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littlemanpoet 04-17-2002 10:01 PM

Are You Writing Serious Fantasy?
Are any of you writing serious fantasy? If so, how have you dealt with the temptation to be imitative of Tolkien? How long have you been working on your story, and why? What pitfalls have you faced and how have you overcome them - or not?

As I remarked in "Kalessin's rant", I have been working on a fantasy story for fifteen years, inspired by Tolkien, trying - successfully I think - not to be imitative. It's not near being finished so I haven't even looked for a publisher yet.

[ April 25, 2003: Message edited by: littlemanpoet ]

Niphredil Baggins 04-18-2002 01:22 AM

>Are any of you writing serious fantasy?


> If so, how have you dealt with the temptation to be imitative of Tolkien?

My story was first inspirated by some vivid dreams I had, before I had read Tolkien or any other fantasy. In these appeared the following:
A kingdom surrounded by impenetrable mountains, and
Seven magical sapphires.
Also, starting from the strange name in my dream, Jorgeyavagai, I've begun the making of a language.

I try not to imitate, but I can never be sure where the ideas come from. Nothing comes from nowhere, everything has a cause. I am not ashamed to steal from mythologies and such, indeed I use the Bible quite openly as the basis of my kosmogonia: angels and fallen angels, heaven and hell. Even God the Creator. How do I prevent imitating fantasy writers? Wish I knew. At the moment I do it by temporarily not reading fantasy, but it doesn't erase the memories.

>How long have you been working on your story, and why?

Approximately four years. I know I can write, so I want to use my gift in service to others.

> What pitfalls have you faced and how have you overcome them - or not?

I've run out of plot. Feels like I had in my hands a body without a skeleton. I have milieus and characters, but sometimes I just can't think of what to do with them.

I deal with this by writing the prehistory of my world, of writing something else and letting the ideas slowly mature in my subconcious.

As I remarked in "Kalessin's rant", I have been working on a fantasy story for fifteen years, inspired by Tolkien, trying - successfully I think - not to be imitative. It's not near being finished so I haven't even looked for a publisher yet.

Good luck (as if it had anything to do with this) and persistence!

Haldir 04-18-2002 05:53 AM

I wrote something once (few mounth ago), but
after about 90 pages on 5 chapters I snaped,
I can't tell you what it was about, because
I might still write it one day, I still have
the ideas but I have no strength to actually
write it down, my ideas can fill a discent
trilogy, and may be even more...

Aralaithiel 04-18-2002 04:09 PM

I guess fan fiction might not count as serious fantasy, but, I'll add my reply to this as well.
I was inspired after watching the FOTR. The idea for my fan fic just popped into my head, and I had to write it down. I personally love Tolkien's writing style, but I am not as verbose as he is. What's scary is that it is becoming a hefty saga! The more I write, the more new ideas come into my head. [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
Guys, keep after your writing! I find it to be a release from the horrors and stress of real life. And, it sounds like you guys have some nifty story ideas! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Thinhyandoiel 04-18-2002 04:36 PM

Are any of you writing serious fantasy?

Yes actually.

If so, how have you dealt with the temptation to be imitative of Tolkien?

Very poorly I'm afraid. When it comes to plot, it's all my own (though influenced slightly), but the writing style is so similar I end up chastising myself afterwards.

How long have you been working on your story, and why?

Only about three months now. I have made up my own language for it, cuz I'd feel as if I was stealing from Tolkien if I used Sindarin or Quenya. It does have Elves, but they're MY Elves, and are quite different from Tolkien's Elves. In fact I like my Elves better (if that's even possible).

What pitfalls have you faced and how have you overcome them - or not?

Major writer's block. Keeping the character's personalities straight, confusing names in my own head. But the names Eflil and Elfal ARE quite similar...anyways, also some mild criticism from others that was meant well, but when I read it I was not in a good mood and took it quite badly. Other things that have set me back have been school-work & repeated viewings of LOTR (though I wouldn't call that a BAD thing).

But the love of my own world is too great to keep me from continuing with the story. I love my characters, my language and my world. ^.^ Writing's so fun!

littlemanpoet 04-18-2002 04:51 PM

Thanks for the responses. I had hopes, but I had no idea what to expect.

Admittedly, I was thinking of other than fanfic, Araleithiel, but considering your words,

The more I write, the more new ideas come into my head
, it's clear that it has become serious for you. Keep at it! You never know how it might take on a life of its own, and that which Tolkien helped birth in you may end up becoming independent of his milieu and stand on its own.

Niphredil: I take my hat off to you regarding the creation of a language. That's beyond my patience or capability, as far as I know. I have been advised in the past that when I have run out of plot, I need to introduce conflict - even a seemingly impossible situation - which will move plot and develop character as well. I think you are right on about letting the ideas mature in your subconscious, as well, though.

