in order for Jaina to be anywhere near believably mature for these events and for taking the throne (I would have preferred 15 minimum but 13 minimum has to do :P) you have to have 16 years between when Crono left and when Jaina takes the throne.

Add some maturity for the type of upbringing she got... And just bear with me ok!? It's just a stupid story <g>.

I did deliberately try to leave the lines of time and ages blurry though (*more time passes* :P) so readers can do what they want with it. Ignore it completely even (that's even preferred <g>.. Who cares how old everyone is! They're all happy! Hey maybe people in CT-land live to be 400 :P)

Ok thinking back over this... lets say Jaina is 15 and Crono and Marle are 35... that's not too bad... and it's a little more believable heh.


Character names: all the last names of the existing characters and additional names of existing characters (EX: Crono's mom (Maria) and their last name "Trieste") were created by me out of nowhere in particular (meaning the character enters the scene and I sit there and go "damn what am I gonna name him? Ok how about...."). All the new characters (EX: Ben, Revick, Shari, Jaina...) Were also created by me out of nowhere in particular

"Ben" is my favorite 'male' name so that's why I chose to name him that.

Revick came from nowhere but in retrospect "Revick" sounds somewhat similar to "ravage" or "wreck" which is precisely what he does. Interesting what my mind can do :P

Draco is, of course, named for the constellation of the dragon.

Riki is pronounced "Ricky" (or "R-ee-key") not "R-eye-key". I just like the way it looks and sounds <g>

Shari is pronounced "shar-ee" (not "sherry"). Don't ask. This name got stuck in my head years ago and I've loved it ever since. <shrug>

Jaina (Jay-na). Another case of "it got stuck." It popped into my head a long time ago too (I did NOT get it from "young Jedi Knights" and "Jaina Solo". In fact I was surprised when I read one of those books and saw her name was Jaina <g>). I tried to name one of my cats Jaina but mom didn't like it so she got named "Jaylee" <g>

"Trieste" (Crono's last name). I dunno where this came from, but it sounds cool. Besides it doesn't sound stupid with his name (or Marle's <hum>). I THINK it was the name of a "guest ship" on Star Trek the Next Generation... but I'm not sure. Could be where I got it from.

"Itashi" (Lucca's last name). "From nowhere" name. Sounded "japanese-ish" so I went with it <g>

Trini (tree-knee). Sounded cool <g>. "Trixie" is another name I really like but it sounded too 'modern'. So I thought of all the "uncommon" names I could and ended up with "Trinity", and shortened it to "Trini". As you can see on the outline... I was originally going to have Trini be Marle's second daughter. I also considered having her be Crono and Marle's daughter but I decided to end this story before they had been married long enough to have kids that old :P. If I write another one some day I can always say they named her after this Trini <g> (or just go back and change the name heh)

I personally pronounce "Crono" as "Crow-no" and "Marle" as "Mar-lay". There are lots of disputes about this. Lots and lots and lots of people call Crono "Chrono" because that's the way it translates in the Japanese version and since theres only 5 letter slots... that's probably the way it's supposed to be pronounced. But I prefer "Crono" :P. And Marle could be pronounced "Marl" or as Nintendo once told me "Marla"... but I prefer "Mar-lay". I just like the way it sounds. But then my wolf-dog is "Kiche" and I pronounce it "Key-chay" too... so it's probably just an oddity of the pronunciation sector of my brain :P.


character behavior: I know lots of people are probably reading it going "no way is Lucca that hyper!" or something <roll eyes>

hey this is MY story and I'll do with it whatever I want hehe. I've tried to write novels for other genres where the characters are very well developed already and frankly, I cant do it. I'm always picking myself apart saying "no no no he wouldn't act like that" or something and it all ends up in the trash bin. My obsession with CT which led to finishing the game 80 some odd times just so I could see what different characters say in different areas gave me a very good overlay of their basic personalities, and then they "grew".

Marle, for example, matures a LOT. That tends to happen when you become queen and your every decision affects an entire country :P. Being a mother didn't hurt either. And then throw on top of that getting the .... beaten out of you by a usurper to your throne who then burns out your eyes... ouch.

I also see Marle as a very wise ruler. She thought the whole thing out ahead of time and tried to predict what would happen and planned for it and safeguarded accordingly. She always keeps the kingdoms people foremost. You know those annoying people in kids stories who quietly teach all the heroes a valuable lesson by guiding them down a path and then letting them figure everything out for themselves? Kind of like that heh. Same goes for her mothering skills.

