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Old 04-21-2002, 02:34 PM   #41
Starbreeze
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Thank you mrlos, your answers are very useful, and they seem to be the same as mine pretty much. I tend to write all over my school books too, I got really told off about it in my history class, though I had scribbled the plan for one of the major battles in the book so I don't know why he was complaining, I mean, wars are history aren't they?! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 04-21-2002, 04:02 PM   #42
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A writers' community type thing is FanFiction.net, and it's not only for fanfiction, it's for original works too. I'm a member of it. It's really great because it's easy to review others' works and such, and one gets exposed to a lot of creativity.

My answers to Starbreeze's questions
Quote:
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.
I don't mind using romance if it's part of the plot. If it's just an out-of-nowhere sexual one-night stand thing and has absolutely nothing to do with the story, then I don't write it. But usually it's part of the plot.

Quote:
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.
I usually write them down in a journal or save them in a file, then refer back to them when necessary. I usually try to keep them in my head though.

Quote:
Next, what inspires you? Is it everyday things, or something you read, or dreams? Or a mixture?
Mostly a lot of real-life situations inspire me, but I write a lot of short stories based on things I've read or what I think could be possible.

Quote:
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?
I'm not really afraid of showing people my work when it's finished. I hate it when people ask to see my work when I just start working on it. However, most people I know don't even know that I write things outher than school assignments.

Quote:
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.
I don't know...I usually take time to edit, proofread, and change things, etc...I'm never finished right away.

Quote:
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?
If I ever get anything published, I would probably draw the cover myself, but I would prefer to have no drawing on the cover. I like letting readers use their own minds when they read.

Answers to the original post
Quote:
Are any of you writing serious fantasy?
Yes...sort of...
Quote:
If so, how have you dealt with the temptation to be imitative of Tolkien?
My plot isn't Tolkien-like. It'd probably classified as "sci-fi" but I think it's fantasy.
Quote:
How long have you been working on your story, and why?
Um...not very long...
Quote:
What pitfalls have you faced and how have you overcome them - or not?
My biggest pitfall is procrastination in writing down my ideas, and I have overcome it by writing down the basic plot, a few details, then elaborating on the story.

Writing is my passion. I love doing it. It's the haven I go to so I can release stress and anger and fear. I also love knowing what other people think of my work, and suggestions for improving.
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Old 04-21-2002, 05:53 PM   #43
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I'm thinking now that my primary question is vague. Who is to say what's serious fantasy and what isn't? I'm sure that each of us is serious about our own writing, especially when we're doing it, but that's not the same as writing serious fantasy. So I'll outline (off the top of my head) different, say, levels of seriousness, and see what you think:

1. Serious as personal escape from the mundane stuff we face each day. Nothing wrong with serving oneself for the sake of emotional health, it just seems to me to be the least serious of the reasons to call my work serious fantasy.
2. Serious as self-expression, which is the beginnings of art.
3. Serious as communication of personal loves and desires, which is one step above #2 because I the writer am not merely blurting, but trying to connect to my reader.
4. Serious as a believable story with inner consistency, memorable characters, and an engrossing plot.
5. Serious as an artistically well written story that communicates a sense of wonder and desire in the reader, along with the aspects described in #4.
6. Serious as a tale that includes #4 & #5 attributes, and is mythic in scope, changing the reader's awareness and expanding the reader's sense of being alive.

I consider Tolkien to have achieved #6, of course. I dearly want to get to 4, 5, and 6 with my story, and will not be happy with it if I can only settle for #4. I want #6.

Tarlondeion of Gondolin:
Quote:
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.
What would be a proper reason?

KingCarlton: I wish you the greatest of success, especially in fairy tales for children. I have a hunch that the limitations of that form and audience may help you really enhance your writing.

Maikadilwen and StarCupCake: I think keeping a dream journal is a powerful way to gain inspiration and ideas for fantasy. I have done a little bit of it and intend to do more. Actually, when I write stuff for the first time it approaches the feel of dreaming.
StarCupCake:
Quote:
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.
I like that! You are a writer. This description borders on the poetic.

I was totally surprised by the eucatastrophe (good climax) that I ended up writing for my story. I was stunned. I had no idea such a powerful thing would take place as did, but it virtually wrote itself. I simply cannot give it away, I'm sorry; it's just too much a part of me, I guess. When and if I get it published all that will change. My goal is to have the story completely presentable to a literary agent by the spring of 2004.

Rose Cotton: Please have patience. I intend to get to your first few chapters. I encourage you to make your plants and animals being your readers can connect to.

Little_My*: The Nordic mythos is my home. I am Frisian by heredity, so I can claim it by Germanic descent. The Greek stuff just seems too cut and dry for me.

Daegwenn: Some of your Mylryt material reminds me of Xanth and Dragonlance. I used to have the mood problem, too. Somewhere along the line that changed for me, probably when the story took on a life of its own and the plot turns drove my writing in certain
directions such that I was writing to find out what would happen instead of only to satisfy the inner need for beauty, magic, whatever...

Regarding Battles:
I too found the battles to be some of the hardest stuff to write. How does one handle all the vastness of action? I'm told that I succeeded in my one big battle scene. The only thing I can tell you is that I described enough of the terrain to nail the thing down in the reader's mind, then had handy divisions of armies symbolized by their leaders, and concentrated on the key vignettes. I'm not sure that helps at all. I would suggest re-reading The Battle of Five Armies in the Hobbit, Helm's Deep in the Two Towers, the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in RotK, and even the Scouring of the Shire. Hmmm, it might be interesting to start a new thread to analyze, evaluate, and all that, with Tolkien's battles, to see why they succeed. Any takers?