KingCarlton: You don't offend me by preferring others' writing style to Tolkien's. Any good writer has to develop his or her own style. How have you been coming up with ideas, and how do you develop them?

Haldir: Your story is your own, and I think I can reassure you that nobody in the barrowdowns will steal your idea. What made you snap, if I may ask?

Thinghyandoiel: As above, kudos on the language thing. My guess is that you are so early in the process that the next three to five rewrites will excise any derivativeness out of your style. Regarding similar names, I have bowed to pressure from my sympathetic readers a good half dozen times to change names to make it easier on them - and on me in the long run.

Are any of you in a writers' group?

VanimaEdhel 04-18-2002 05:10 PM

*does not write serious fantasy yet, first of all...but when I am old enough to drive at least, I am thinking of starting...*

But I do write fantasy short stories a lot for English (and whenever I have a freewrite in any subject)...

And my writing style is very different from Tolkien's. One quirk I have is that almost all of my stories must be in the first person. My third person writing never turns out as well. I guess because I act, so it is easier for me to get into character and truly write as the character would write if it is first person.

And the themes? No: usually come from my dark, dark mind (for example: a first person short story from the point of view of a mad woman who is about to go on a murder spree...freaked my English teacher out). No problem creating new stories from me. When I create fanfic from Arda though, then I certainly do take the history of the races and Arda into account.

Well: that is what a fourteen year old does!

Niphredil Baggins 04-19-2002 11:06 AM

Creating a language is like learning one. The grammar comes first, for it controls not just the word order but the elements that form words. In ‘my’ language there are both prefixes and suffixes, and other such things I still have to tend to before I can actually form sentences… I’m limited to names and present time sentences at the moment… but thinking up words is not hard; they just appear in my head, and the scary thing is: they often relate to each other in form and meaning without my conscious intention… I’m going to need also an archaic form of the language, and possibly scratches and sketches of other languages too… I’m hooked to language-making!
I trust no-one is going to steal this if I give a sample:

Vadia eea Vallanais,
Valei ta mraneie.
Eleia mara Vallanais,
Varei um daleie,

Dancing fair Vallanais,
Water from the mountains.
Streaming swift Vallanais,
River of the hills,

I’m not sure about the meaning of ‘Vallanais’, it is a word from my dream. It has much to do with ‘Song.’

StarCupcake 04-19-2002 05:07 PM

I started writing "Quest in the Blue" before I read "Harry Potter" and Tolkien, yet had renewed inspiration after these.

It takes place in the Blue, a magical, terrible and beautiful world surrounded by the hapless Grey. Edensbale, a land in the Blue-south, is what I'm writing about right now, yet I might move about in the future. Edensbale in its beginning was a Land of Light and of Whole-power (neither good or bad). It appeared as its creators painted it upon the "First Map" and claimed it for their own; yet when their realm dissolved Edensbale was reflected into the deathly Sea of Glass and Elabsnede, the wickedness of shadows in the East, was created. Two children, Audrie Gallan and Alender Esbar, offspring of the Men in Sparklen, one a peasant's daughter, the other the Sparklen-master's son, must gather the pieces of the Map and use it for the wise Whole-power before their Edensbale is destroyed. Yet those who etched it into the Lost time of the Blue (Gremble, Traub and Ede) seek the broken pieces as well, but they desire them for the other's destruction, for they are sworn enemies. Audrie and Alender go on their quest with a piece each of the Sparklen-Map that Traub lost when attempting to slay them, which puts their life in danger, for each piece is precious and the only way to attain it is to kill he or she who holds it. They acquire some companions...Lemkil, of the Sweet-Folk in Cider Oaks and a cousin of Alender's. He is of clever, mischievous people who lived in eternal fairy-like childhood, and is of great use for his knowledge of tools and weapons and such. They speak Sweetlan. Excerpts:

Nislin: mother
Lintirn: starlight
Notra ta concerto pir notra ta concerto: nothing is for certain except that nothing is for certain (one of their favorite phrases).

Another of their companions is Milen, a fair White-fire bearer of the Forest of Jade, where Ede is queen. Her power lies in the Whole-power itself, for from her hands pale flame turns those wicked and good into servers of the wisest and most peaceful.

Lastly, Bae, a mysterious dark boy from the East who turns out to be Traub and Ede's son and the last of their children who was not slain to attain the Map-pieces they held. He joins the quest with closed identity, yet they discover him in soon time, for they are sent to find him in the first place, as he holds the third of the Map-pieces they might acquire for the White-power.