But her stubborn streak and independence are very very much intact.

Crono and Lucca didn't change all that much. I think Crono grew up a bit, but since he never talked through the whole CT game (except for one ending) we have very little idea of what his absolute personality is. I see him as quiet and sensitive and majorly overprotective of the things he loves. (Which sounds exactly like what most woman want from a man :P. Wishful thinking I guess <g>)

Lucca is a nutcase <g>. But in a good way! (Hey, you know the inventor Crackitus Potts from chitty chitty bang bang? <cackle>). She tends to get hyper, especially when one of her inventions goes well, and her mind latches onto an idea and runs with it.


Crono's Mom: I felt the need to have an extra person in the house with Crono and Marle (even if it was just to chaperone <duck>) and his mom fit the bill. Originally she wasn't this sick (arthritis) but my stories tend to write themselves as I go so I don't know why that happened. I think it's because she was in the way all the time! I put her there... and then I wanted all these Crono/Marle scenes... and she was in the way! So she sleeps a lot <g>. And THEN... she ended up dead!! Sorry about that <flail>. That's one of the saddest scenes in the story heh. Almost made me cry when I wrote it :P. Seems to have worked out well though... she was really annoying in the game and she's only mildly annoying here :P.


Crono and Marle: No they didn't. Get your mind out of the gutter. Did they kiss? Probably. We see them kiss several times so it would almost become habitual after awhile. Did they snuggle? Most definitely. Did they 'do it'? No :P. They aren't married in this story (until the end) and I still believe in values and all that crap. Besides his mom is in the next room! <g>. And these ARE the same people who ALL slept in Crono's bed at once in the game. I always got a chuckle out of that. "Would you like to take a nap?" "I have two women with me and only one bed but sure!" Or two men which is even more funny.... "Hey frog roll over! Augh Robo your feet are cold!" "They're made of metal what do you expect?"

Crono struggles with the fact that he loves Marle more than anything (I hope I brought that across clearly enough in the story) but that he can't have her. He still treats her like something very precious to him though, and would do anything for her. Marle, on the other hand, also loves Crono more than anything, but she also knows she's got this damn kingdom to take care of and an actual husband she needs to be fair to, so she tries to keep herself between pulling Crono closer and pushing him away. Pulling him closer would be like holding a treat in front of a dog and then taking it away. Pushing him away would hurt him deeply. I tried not to make her seem too indifferent to Crono, but she does tend to make jokes to change the subject whenever he gets too serious. You can see her guard slip as she spends more time healing though <g>.


"Mar": I felt that Crono should have some kind of a nickname for Marle as a term of endearment and all the 'cliche' ones (IE: "hon") didn't seem to fit. So I just had him shorten her name. Just ignore the fact that 'mar' means: "to detract from the wholeness or perfection; spoil; injure; hurt; harm; damage; impair" (the Merriam-Webster dictionary) :P


Marle's eyes: oh don't even ask. I definitely needed to stall for time (see the first paragraphs) and Revick was gonna kick the crap out of her anyway, and that's something they used to do in medieval times. The prospect of having independent and stubborn Marle overcome the challenges of being blind was attractive to me too. It was something with physical and psychological barriers to surmount. Besides I wanted something dramatic that Draco could fix up and get a bunch of "oohs" and "ahhs" for hehe.

I'm definitely not a doctor so I have no idea if my description of it was accurate, but once again, Its just a stupid story and I can do whatever I want with it <g>

the "coffin" story is actually something I remember from when I was like 4 :P. I don't know if I dreamed it or if it was mom talking about it (they talk about all sorts of weird stuff in this house. I would make a web page and list some of it but mom would kill me hehe) or whatever but I know I remember a story about some poor girl getting buried alive and trying to claw her way out. I just elaborated.


Royalty: As you may have noticed, I gave Guardia a whole bunch of royalty rules heh. I have no idea if any of them exist anywhere in actuality, and frankly, I don't even really know how a monarchy works except that the king and queen are the big bosses and anything they say goes in the end.

Yes I did sort of borrow from 'Aladdin' with the "you can only marry a prince" thing. :P. I think that is/was an actual law for some kingdoms though.