Manelwen: your story idea is intriguing! As to starting, I refer you to the literary agent's advice above. For ending, I can't really answer that because I haven't come near the end of my long saga yet. yippee!

Starbreeze: regarding the ideas coming too fast: all I can suggest is make a note on a separate paper to key the idea for later writing, and continue with your current thought. One published author at the festival I attended said that she never writes from start to finish; she writes whatever scenes come to her and figures out where they belong in the story in the rewrite. So whatever works for ya!

Regarding the sexual thing, I have removed all graphic stuff from my story. It used to be there but I found it was calling attention to itself and distracting from the plot, even when it was a logic extension of the plot. I'm writing for the young adult (and older and younger) market, so I could go into the graphic stuff but don't find it necessary. It's the deeper emotions that matter to me and, I hope, my reader.

I'm inspired by dreams, by different places I've been (something as simple as a deer track cutting straight across the path in the woods).

As for how long I write before I feel it is finished without spoiling it, I am finding that the more I rewrite, the better the story gets, especially in the context of a writer's group. My last rewrite, which I will begin in about 3 months, will be a much more concise story that gets at what's really interesting as far as plot and character development, and a whole lot of fat will get cut out. No matter how much I once was in love with particular scenes. If they don't move the story forward, good riddance.

On illustrating, I have been informed that illustrating (especially for a first novel) is the prerogative of the publisher, not the author. Bummer, but there it is.

Okay, I've responded to everything that struck me as respondable on page 1. Enough for now. Happy Writing!
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Old 04-22-2002, 12:12 AM   #44
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Quote:
One published author at the festival I attended said that she never writes from start to finish; she writes whatever scenes come to her
So do I. Which is one of the reasons why I keep my story away from others at the moment, since I'm pretty sure no one would have the faintest clue that all these different things, is actually one story. I know the story, I know the inportant things that will happen. Those are the things I write first and what then comes in between, is coming all by itself, when I'm reading through my work. Some think it's a very confusing way to write, since I may write 7 pages of what could be chapter 12, then 6 pages of chap. 3 then on to chap. 8 and so on. It works for me, and I don't end up getting stuck with an unused idea, because I write it down when it comes and save it as different files to put together later on.

The way my dreams come in, is that sometimes I dream entire scenes from the story. I really see it all happening so all I have to do is start writing. A good thing here is a dictaphone(sp?). It's a lot easier (and quicker) to speak all the things you've got on your mind, than to write it all down, even in short note form. And it's easy to carry where ever you go. Paper and pen is not. Then it's easy to start writing when you have the time for it.
Because I'm dreaming some of it, I also have very special feelings towards my characters, because I've seen them. Which is also why I would never have any illustrations. I cared deeply about the characters before, and I knew them, but to see them stand before me, that's just amazing.

Quote:
As for how long I write before I feel it is finished
Oh, that's the difficult part. I'm one of those who are never really satisfied and keep changing everything (did anybody say Douglas Adams? [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] ) But I try not to overdo it.

Battles.... I've seen one of my larger battles in dreams. Actually I was in the middle of it and that experience was amazing. But how do I describe it so the reader will see what I saw? I still haven't figured that out. I've written some of it, but it's still not enough. Sometimes I really wish that I could draw or paint, because it would be much easier to describe it, if I could look at it. Maybe that "battle thread" would be a good idea.

[ April 22, 2002: Message edited by: Maikadilwen ]
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Old 04-22-2002, 12:59 AM   #45
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Stupid work, taking away from my barrowdowns time! I'm having trouble catching up and now I have to get to bed soon!
Okay, I found more questions, so I'll answer them!

How do you guys feel about including a *hmhm* sexual *hmhm* relationship in your story?

I generally don't like it, unless it is under the romance section and is just using a fantasy backdrop as its setting. But otherwise, no. I feel it (dare I say it) dirties the work.

Next, how do you keep track of names etc. and phrases you like, that pop into your head?

Very easily. I always have a pen and paper nearby, and I'm always writing down conversations that my characters have. Names are a bit harder, as I've mentioned before, but only with those two chars. (Eflil and Elfal). Otherwise they're quite easy! These are the names of the main characters in my story: (no touchy unless you thought of the same one too!) Aven Arheli, Deomer Durae(yes..I cheated with that one...so sue me), Aowae of the house of Shaorn, Gahren Grendlli, Cahil, Malithil, Elfal, Eflil, Ericei, Ilianirerieleman (that actually means something in my language), Sirey and many more.

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

Mixture, definately. I've fallen asleep in Math class and woken up with divine inspiration! One time I had NO paper available so I started to write on my graphic calculator (which I am quite proficient at!) Dreams mainly though. Or I would recall something from one of my many made up worlds from my childhood and somehow incorporate it into my new world. If it's anything I read it must be Tolkien, but it's more of his style of writing that influences me. I also read many fantasy romance with faeries and magic, wizards etc. and the language used in dialogue is quite useful.

How do you feel about other people reading your work?

Hmm...well, as I've posted it online (ffnet) I must be alright with it. (It's not actually fanfiction, it's under the original category). But no one that I PERSONALLY know will I give my pen name to. *shrugs* It's gotten good reviews so far, so I'm fine with it.

Next, how long do you write for before you feel that it is finished and you can't do anymore without spoiling it?

Depends. Writing a good chapter for me can take anywhere from one day to two weeks. Writer's block DOES not help.