There are other folk and places and languages and so so so much more but it all gets a bit complicated you see [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Anarya SilverBranch 04-19-2002 06:13 PM

I finished my first serious fantasy novel last summer. It's not written like Tolkiens works, but the way it's organized sort of like it.
Like the first book is the prelude to a trilogy I'm writting. The plot is very confusing and intricate and nothing like lotr. It's basically about this land called Patarea thats under a curse that was set because of the marraige between a faeire girl and the prince of Patarea, (I love romance in fantasys! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img])

Kalessin 04-19-2002 06:45 PM

Nice topic [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

I consider myself an occasional writer and regular storyteller. And I am under no illusions about my limitations (or failings) as an author ...

Personally, I think your point about trying not to imitate is very relevant, and one of the reasons why I tend to shy away from any formulaic aspects of fantasy (you may have seen my skits on page 1 of the "Valid Criticisms" thread).

I certainly would not create my own language. That in itself would seem imitative, and in fact unnecessary, as I write best in English. I also have a problem with 'other-worldly' names. Just you try and think of a name that is not redolent of a particular work or author! In my case existing names from other languages will suffice if I need a sense of ancient-ness or exotica.

The bottom line for me is that an extensive cosmology is neither a key factor nor particularly inspiring (" ... hmm, I think I'll spend tonight typing up the courtship rituals of the hidden tribes of Ashtoreth ... "). A narrative is not like an RPG scenario. For example, you do not need to know the history of the First and Second Ages to fully and deeply appreciate LotR. Neither are you obliged to read the appendices (Tolkien was quite happy for people not to). A worldview can be implied, and the reader can be given some responsibility for contextual detail. "Continuity" in the movie sense (ie. some consistency and integrity to any imaginary world) is normally inferred (and thus conferred) by the reader - it's just up to you not to blow it, unless that's an intended part of the deal.

If you know 'The Stories of Eva Luna' by Isabel Allende, or the collected works of Jorge Luis Borges, that might help to signpost (with many caveats) my aspirations as a fantasy writer.

However, as a storyteller, I have no qualms about liberally plagiarising episodes, names and ingenuities from a whole range of sources, and combining them to whatever effect, depending on the time and nature of the telling. Of course success is never guaranteed, so I occasionally throw in an idea or two of my own [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]


[ April 19, 2002: Message edited by: Kalessin ]

Rose Cotton 04-19-2002 07:52 PM

Yes I am writing a story.

But I haven't been at it very long. Only a few months.

I have three chapters. Woohoo!

I try to not worry about copying authers.
I feel that if before hand. I create the world then create each charicter, inside and out then I should be able to have my own ideas. I also like combining writing stiles. Take what you like from each of your favorite books. Combine it to make your own unique writing style.

I'm only 13. So I have a long road of writing ahead of me.

What I'm going to do is I will write this story. And as I grow older, I'll keep going back to add and improve it. Till finilly I feel it's ready.

I suggest if you have trouble with a plot you should figure out what the end of your story is going to be. Then you can make twists and turns you wouldn't normally make if you just went along. I love when a auther foreshadows.

If you read this far then I thank you for listening to someone as young as me. Wish me luck!

grimlock 04-20-2002 05:23 AM

Wauw, I found my dream topic.

I like to write a lot, though it is not very professional writing. I also am forced to write for myself, because nobody in my surroundings cares for fantasy a lot.

About the imitation: sometimes I think up a fanfic story, then find elements which I can use in another story. The characters change untill they are so far from their origin that they are no longer recognizible and have to be renamed.

I want to thank everybody for the advice on dealing with a writer's block. I 'll remeber it for next time I have one.

littlemanpoet 04-20-2002 06:06 AM

I'm enjoying your responses, everyone.

Rose Cotton: I think it's great that you're following your aspirations already. Keep at it! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Welcome, Mirlos. That you wind up with your own story after starting fanfic makes a lot of sense to me.

Kalessin: Whereas I agree with you in general regarding the pitfalls of creating ones own language, I would encourage someone for whom that kind of creativity comes naturally - that is, seems to bubble up from their subconscious. I offer a caveat that if ones language creation happens to do little more than give new or alternate meanings to recognizable words from a given language, then it would be advisable to either reconstruct the words so they don't too closely resemble extant words, or discontinue wasting precious story telling energy on what's not working very well and get to the plot and character development.

Niphredil, for example, seems to me to have a gift for it whereas StarCupCake is recognizable to me as Latin in code. Please understand, Star, that I speak benevolently and, I hope, constructively. I'm intrigued especially by you Bae character, who appears to be Jungian shadow archetype birthed from the archetypal Father and Mother. There is something about him that bears a power reaching back into the depths of time.

Anarya: More power to you. Romance is fitting in fantasy.

KingCarlton: Your comment to keep in mind the set genre is an apt point.