The idea of having "senior" monarchs seemed to me to be a good way of dividing up all the work of running the kingdom and preventing conflicting orders, since I didn't wanna get into all the sub-officials and stuff. Marle's paperwork was mostly approving new projects or funding. She took over the kingdom and started improving and found out why lots of rulers try not to change too many things :P. But because she's so stubborn she kept plowing through it and ended up with tonnes of paperwork. But she really didn't mind because she knew she was improving things. Her signature was needed thus she couldn't pass it on to someone else, and because she was running so many new projects and trying to improve the kingdom, there was a lot to approve. Since she was the "real Guardia" (meaning she is the one with the Guardia blood and Ben only married into the family. He takes the Guardia name even though he is the man as well.) Most of the major projects had to be approved by her personally. For certain programs, such as the military, they compared strengths and weaknesses and decided who would be better suited to control it. Such as they decided Ben was a better strategic planner so he became "senior" in the military department and anything Marle ordered would have to be approved by him, unless she pulled rank (she's the "real Guardia" so she has the power to overthrow his commands) but it would be a complicated process involving a lot of paperwork, as Marle alludes to in the story.

In the end they probably should have left Marle as the military planner anyway it turns out... But oh well <g>

I decided that Guardia kept the people close to them, and as such all the royalty had to learn what the "peasants" do before learning how to impact their lives forever. However we all know Marle's attendance record, with all those teachers sitting waiting in her room to ambush her <g>.


More: I view Guardia as being a very well rounded kingdom, and they train their would be rulers as such. So Marle would have had to learn all those languages and a lot of history etc so she would be a wealth of knowledge (good for those diplomatic missions) about almost any subject under the sun. I think she would have to learn some cultural stuff too, and Marle chose to learn and compose music. Don't even ask why that's just how I see it :P. And of course Marle's hobby is archery (from the Crossbow in the game) and she learned how to do and love all that stuff from the mountain amazon tribe. Her affinity for and "way" with animals is because of her inborn ability with nature etc. That didn't come from anywhere either... it just sounds cool doesn't it? And she needed a good way to kick Revicks butt off the throne hehe.


Technology: did they have showers and steel wool in medieval times? I really have no idea <g>.. But they do in this story. Hey they had refrigerators and ovens and stuff in the game! Live with it. <chuckle>. They have Lucca and Lucca has been to the future and seen all kinds of stuff. She can make anything! I am also not an engineer so when Lucca fiddles with mechanical stuff that's just me writing by the seat of my pants. Can you alter computer chips by poking them? Probably not <g>.. But Lucca can!


Terminology: I admit it. I didn't do ANY research. I sat down and wrote a story <g>. So my descriptions of Marle using her staff and Crono using his sword etc are very likely wrong. Oh well. And while I HAVE used a bow, I definitely haven't tillered one or done any fletching, so I'm not sure if all the terminology was correct there either. Once again, oh well <g>.


The "Amazons": yet another case of my story writing itself. NO I did NOT intentionally try to make Shari like Ayla :P. The rituals and customs used by them in this story were completely out of the blue (and my imagination) as well. In fact as I was writing them entering the mountain tribe... I kinda went "wait a minute... Just saying "no I won't tell" isn't good enough :P. Lets do a blood oath kinda thing here! Something more serious already!" So any resemblance to any rituals or customs of any culture... living or dead... is purely coincidental.. Etc etc etc <g>


The Pendant: Yes I know. In the PSX version anime movies they show the pendant as being round with a blue center. I restate: This story is NOT based on the PSX version. It is based on the SNES version and my interpretation of it. In the original... the Players Guide didn't have a proper picture of the pendant so all I had to go on was when Schala or Crono or whoever holds up the pendant or when it's lying on the ground in Leene square. To me it looked tear shaped and white. And tear shaped fits my little version of the origin of it in this story so that's the way I wrote it.


The Title: What to name this... what to name this... Finally I settled on "A Winding Path" because it's a story about what paths their lives take after Chrono Trigger ends, and they most certainly take winding paths... and for a more literal reason... they use a 'winding path' to climb up to the Amazon village.


Errors: As of yet, I don't think I have any obvious errors in the story. (If you find any send feedback <g>). If I do find some I'll probably just go back into the story and correct them anyway...

The only things that may be a little "rough" are the battle scenes (battles don't interest me as much <g>) and when I have a character that's kinda in the way. I frequently wrote a scene and then went "aw man that character just stands there the whole time." and then came up with some stupid excuse for the character not to be there <g>. Just ignore it. I'm not claiming to be some professional writer here! <chuckle>. The final "roughness" is my past/present tense. Ive always had trouble with it and for some reason I decided this story should be in present tense which is harder to write in. so I have a lot of flipping back and forth. as far as I can tell it doesn't make it harder to read and I didn't think it was worth going back through the entire thing and nitpicking it all :P.


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