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?

I am a good artist, but I'm not great. I can't portray my own characters the way I want to, so I've enlisted the help of a wonderful artiste friend of mine. She's drawing my characters anime style (my fave!). Actually, it's interesting to see how others portray my characters, so I would most definately let others illustrate the cover.
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Old 04-22-2002, 01:11 AM   #46
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Quote:
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.
Yeah, way back on the first page there! But I love making up languages! This is from the prologue of my story:

Iu'mae liani y'er
Cel da'cir viel da'tui el'anen
Iu'da'anen siu ce agrane ti'da'ceii
Dua'mae ce viar ti'da'merey el'da'maeir.

Iu'Reis da'anen ter iran
Dianen ti'diare da'mae
Mae dua'anen, oliran dua'nasur
Oir iu'da'gher iran ti Reis
Viel da'mae ce aper ulonin
Ti'draleon da'anen' diare da'mae
Da'anen ce agrane ulonin,
Dua oir ce viar' ti'da'uloria el'Reis
Viel lliu ulanini, Reis' siu viar.

In darkness there is nothing
But the hope for the bringer of light
In the light we will rise to the stars
And darkness will fall to the depths of the night.

In Reis the light was given
Power to fight the darkness
Darkness and light, Good and evil
All in the gift given to Reis
For the darkness will come again
To release the light, fight the darkness
The light will rise again
And all will fall to the glory of Reis
For your grace, Reis, we fall.
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Old 04-22-2002, 07:53 AM   #47
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I was reading some tips to writing fantacy. It was funny because she said that whatever you do you should try NOT to be another Tolkien because everyone is sick of it. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

But she also said that dragons are out. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]

Do you guys think dragons are over used?

Do you think everyone's tired of dragons? [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 04-22-2002, 09:54 AM   #48
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I'm using dragons if it fits into the story. The one I'm currently working on has dragons in it, because they are one of the main reasons to one of the conflicts, so I couldn't really leave them out. Though I've put it in a time, where there a only very few dragons left in the world. Or are there...? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 04-22-2002, 01:18 PM   #49
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Oh I love this thread!
Thank you everyone for answering my questions, sorry I asked so much but I am quite excitable when it comes to meeting people who share intrests.
King Carlton, I already have the Age of Empires game, not that I'm any good at it, the other civilistations are too quick to make armies! But I will follow your advice and see if I can learn from it. I will also try and find Age of Mythology, it sounds good!
Oh dear Maika, our stories sound kinda the same! *gulps*
I don't think dragons are boring or over used or anything, I tend to think that not enough dragons feature in fantasy these days.
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Old 04-22-2002, 01:28 PM   #50
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It is interesting to see how many of the answers were similar to my own. Regarding the writing of a language, I think it is fine if it is as KC said, and Thinhyandoiel, I think that is beautiful! I think it is fine to have a created language as poetry, or a prologue etc. or anything that is not essential to understand to add to the story, that way, the more committed readers who are really interested will be the ones to try and figure it out. That way it will enhance their enjoyment of the story and make a little fun along the way. As with Lord of the Rings etc. there is a difference between reading the books and reading the books then reading the Unfinished tales and the History of Middle Earth.
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Old 04-22-2002, 02:01 PM   #51
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Friends, I'm astounded how this topic has taken off! I admit it, I've fantasized about starting a thread that people enjoy. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Starbreeze:

Quote:
To write is to make dreams, to make dreams is to awaken the fantasy of the mind, to awaken the mind is to be a master.
I like that a lot.

dragongirlG: Thanks for the website link.

KingCarlton: Thanks for the reference to 'Age of Empires'. I've seen it on the shelves in the local hobby shop and would buy it but my wife would have a REAL BIG problem with that. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] Next monetary birthday/Christmas gift I get, who knows?....

I find nothing offensive whatsoever in your posts, KC. They are stated clearly, forthrightly, as your own thoughts, not forced on anyone.

Rose Cotton: Regarding everyone being sick of Tolkien, I think it's because most of what's published tries to be like Tolkien and fails miserably, or the publisher claims the tie-in and readers see that it's a bunch of baloney. Check out the "Valid Criticisms" thread for more on this.
Quote:
But she also said that dragons are out. Do you guys think dragons are over used?
I think one must be careful about dragons because they can be over used. I have two in my story, but they are way more powerful than anything in Tolkien's works. Also they function differently in my story, as virtually the rulers over entire peoples and armies. I made them that way partly because I intuited that dragons are indeed getting to be a dime a dozen; plus, it just works better for my story.

Happy writing!
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Old 04-22-2002, 02:13 PM   #52
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Oh dear Maika, our stories sound kinda the same! *gulps*
Trust me. They're not. If they are, it would be the most freaky thing of all freaky things I've ever experienced. But from what I've heard about your story so far, they're very different. But then maybe you can tell me how it ends, because I haven't got a clue. I'll probably end up with a "Well I'm back" kind of ending. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 04-22-2002, 02:39 PM   #53
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Regarding language...I don't know if anyone cares, but I am personally using a little parody of the English language for my story. The language is made up entirely of contractions (when possible.) There is no "The book belonging to Sarah" it's always "Sarah's book." Just thought you'd like to know...sorry if this was a pointless post. I just love it when I find other writers online, though.

Thinhyandoiel, what's your pen name on FFN?