My own process was that I started out with a few key (archetypal) tableaus which had come to mind full-formed; one of an ancient scene of sacrifice to appease the gods, somewhere in Wales, I suppose; another of a ruin where collanades still stood, somewhere east of Cornwall. I really cannot say why these things seemed placed in Britain, for I've never been there. Perhaps it's that my imagination was baptized by Tolkien, and England is somehow my adopted homeland, even though my forebears all come from the Netherlands. Anyway, with these scenes in place I posed a corpus of questions: 1. What if all the mythologies were true (their mutual exclusions based on 'my turf-ism')? 2. What if the starting point for all of it was to be found in the Genesis 6 account of the sons of God and the daughters of men, but not limited to that gender set? 3. What if Enoch (in the Book of Enoch) was close but got it wrong as to the wholesale damnation of the sons of God?
4. And most importantly for my own story: what if there were some college age men and women who unknowingly were descended, relatively pure in stock, from certain Nordic and Celtic gods and goddesses, who in every fourth, fifth, or sixth generation, remarried into their own descendants' line to keep the seed relatively pure? and 5. What if there are a few swords of power (bearing spirits of power) that are so powerful they singlehandedly (pardon the pun) tip the balance of power? So there you have it. Fifteen years later I think one more rewrite will get me ready for publishing. I am currently in my sixth full rewrite.

Am I to understand that none of you are in writers' groups? I wasn't for a long time, but have been for the last two years and I have found my sympathetic readers' help invaluable. Tolkien was in a writers' group, too, you know.

I'm running out of time because I have a writers' conference to get to. Next post I'll share my notes from a forum entitled: "Keys to Successful Publishing of Fiction".

Happy writing, all!

Tarlondeion Of Gondolin 04-20-2002 06:34 AM

I have tried many times but i dont seem to be able to keep going. I love imaganing worlds but cant write stories without a proper reason.

Starbreeze 04-20-2002 07:10 AM

YES YES YES YES YES ! I love this topic, and when I have enough time I will answer it with a post that has some relevence to the topic, but now I'm just going to express my joy at finding so many authors with similar problems (I'm sure you won't mind me calling you authors!) Oh I'm so gald I found this topic, but I've got to go and make/eat lunch or I will starve (ah, the life of an artist/writer!) I haven't eaten for ages and soon I will fall of my perch, so I will return and with a more comprehendable answer and hopefully when I can spell again too.

Maikadilwen 04-20-2002 08:04 AM

I've been working on a novel for 5 months now, but I know it won't be finished in at least a year or two from now or maybe even longer. I'm trying to keep it in a language similar to Tolkien's, since I think it gives a certain.....spirit to the story. It kind of rips you out of the real world. The plot I won't tell you about [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] , but it's sort of "typical" fantasy. Good vs evil great heroes, great(er) villains and so on and on and on. I get my inspiration from a lot of different fantasy books, movies (not necessarily fantasy) and a very big part of several chapters, has come from my dreams. Even though I'm not even half way through it, I know the entire story. Except, that I have no idea what so ever how it's going to end. So I'm waiting patiently for what may pop up.. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] It's a lot of work, especially because I'm writing in english (Tolkien style) but I'm actually danish. But frankly, that's not a problem, since most of the time I think and even dream in english.
I think it could be really fun, if someday we end up reading each others work. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Rose Cotton 04-20-2002 08:39 AM

I hope you don't mind.

Since most of us are writers here I was wondering if you could take a look at my story plot and tell me what you think.

There's another world.
It has no humans. Just animals and plants.
On the planet is an island called Palania.(I got that off the name generator. Can't remember what it means though. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )
The island is made up of a huge volcano. In the volcano live evil shadow creatures called nefchil (somtimes when I'm writing my story I accedently call them nazgul). When they've multiplied enough they set out to attack the planet. Every time this happens almost everything is destroyed.
So one day someone (God?) sent angels to protect the earth. Each angel had a certain speacies of animal to look after. And they have the power to change into whatever animal they have to protect.

Thousands of years go by with the angels battleing the nefchil and keeping a balence of good and evil.
Till one day everything goes wrong.
For some strange reason many of the animals start acting strange. Attacking eachother, and going crazy, and finally dying.
They find out what is wrong. (I can't tell you it's a secret)
In order to stop the cause they must find the sorce.
Their journey takes them into the depts of the earth to dark caverns and places of hell. They find civilizations of dragons and huge monsters.

There is alot of drama and loss in this story but a good supply of humer too.