I too would probably never give my pen name to anyone I know...yet. I don't think my writing is that good yet, and when I show people I know what I wrote, I feel terribly embarrassed sometimes. I think it's because that writing really reveals what I think sometimes, and I feel like this pleasantly secret part of me is getting disclosed. In time, however, I'll probably gain enough confidence to show my friends and family. The only person I've shown/read my works to is probably my sister and parents, and maybe one of my friends if she goes to my website.

I'm so happy that I've found so many authors here that I can share my love of writing with!

Speaking of...authors...I know money isn't the most important thing in the world or anything...but when I go to college I will probably have to choose between doing a math/science/computer degree or a literature/fine arts degree. I really don't know what I should choose because I want to support myself, but I want to enjoy my future job too. I'm good at both types of things, but what kind of job...and how much money...could I make with a job if I graduate from Yale? I don't know. My sister said to play to my strengths, yet I find that my strengths include both poles. I'm very ambivalent and if anyone has any type of advice I'd greatly appreciate it.

Probably what will happen is I will end up with a math/science/computer degree and have writing as a hobby. I love writing more but I need to support myself and have a steady job, etc, and I'm good at both sides. Argh...

Sorry for being too repetitious.
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Old 04-22-2002, 02:55 PM   #54
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Quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To write is to make dreams, to make dreams is to awaken the fantasy of the mind, to awaken the mind is to be a master.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I like that a lot.
Thanks, I forgot I put that there. Its rather like one of my story ideas, it popped into my head as I was updating my sig yesterday.

In my story (so far) dragons are dog sized flying worm shaped lizards (if that makes sense). They are not true dragons, which are much larger, as they left my world at the same time as the immortal people of the 'elves' (which aren't really elves). They are a bad omen and, though small, dangerous.

Sorry, Maika, but even I don't know how it ends yet. The story writes itself, it's like a film, you don't really know the end till you see it.

Dragon Girl -
Quote:
Speaking of...authors...I know money isn't the most important thing in the world or anything...but when I go to college I will probably have to choose between doing a math/science/computer degree or a literature/fine arts degree. I really don't know what I should choose because I want to support myself, but I want to enjoy my future job too. I'm good at both types of things, but what kind of job...and how much money...could I make with a job if I graduate from Yale? I don't know. My sister said to play to my strengths, yet I find that my strengths include both poles. I'm very ambivalent and if anyone has any type of advice I'd greatly appreciate it.

Probably what will happen is I will end up with a math/science/computer degree and have writing as a hobby. I love writing more but I need to support myself and have a steady job, etc, and I'm good at both sides. Argh...
Whew, tell me about it, I have the same problem! I have to decide between, money and what I like, it is one major set back about being reasonable at everything - the only thing I know I'm not taking is Tech! At least I'm not alone, but I can't help but feel that the pressure to be rich and the demands of materialism means that the world is missing out on many great artists and authors. *sighs*

[ April 22, 2002: Message edited by: Starbreeze ]

[ April 22, 2002: Message edited by: Starbreeze ]
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Old 04-22-2002, 03:07 PM   #55
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I understand, Starbreeze. I wish everyone could make money by what their interests and talents are, but need for money gets in the way! I'm not even close to being a college student yet, but my parents have been pressuring my sister about deciding what her major will be, and before I know it, I'll have to make that decision myself.
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Old 04-22-2002, 04:24 PM   #56
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Thank you littlemanpoet, what a lovely thing to say...you are a delightful one, aren't you? [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

On this topic of dragons being "out" or whatever, I have a question for all you brilliant and imaginative minds: what kinds of wicked beasts and such appear through your story or stories?

I have:

Ursours. Small, with molten skin, several eyes (most blind) and claws where hands and feet should be. They thrive only on human flesh, and eat naught by it; yet they are so weak and bad at their hunt that they rarely or never taste it. Ursours live then in a state of continual feverish hunger, which causes them to be unsure of what they see, yet they rip and tear at all. To kill an Ursour is to have mercy, for of all beasts in the Blue they have the most accursed existence.

Morfans. Only few of them remain at Audrie and Alender's time, yet they are loath to kill. Towering, wicked fowl who roam night forests. They often lure good folk by beckoning them with a seemingly harmless fire in the middle of the darkness. Upon their cruel heads, sharp-beaked, and on their tails they bear plain, ever-burning flames. To feed these embers is to revive a dreadful Morfan.

Wrents. Shadow creatures that go unharmed by fire or weapon; only sunlight can drive them away, although they never disappear. They travel quickly, by the sound of their terrible, wailing voice. Yet their screams at least give warning to what danger lurks near.

There are others, too.

This thread is actually fascinating. I thought I was the only one writing serious fantasy, although I can't believe I did now.
 
Old 04-22-2002, 04:32 PM   #57
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dragongirlG:
Quote:
I think it's because that writing really reveals what I think sometimes, and I feel like this pleasantly secret part of me is getting disclosed.
That is how I feel when friends ask to read my work!! The fear of criticism, especially from them, is always present. When I write, every detail of the story is personal. It's as if they are seeing some untold memory of mine, one that I would like to remain personal. That's why they are never given my pen name, but online I shall give it freely! (I've sent it to you by the way. I just noticed yours is in your sig, so if I have time expect a review from me!)

KingCarlton: I do not know if your comments are directed at me, and if so no offence is taken I assure you. Your words are true though, movies (or in this case, books) are no fun with subtitles...for some. There are some who so enjoy the art of language that an unknown word, sentence or conversation in another language is amazing, especially if it is of one you do not know. Pet pastime? Yes, it is a hobby, but I do not feel that many of my worlds would be complete without some form of communication that seperates 'us' from 'them'. That is simply my opinion.
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Old 04-23-2002, 03:47 AM   #58
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Dragons? My story has dragons, but they don't look like tyrannosaurus rex with wings, they don't have ranks of colour... my dragons may bear riders, but still they are of the race of Wyrm, and their riders drink blood.

S-E-X? None in my stories, for it would be against my principles. Not overmuch romance either, just enough to spice things up.
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Old 04-23-2002, 04:07 AM   #59
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DragonGirlG: About money: I'm 42. I went liberal arts, history major, then education, and taught high school for almost three years, only to find out I wasn't cut out for the emotional drain of it (in my case). Then I got into factory work, and am now in shipping and receiving. I am going to go back to school for library science, for which I long ago tested a high level of ability and interest in. The reason I'm telling you all this is to say this: I've done okay without a lot of money, but I'm tired of just getting by; I'll double my base salary with a library science master's. So it's okay to make more money and still be a writer/artist on your own time. If you can become a paid artist, it usually means you're in advertising, or if you're discovered, you're in the movie business. Also, you will probably work for five to ten different companies by the time you retire. Just remember the bottom line: it's great to enjoy what you make a living at, but make sure you have time and energy to pursue your art. That said, it's far more important to enjoy life, period. That probably doesn't help, but take it for what it's worth.

Starbreeze: The basis for my story is that immortal beings entered Earth in ancient times and took human mates, and their offspring were heroes. In my other-world, called Aelde, the evil being are called Felloth. The gods and goddesses are called the Fellir and their offspring are called Fellspawn; they tend to take the shape their forebear prefers - serpents, wolves, spiders, boars, cats, you name it. The Fellspawn are those in whom the Fellir invest their might. Their offspring in whom they choose NOT to invest their might are called Gebilleh; none of these beings can be killed, but their bodies can be hacked to pieces; the Fellspawn have the might to re-body, but the Gebilleh make do as best they can, getting more atrocious looking with each 'hacking'. Another race in Aelde are the Cloudmariners, beings who ride the clouds like ships and bring rain where it's needed - except some have been corrupted and bring only storm wherever they go - they are called Fellmariners. The good immortals' names match the evil in everything but root - Glimmir, Glimhoth, Glimmariners, Glimspawn. There are no good Gebilleh. And then there are the two dragons, which are called Wyrms in Aelde, the Wrath Wyrm, and the Fury Wyrm. The Fury Wyrm has been imprisoned in a sword of power, called Archbane.

ACK I gotta get to work!

Happy writing!
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Old 04-23-2002, 08:54 AM   #60
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Well, I am writing a story, or series of these. "Aosama" is actually one of my characters I've created and imagined in my mythical world. It's very hard not to imitate other writers. But everything from my life, including everything I've read before, will somehow slide it's way onto the paper in a different form, and I'll be writing away, and reading what I've written, I ask myself: 'now how did that get there?' and keep on trucking. It's like my religion: I tried so very hard to keep everything in my story neutral. But, just like some of my characters are my relatives personified, it just leaked out until I stopped trying to hold it in. Maybe, when its published, people will congregate in forums like these to examine my work and my worlds and compare it to the Bible and to Tolkien. All I can say is Tolkien influenced my life and changed me. He changed how I write and how I think about my own writing. I'm not too embarrassed to read my stories out loud to others anymore. Stephen King, Gordon Korman, and Brian Jacques did the exact same thing. But I'm trying to keep all my characers all *mine*
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Old 04-23-2002, 08:58 AM   #61
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OH, and just double-checking King Carlton's reply: the dragon story *has* been done before. Sort of. It's mentioned in "Her Majesty's Wizard" by Christopher Stasheff. But only briefly, and it could be done much more beautifully if we try to portray dragons differently than either Stasheff or Tolkien did. It'd be an interesting project, to say the least.
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Old 04-23-2002, 09:04 AM   #62
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It's encouraging to see so many writers here on the Downs. Good topic, littlemanpoet!

Jumping back a few posts, lmp, I wanted to throw in that reading military history can provide lots of inspiration for battle sequences. I just recently read an article in a magazine called -- appropriately -- Military History about a key clash between Carthage and Rome. The article was chock full of ideas for drama -- on the Roman side, two generals with a personal hatred for one another, on the opposing side, two brothers, Hannibal and Hamilcar, both brilliant strategists; for Rome, citizen-soldiers, for Carthage, a force comprised of mixed mercenary troops. Besides simple strategy and tactics, the article gave information on how things like terrain, the experience of the commanders, intelligence and counter-intelligence, the timing of maneuvers, the composition of forces and other elements shaped the battle.

I also like your idea of starting a thread to analyze Tolkien's battle sequences as fiction.

Since you've clearly finished at least a draft or two of your own work, maybe you can answer a few of your own questions posed at the beginning of this thread for the illumination of your fellow Downers. What strategies have you employed in your attempt to reach your sixth level of seriousness?
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Old 04-23-2002, 01:07 PM   #63
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KC, have you read any of Anne McCaffery's books? All her books are purely about dragons, (bar a few which feature other things too) and she is a best seller.
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Old 04-23-2002, 09:21 PM   #64
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KingCarlton: I can see that you are quite adamant about your views on the use of language in fiction. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] I commend that, kudos to you! To your question: Yes it does 'hit me in the face' as I can make neither sense nor purpose of whatever it was you wrote. But it lacks the content that surrounds true language. The story surrounding it can give just as much mystery to it as can any other device that we use. You said that entire sequences make it (reading) cumbersome. Out of curiousity, because this has come to mind as I read that, is Galadriel's song Namarie cumbersome? Was it pointless and did it turn off the readers? This is just a question you don't have to answer. It is just for curiousity's sake.
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Old 04-24-2002, 08:21 AM   #65
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I wrote broadcast news reports for twenty years. I'm not sure if that counts as non-fiction!