It's not the most complicated story but it should be pritty good. If you would like to see the first few chapters:
1)go to
2)type The Protectors into title search at the top of the page
3)scroll down till you come to The Protectors story by Rose Cotton

[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] thank you for reading this post. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Little_My* 04-20-2002 09:45 AM

Hi Rose Cotton...Nice idea for a story...I might copy it now! kidding..
anyway...If I write something like fantasy it will be about things in the nordic mytologi...I dont know if any of you knows that much about it(you rellay should! seance Tolkien took alot of it in his stories)
anyway...Someone intressted about it?

Daegwenn 04-20-2002 09:56 AM

My writing is my precious 'gift' to myself and my friends. I enjoy writing just as much as I enjoy a beautiful sunset. There is just something fulfilling about writing all those feelings that you have cooped up inside of you and not being scrutinized for it.

I am a serious Fantasy writer, or at least I like to think so. Right now, I am working on a piece that is set around a world spliced in to many peicies by a desert. Two elves go out on a quest to seek a treasure but only stumble across big-time trouble. A set of guantlets that are possessed, one by an evil spirit and one by a good spirit. Mylryt, the girl with the good gauntlet, has to lead a war against her best friend, Nanyna who is possessed by an evil time witch called Xantha. Mythryt is followed around by these two massive wolves that are like ghosts, they talk to her and only a few elves can see them. She befriends a dark elf prince with a quacky mother who is empress of a massive desert realm. ^_^ I am stuck at the beginning of their quest to unite the kingdoms. I introduced a drunken mage that can barely cast magic because he is always drunk, and very intimidating warrior that is always breaking up fights between the mage (Who is also perverted) and Mylryt. (He keeps on grabbing her and making inapropriate guestures).

I can't finish it because no one is willing to look at it. We are our harshest critics and if I listen to myself grumble about how terrible it is, I might miss out on something. If your on the outside looking in, you see more details. I have been working on this mess for about eh...a year and a half maybe. But I keep dropping it for months at a time and coming back to it...

I have my inspirational novelists though. Meredith Ann Pierce and Ursula LeGuin play a big part in getting me into the mood. I love the Darkangel trilogy because it is so dark and very odd. I need to be in a certain mood to write certain stories. If I cannot grasp that mood then I can't write. Books help me do that-so does music.

I have written my fair share of Fanfictions and I am still doing it. I guess it helps me get over the temptation of mimicking anything that Tolkien has written.


[ April 20, 2002: Message edited by: Daegwenn ]

Maikadilwen 04-20-2002 09:56 AM

Little_My* that sounds very interesting indeed. Being danish, I know a lot of the Nordic mythology. It's an obsession I've had since being a child (a VERY long time ago). If you start the project and have any trouble, feel free to ask any questions you'd like. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Starbreeze 04-20-2002 10:19 AM

Rose that sounds really good! When it is published let us know!
I like the sound of your one too Daegwenn.
Wow, I never knew there were so many authors here on Barrowdowns!

Aralaithiel 04-20-2002 10:46 AM

Oh my!!! The talent oozing from this thread is AWESOME!!!!! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
I too am very possessive of my writing and my little world that I have created. And yes, my fan fic is starting to stand alone, at least the *gasp! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] second book will! To you guys that are creating your own language, you are way braver than I! For my 2nd book, I am "finding" a lost group of Elves. Their language spun off from Quenya and Sindarin, and is actually Choctaw (for those of you non-Americans, the Choctaw are one of the Five Civilized Tribes that were forced to move here to Oklahoma) Indian. They have a great website, and there are quite a few similarities between Choctaw and Sindarin. Anyways, Aralaithiel's grandmother (my fan fic character is named Aralaithiel) will be descended from this "lost" group, and will have taught Aralaithiel's mother some of that tongue which Alesse (my mother)will put in a letter to Aralaithiel that she will discover later.
And I wouldn't worry about anyone stealing ideas on this board! Now, anywhere else you might post your work - that's another story.
Sorry to be long-winded! I am really getting quite a thrill reading this thread! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Anarya SilverBranch 04-20-2002 10:53 AM

I love to write but I can never find people to talk about their writings and stuff like that with me. They always say, "Oh I can't write" or some other lame excuse. But my view is that everyone writes in their head and it's just a matter of getting it down on paper! Thanx to the person who started this topic! Thanx sooo much!

Vinyacairwen 04-20-2002 10:57 AM

I am..I've been working on it for more than two years. It have Elves (but not because of was from a brief obsession over a certain anime), Dwarves, Men (durr), and Sylphs..funny li'l winged guys. I think in a way, I'm writing it for my Dad (who actually is a loser sorta and needs to come back to Cali) and of course, my bud Stephanie, only one of my friends who's actually been helpful. When I'm down, she shoves me off to the writing desk ^^.
Pitfalls, mm..sorta :\. The first and second chapters, y'know, giving the main or starting characters the boost they needed out of the door and into the real world. First and Second chapters always bug me..and then the thing with religion...screw all the gods and things they do in Dragonlance, I decided that was to annoying, overused and not to mention /complex/, so my guys just have the elements and spirits, aye...