Had a little time today to look somewhere on the forum other than in the RPGs. Some of you may want to play in the new Freestyle Room.

I've written a Tolkien Fan Fiction, and actually attempted to mimic Tolkien's style. It is published here at the Downs as THE HOBBITS. The link is in my signature.

If any of you are in need of a Tolkien fix, I'd sure appreciate it if you took a glance at the work. It is a novel-length fan fic, written on an EZBOARD that I set up. Each chapter was published as the first post of its own thread, and Tolkien experts (and other would be writers) helped proof it and checked it for "accuracy." I found that posting chapter drafts to a board was a great way for a lot of people to collaborate on a work.

Anyway, THE HOBBITS took about 18 months to write, with numerous interruptions from life. It will never be published, as I am reliably informed that the Tolkien Estates (wisely) will not permit that sort of thing.

Please read it! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!! Don't make me beg! (Oh. I just did.)
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Old 04-24-2002, 09:04 AM   #66
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Hahaha, nice one Gilthalion. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

I have seriously pondered on writing a book and actually finishing it. My country has a rich folklore, both like and unlike ME. (Elves would probably be "engkantada" or perhaps "diwata" from where I come from. Really, no kidding. Some may now know where I hail from.)

I've wanted to write a story regarding the mythology of my culture. But I just couldn't get the proper settings, plus the time... I've started and re-started a zillion times.

Your posts are all a big help and encouraging (even if I wasn't the one who started the thread). Actually I've kept this interest of mine a secret, even from my family and close friends. Kinda scared I suppose that they'd think the idea stupid...
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Old 04-24-2002, 10:58 AM   #67
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I've really started to miss a writer's forum, and what would it be, if not this discussion going on and on (and making progress) in emails? How about if we start a web-based one? I've been on a writers' mailing list once before, but we had not enough members. Would any of you here be interested? I think I'll go to Yahoo and start a list right NOW- join if you feel like it. Please email me if you're interested. heidi.laakso@uta.fi
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Old 04-24-2002, 11:16 AM   #68
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Done! Here is something I know I needed... I'll give the ownership gladly to anyone who wants it, i just wanted it done now, before this discussion dies or gets killed as off-topic *shudder*. So, let me introduce FaerieWordweavers (silly name, huh?), a mailing list for writers of serious fantasy, however you define that.
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Old 04-24-2002, 01:16 PM   #69
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Quote:
I had not heard of this writer. Thanks for the tip.
No problem! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Quote:
Has anyone here tried writing non fiction?
Yes, I have, and I failed. I tried writing a long paper on genetics and Darwin's theory but found that my own feelings get in the way too much, which isn't a probelm in fictional writing, you can insert as much feeling as you can, and that's what makes it real. I also tried a short paper on genetic variations that lead to the resistance of diseases, e.g. AIDS, the Black Death...and so on, but it was really a bad time for me to write it, don't ask why, and it never got off the ground. As you can probably guess, science, genetics in particular are a strong point of mine, and they were going to be published if they ever got anywhere, but they didn't.

Quote:
Actually I've kept this interest of mine a secret, even from my family and close friends. Kinda scared I suppose that they'd think the idea stupid...
Oh, I totally know the feeling. I told my parents once and they just laughed. It maybe because when I was seven or so I insisted in spending every waking moment writing (or trying to) poetry and horse stories. But this is different, for a start I'm much older, and they could give me more support. I never even tried to tell my other reletives! My friends are okay though, one of my best friends writes too, so we help each other (we are about the same way through our stories), and my other two best friends enjoy reading what we write and giving us constructive criticism, not that they do that much, mostly its 'oh, that bit was good, tell me when the next bit is done'. My other friends give me ideas, like names and models of behavior for some of the characters.

Quote:
I've really started to miss a writer's forum, and what would it be, if not this discussion going on and on (and making progress) in emails? How about if we start a web-based one? I've been on a writers' mailing list once before, but we had not enough members. Would any of you here be interested? I think I'll go to Yahoo and start a list right NOW- join if you feel like it. Please email me if you're interested. heidi.laakso@uta.fi
Daegwenn, had a similar idea I think. They do say that great minds think alike. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 04-24-2002, 08:14 PM   #70
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KingCarlton:
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You would have been wise to try that first.
Don't I know it! I asked the wise when I first considered it and they said jobs were scarce and libraries would die because of the internet. So I didn't. Of course, I'm to blame to because I actually had this dream that I would be published by age 40. Hah! Crushed dreams have a way of spurring new growth. Well, on to the future!

Quote:
that story concept that you have mentioned…. “immortal beings entered Earth in ancient times and took human mates, and their offspring were heroes.”
well, I heard of it before on two occasions. Not stories as your's is but the concept.
Yes, I'm aware the concept has been used more than once, but I take heart that my rendering of it is my own and different enough in scope and character from others.

Yes, I've tried nonfiction and will again. I have an idea for a book about depression based on my wife's and my experiences over 20 years of marriage, with my poetry on that subject interspersed where it belongs, and facts about depression where it also belongs. My writer's group is convinced that this will be a sure fire publishable thing, and I can see that.

Mister Underhill:

Quote:
Since you've clearly finished at least a draft or two of your own work, maybe you can answer a few of your own questions posed at the beginning of this thread for the illumination of your fellow Downers. What strategies have you employed in your attempt to reach your sixth level of seriousness?
Oops! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] I guess I actually haven't answered my own question! Sorry about that. This answer is going to be disorganized and stream of consciousness because I actually haven't given it a whole lot of organized thought: first, I have had the astoundingly good fortune to have managed all the Jungian balances referenced in the Tolkien and Psychology thread. I thought that was a good article. That in itself, of course, does not ensure anything. Second, my story starts in current time but has means of getting to Faerie. I employ mythic tales, that bear upon the situation of the plot, which immerse the reader in the depths of the past. I engage the reader in the struggle between good and evil, life and death, and there is loss, things that have been and never will be again that are mourned. There is a powerful evil that there seems to be little hope of defeating (that is most closest imitation of Tolkien). Well, I could go on and on and I think I will not sufficiently earmark the 6th level. Frankly, I don't think I'm there yet.

How have you dealt with the temptation to be imitative of Tolkien? Not well at first. It took many drafts to excise imitativeness from my written voice. But my tale has enough of a feel of the Celtic Sidhe and a spicing of the Arthurian legendarium, along with the Nordic elements, and based in Genesis 6, has a completely different (and I hope no less thoroughly realized) take on the deeps of the past and the immortals than does Tolkien.

How long have you been working on your story, and why? I have been working on my story since 1986. Why? I needed to grow so that my story could. The Faerie part of it did not even exist until 1990. The centrality of the swords of power did not get thoroughly fleshed out until this year. It needed to grow.

What pitfalls have you faced and how have you overcome them - or not? Trying for too archaic a voice. Having a protagonist with so many weaknesses that my sympathetic readers wanted to shake him. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] "Please make him more noble," one of the begged plaintively. Leaving some obvious questions unanswered because I hadn't even thought of them and needed readers to ask them; such as, "If she's so smart, why on earth would she want to have such a dangerous sword in her bedroom?" And that question led to a whole new plot twist that I am forever indebted to my sympathetic reader for, because it gave an energy to the plot that simply had not been there before. As you can tell, I'm sold, ABSOLUTELY SOLD, PEOPLE, [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] on the value of a writer's group. Find one! You will not regret it.

Why I started this thread:

It's really nice that this has turned into a serious fantasy writers' support group; I enjoy that aspect of it.

However: I started this thread because of some things that came up in the Valid Criticisms thread. To quickly summarize, Kalessin felt that the fantasy genre is bedeviled by mandaneity, and wondered if there is any hope for the genre. The following questions were asked: what should a writer do to induce a fresh act of sub-creation? Read Tolkien's sources but try to forget Tolkien and everything after? Avoid the medieval era? Learn fresh narrative techniques by reading books outside of the fantasy genre that also describe a world as well as tell a story? These questions spurred me to start this thread. My initial answers to those questions were: I have been working on my own fantasy story for fifteen years, and have had to face the questions you delineate. I have avoided nothing that is part of the fantasy archetype set; I think - hope - that my story is worthy to stand on its own merits for a number of different reasons. Further, it was pointed out that the fantasy genre these days has come to be defined mostly as “swords-and-sorcery”, which is to say, imitative and basically humdrum. So I wanted to know if anybody else on the Downs was writing serious fantasy, and if you were avoiding the pitfalls.

A challenge: Please refer to my six levels of seriousness and consider your own work, and respond as to what level you think your writing is at, and why. Now, please understand that level one should be considered serious, too. Emotional well-being is no laughing matter (though maybe a little more laughter is precisely what's needed). I eagerly await your responses, friends.

Happy writing!

By the way, I'm going to check out that website you just set up, Niphredil.
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Old 04-24-2002, 08:52 PM   #71
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Great topic! I'm enjoying reading about all your stories! I started out in fantasy short stories, got a great deal of pleasure from them, and ran into endless trouble with creative writing teachers. I concentrated on realistic short stories, for a while, which pleased them, but drove me into the ground, because I didn't know how to control the detail. It was good training, though, because when I went back to trying more imaginative work, I was a better writer.

My stories take surreal turns, sometimes in sub-stories. So, a man with continual humming in his ears from 20 years as a colorado coal miner hears phones ringing wherever he goes, but when he answers, the humming in his ears increases so that he can't hear what's on the line. I'm still waiting to find out if that is a ghost story (he's desperate for some sign from his daughter who has died), a western (is his newfangled hearing aid picking up some cell phone transmission?), or a medical degeneration (a brain tumor could be inducing auditory hallucinations). I'm afraid the answer will depress me, but I have to let him find out. I have a little old lady in a nursing home trying to keep her personality alive by telling a story to her attendants-- each one leaves when their task is done, decapitating each segment of her story, and as she becomes more and more frantic to complete her tale, the story becomes increasingly wild. There's nothing magic in it so far, but I see it as fantasy.

I try not to worry too much about things like influence; I have enough anxiety about showing my stuff to people as it is! I've written a shipwreck story, a Shakespeare story, and I'm writing a sort of lexical fantasy based on Tolkien and starring a word. I have created a mythology of mis-spelling! I am in a writer's group, and that helps a lot. They are very supportive, and I find reviewing others' work very stimulating. I like inventing things for other people; I take a lovely holiday into ego-free creation.

I feel like I'm finally becoming a fantasy writer, but I seem to need to ground it in realism-- I don't know why. Maybe that's my way of trying to induce a 'fresh act of sub-creation.' Put one sentence after another, always trying to turn towards the live part of the story.