[ April 20, 2002: Message edited by: Vinyacairwen ]

Starbreeze 04-20-2002 10:59 AM

Ok, here is my proper answer now I have eaten something.

>Are any of you writing serious fantasy?

Yes, I am.

>How have you dealt with the temptation to be imitative of Tolkien?

Well, I try and read some of Tolkien first so that I know what his work is like and don't get it muddled in my head and think that it is my own. I also make sure that I show it to one of my friends regualrly, she keeps me in check and makes sure I don't do anything even remotely similar to Tolkien.

>How long have you been working on your story, and why?

How long? Well, really several years - thats how long the ideas have been forming and I've been writing down possible 'names' and things in my notebook (actually 4 notebooks and several bits of paper, plus my pencil case and the back of several photos that were lying around when I was inspired). But I didn't start actually writing the bulk of it until I joined here, in January (obviously you guys inspired me!). Since then I have had one break of a week while I prepared for my art exam but apart from that I have been writing solidly.
I don't understand the 'why' part of that question though.

>What pitfalls have you faced and how have you overcome them - or not?

One of the major problems I have encountered is battle scenes and general fighting, as I have nver encountered such myself I can't write about it very well. And I keep getting to bits that need a fight or battle. So far I have left gaps, planned who has died and left it until I get inspiration. *sighs* can anyone tell me how to get around this?

Oh ***** have to go eat again! Right in the middle of my answer too, oh well, I'll be back soon to finishe my answer! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Little_My* 04-20-2002 12:03 PM

thanks Maikadilwen, it would be really nice to chat and exchange ideas sometime...

I would write about elfs and pretty much everything thats in the nordic tales...

If you want to know more about the original elfs and dwarfs...go in here:

Manelwen 04-20-2002 12:31 PM

I think that there are two great pitfalls of writing. One is starting it and the second is finishing it. I get so involved with my characters and I actually start to love them as if they were my children and I dread when I have to finish the story. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] It's like a good book series. Tolkien is a fine example. You know that I almost screamed when I read the final sentence in the Lord of the Rings series.

I created a race of elves that were like were wolves. They had dark copper color skin, raven colored hair, and golden eyes. The one thing that set them apart from all the other races of elves was the horn that was on the center of their forehead. It curved around to a point on the back of their head and who ever touched it would transfer all of their memories and thoughts to the elf briefly. The horned elves changed into wolves at will. The colors of the wolves were usually black, grey or white but the queen of the wolves was a tell-tale silver and black, they all had a massive horn in the middle of their head and depending on their gender and age it could vary between a small slender horn in human form to a massive pointed horn, or a ridged horn like a ram's that changed into a deer antler. They lived far apart from any other group of people because they thought others wouldn't accept them. I haven't really made an actual story out of it, just character drafts. The queen and her brother mainly. I have tried to develop a language that was a cross between Chinese and French but it isn't quite working out the way I wanted it to.

I have been messing around with these characters for quite some time. It came to me in grade ten for a writing assignment and I have sort of nursed it along. I have sketchbooks crammed with pictures and little stories that are like lengends or explanations. I got the idea from a Chinese myth about wolf messengers from god that were only known to have a single deer antler on its forehead.

I try my hardest not to be influenced by authors. I read a lot so I develop my tastes from there. I write a lot of fanfictions too, so it helps a bit in the further expansion of my talent.


Maikadilwen 04-20-2002 01:09 PM


there are two great pitfalls of writing. One is starting it and the second is finishing it
Exactly my thoughts as well, though I think that finishing a story is the most difficult to do, because it must be done properly. That's where my biggest troubles lie. It won't work if the story is ended within 7 pages. Something even prof. authors are dealing with. Like King and Koonts (I love horror). They tend to gather all loose ends like with a snap of their fingers. I think it has to be a little more than that.
I prefer to use some of Tolkien's "rules", such as Elves being immortal and not just longlifed but I also bring in other races that you know from other things, like hob-goblins and such. Besides that, I've created a new race, which gives me a lot of freedom, since no one else than me knows how this race is, but it's a rather complex race that actually makes Tolkien's Elves look like the happiest people on (middle) Earth. Not very lighthearted people. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ April 20, 2002: Message edited by: Maikadilwen ]

Maikadilwen 04-20-2002 01:48 PM


I would write about elfs and pretty much everything thats in the nordic tales...
Sounds good, but you must remember one very important thing here. The elves in Nordic (Skandinavian) folklore is absolutely NOTHING alike the elves we meet in Tolkien's books or any other fantasy stories. They lived inside the hills, and were deceiving and treacherous people. The beautiful elven girls were dancing in the night and would try to persuade nightly travellers (always men) to join the dance. If one did so, usually he would either be found dead in the field in the morning, or he was never to be seen again. One thing to notice is, that their backs were hollow and that way you would know, that they were elves and couldn't be trusted.
Definately NOT the lovely Galadriel in LOTR. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Starbreeze 04-20-2002 02:21 PM

Ok, continuation of my answer...

>What pitfalls have you faced and how have you overcome them - or not?

Ok, the battle thing. I can't get over it at all. I can describe the events in a battle but I can't get feeling into it and it seems to superficial.
Another problem I have is that the ideas come into my head too fast. I would be writing a bit about Tomar and Imila at Sir Salar's house, when suddenly I would be inspired about a part from later in the plot when Yanata and Yphilon are riding down to Tirone. Then as I am writing that a converation between Chrisa and Kamia before either of the past to scenes will pop into my head. I can't keep up! Does anyone wlse get this? How do you overcome it?
Another problem (sorry if I'm boring you!) I feel that my work is sometimes a little longwinded and boring.
Niphredel, I admire you so much for trying to create a language. I am trying to and I am finding it a little tricky. I am also trying to create a runic language rather like the primitive languages of our world, sanscript and the like.

Ok, a few questions.

How do you guys feel about including a *hmhm* sexual *hmhm* relationship in your story. I don't mean an innocent romance, but the kinda thing that would make your granny faint - like the stuff modern authors are fond of using. I tend to dislike this but I would be interested to see what everyone here thought.

Next, how do you keep track of names etc. and phrases you like, that pop into your head? I mean, I keep it all in a notebook, that I carry around every where so if anything inpires you you can write it down.

Next, what inspires you? Is it everyday things, or something you read, or dreams? Or a mixture?

Next, (wow, I ask a lot don't I lol), How do you feel about other people reading your work? Would you be brave enough to share it with the world and publish it or would you be like me (and Maika apparently), who are too scared to even show people we have known for years?

Next, how long do you write for before you feel that it is finished and you can't do anymore without spoiling it? As an artist too I know that somethimes you could work on something for ages then wake up next morning and know that it is finished, or you could work on something for a day and feel the same way after lunch.

Next, (almost finished!) Do you illustrate your work or leave it to the reader's imagination? And do you want to design your own front cover or have someone else do it?

Ok, I think I'm done now. Sorry about all that but this is the first time I have 'met' with so many other writers and I just can't resist asking you things that have been plaging me for ages. Thank you all! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Starbreeze 04-20-2002 02:35 PM

I think that last one might just have been my longest post ever!

Anarya SilverBranch 04-20-2002 03:16 PM

I forgot to tell my pitfalls. Alright I have a terrible time with writers block and to tell you the truth I am in the middle of one right now. I try to rack my brain for ideas and nothing comes! Its sooooo frustrating [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img]

cheeto 04-20-2002 09:54 PM

not really,I had the ideas for what I'm doing before I knew much about Tolkien
2 years
I've tried not to,and I can't do it
losing what I write,I've always had a problem with that,that and finding time
keeping a lot of copies around helps,unfourtunatly recently,not all of my copies were updated when I lost a disk,still don't have enough hours in a day to get half of what I want accomplished

my story's about the adventures of a fairy,there's different cultures and societies for all things she runs into including sprites(based off of Greek nymphs)dragons(based off of western dragon stories,wolf society,and pieces of different tribes as far as attatude goes)elves(nothing like the Tolkien ones,a lot like stories of the old wood elves,with a few of my own ideas)ogres(wild monster like nomads suited for an area in my world)of course faeries(based on a modernized complex version of old faeries)and a ton of other things

there isn't neccessarily a bad guy in the story(no dark lord),like real life(imo)there's ppl that switch between bad and good,based on interactions with others

StarCupcake 04-20-2002 10:22 PM

"Quest in the Blue", although I strive for its simplicity, is far too complicated to be run together in that (relatively narrow) comment I posted. From the first time I "met" the first of my two main characters (for the boy and girl are equals, and their view point changes every book) Audrie, I knew that this fantasy, this adventure had been in my heart long before I ever set it in paper. It's a whimsical and lyrical series about merry and dark times, but also often presents subtle wisdom on how desperate putting lines between good and evil is. It's the ultimate ode to childhood, in which my characters enter adulthood with all the grace and disgrace that can be expected of teenagers on a quest to prevent their very existence in time being destroyed... [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]


There is plenty of romance underlying in "QB", but I have no desire for sexual tones. There might be a vague passionate trace, but there is more love than anything else, if you know what I mean.

I don't have a hard time keeping track of names. I'm so very careful about writing that I almost feel like I've known them and been there for ages. It's like forgetting your own name.

In the opening sequence, the Blue is:
A world upon a lost time, remembered in that strange and beautiful place between sleep and wake. Those in the Blue, indeed, live only on the border of a terrible dream; few have the courage to pass, yet all hope to awake with only the memory of fear in them.

Yes, I have a lot of inspiration from my dreams. I started writing it, in fact, after that odd lull that would later become part of my opening sequence above. I FELT as if I were in the Blue, and from then on I knew that my fate was to write the story.

If the opportunity is given, I would submit my series (once satisfied) without a second doubt to a publisher I respected. I do not aspire to be the next Tolkien or Rowling, I want to be a writer, simply enough.

I am hardly ever satisfied with my work. Sounds disheartening, but true. I doubt any serious writer really is. Even the passage I love most of all is always in question, always with the "Edit" option available.

I love to draw, so I've absentmindedly drawn a few scenes out of QB, but I despise any fantasy work with illustrations, no matter how good they are. I imagine from certain Tolkien editions with drawings stemmed a lot of unnecessary debates about Legolas' damn hair color, Aragorn being "too pretty" or Sam "being fat". Authors in general should withhold too much description, because imagination is the most precious thing you can have when you're brooding alone at night, and dark is all about you.

Niphredil Baggins 04-21-2002 01:38 AM

Starbreeze, I share your problem with battles. So far I've solved it by: not having too many wars, my world is a relatively peaceful world ( things worse than wars have happened by magic) and:
taking the point of view of single characters. But I think I'll have to read something on medieval warfare before I can say my battle-scenes finished.

Another trouble I'm facing are horses. I've never ridden one. Many girls know horses from childhood, I don't. Of course, I can always find out, but I'm afraid of making some silly mistake.

Starbreeze 04-21-2002 06:03 AM

Niphredil, I also had a problem with horses, but just by reading riding books and novels about horses (e.g. Black Horses for the King) I managed to gather enough information to be able to write fairly fluently about them.

littlemanpoet 04-21-2002 06:06 AM

Getting Published

My writers' festival is done. I learned a lot and will share much of it in later posts, at least what's applicable to the concerns voiced so far.

The talk I'm relating was given by a literary agent out of New York. He said:
1. It's easier than ever to get published, and harder than ever to make a career of it. That doesn't mean it's suddenly easy to get published, just not as bad as it once was. (There was a lot he said that I won't bore you with.)
2. Know your market. Don't tell someone "I have a romance/horror/science fiction/fantasy type work. We all know we're doing fantasy; case closed.
3. Get Help. Find mentors, teachers, authors, writer's groups. If you are afraid that they will somehow damage your story, I can relate to that because that was how I felt; but when I finally stopped being scared of losing possession of it, I discovered that my sympathetic readers respected the story as my story, cared about my success as a growing writer, and had some good insights I was too close to it to see.
4. Write well. Well, duh. But the main problem literary agents and publishers see is that a book is not ready. Here are some ways that a book might be 'not ready':
- unsympathetic characters. the reader needs to be able to bond, have a connection to, your protagonist(s). This doesn't mean that your character has to be nice or likeable, just that he/she has to have some kind of strength that draws the reader to him/her.
- sympathetic protagonist is finally discovered on page 14. Introduce the character right away. Make the character
known to the reader straight off. So many people seem to think (are told) that you need to set up the story first, then get around to characters. Readers love characters, love to care about the characters, even a little bit. Once you've got that, then the reader will be interested in the conflict the character enters.
- lack of conflict. Put some kind of conflict, some kind of tension, in page 1, or as close to the beginning as possible. Invest tension in every page. It doesn't have to be your BIG conflict on page one, just enough of something to get the reader to turn the page and get the reader to the main one.
5. Make your character(s) memorable. Think of Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Gollum. Memorable! Heck, we can't forget them if we tried and certainly don't want to.

That's that. On to the next thing. Happy writing!

Starbreeze 04-21-2002 06:13 AM

Wow, thank you Little Man Poet, great advice there. I am really beginning to feel that I need to join a writers group.

grimlock 04-21-2002 12:25 PM

Wow Starbreeze, that are a lot of questions! Now for the answers:

No real sexual things, just plain old romance in my stories. Where do I get my inspiration? Loads of places: dreams, the news, but most of all: lyrics of Goth songs (weird huh?).

Uhm, letting other people read what I write: defenitely NOT. Mostly because my friends hate fantasy. I do illustrate (well I try at least) my work, but more for my own desire than to help others.

If a get a good idea, it's mostly in class, so I just write it on whetever coursebook we're seeing at the moment [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

I hope that answered your questions and good luck on whatever you're writing!

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