[ April 24, 2002: Message edited by: Nar ]
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Old 04-25-2002, 12:10 AM   #72
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A challenge: Please refer to my six levels of seriousness and consider your own work, and respond as to what level you think your writing is at, and why.
Well, I've never been very humble about my work. Secretive, yes, but not ashamed. I know I write well, and the structure of the story is believable as sub-creation. So I've reached level #5, but #6 is not something I can judge for myself.
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Old 04-25-2002, 11:43 AM   #73
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Your sister-in-law? I hope you had her permission to post it. I like the two '...tomorrow' lines. I like the effect of repetition with variation in poetry. It is sometimes very trance-inducing. Spenser's Epithalamion (a wedding poem) would be an example. Every verse ends with a variation on 'The woods shall to me answer and my Eccho ring.' Based on your generally unsentimental posts, you would probably like the 19th verse, which dealt with the midnight hour and provided a peppery corrective to all the dreamy romantic stuff beforehand. It includes the immortal lines, 'Ne let th'unpleasant Choir of Frogs still croking/ Make us to wish theyr choking.' You might well hate the rest, but who knows?

I have no idea if this poem is derivative. My reading in poetry is more antique than modern. I like the form, the four short verses ending in an expanded conclusion. I like the sensation of dark and starry sky in the first two verses. It sounds like it should have a tune to it, which I like in a poem. I'd prefer a bit more development of the ideas. Perhaps he shouldn't be referred to as a king in the first two verses, then claiming the kingship in the last verse will have more impact. Question: is he to be the king of dreams or the king of stars? I would like more development of the idea in the 3rd and 4th verses-- moving beyond the kingdom of dreams in the stars. Why is it there? Because people dream at night while looking up with closed eyes? I would like more specific information about the battle referred to in the last verse. This would make a good power ballad. I hear howling guitars under that last verse.

Thanks for the encouragement about my writing. What's your opinion about mixing genres?
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Old 04-25-2002, 03:44 PM   #74
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King Carlton:

Quote:
Factual Reports can hardly be regarded as non- fiction as the field requires reporting no doubt, yet also theory, analysis and explanation.
That was a joke! News reports, fiction or non-fiction, get it? Get it? [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]


Quote:
I did give your writing a quick read a while back, I think you need a bit more work done. The Tolkien’s style of writing as you put it, is …yawn inducing. Consider writing to the theme of this millennium?
Ahem. My whole POINT was to write it like Tolkien! Sheesh! [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] And what IS the theme of this millennium? (At a guess, I'd say malthusian apocalypse and improper punctuation of biblical proportions.)


Quote:
Far I am from being your critic, but since you had requested.
I never requested criticism! What do I look like, a writer or a masochist? (Nevermind!)

I what I wanted was readers who actually like Tolkien and wanted more of the same! (Watery weak though it may seem...) If there is a genuine outpouring of congratulation, adulation, glory, and praise, then that's something else entirely! If I wanted critics and heartbreak (just kidding), I'd have posted my driver's license photo. (Don't make me do it!)


The old hobbit creakily got down on his aching knees (rain was coming soon, you see), grasped his hands together and plaintively cried, "PLEASE READ THE STORY! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!"

Readers who want a good Tolkien fix, a golden goodie blast from the millennium past, check out THE HOBBITS. The link is in my signature.

There is a 21st century difference to the tale, and that is that the story mainly follows a couple of young female hobbits, but there is plenty of action, old friends, romance, etc.

Here's what the readers have had to say! (and I haven't collected all the email response yet)

Joy: "I read this the other night. Actually, all 28 chapters in ONE night! Excellent job!"

Onewhitetree/Kate: "It's absolutely enchanting, Gil! I think you did a beautiful job of keeping the feel of the story authentic, and the characters are great! Wonderful job!"

Lady Arwen: "When I first read your story, The Hobbits, I absolutely loved it! It was told not in the 'yeah, that lil hobbit, well he up 'n wen' off ter Mount Doom' type of story (That makes a good mickeytake, but it doesn't sound too realistic when you're writing a real story) And so, since that fateful day when i clicked on the banner and was transported back to Middle Earth, I've been a faithful follower of The Hobbits (I actually woke up at 4am and read it in one go) and I'm so, so glad to hear that it's finished!!!! *dances little jig*"

Lillian C: "I just finished it, Gilthalion! It's a wonderful story! I was impressed with all the action sequences....You should be very proud of your accomplishment!"

Mithadan: "Very in-character throughout, very Hobbitish! It captures the character of Tolkien's writings very well. The story also flows extremely well and keeps the reader's attention. Well done!"

Dwarin Thunderhammer: "Simply great Gil, I'm sure tolkien would have loved it."

Gilthalion: "Never again!"

King Carlton: "Good!" [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ April 25, 2002: Message edited by: Gilthalion ]
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Old 04-25-2002, 04:38 PM   #75
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If any of you would like advice on horses, I will gladly offer my assistance. I have been riding horses for most of my life, and just bought a Paint mare. I ride both English & Western, and occasionally sidesaddle (boy that's a trip! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] ). I can get references for you, or whatever you need. I love to talk horse (when I'm not speaking in Quenya!)!! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 04-25-2002, 04:59 PM   #76
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Three pages. Huh. Cool. (sorry I'm listening to October Project - puts me in a certain frame of mind... [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img] )

KingCarlton: You confound "fiction" and "fantasy". Granted I'm being prescriptive be bringing in the dictionary, but: fiction: something invented by the imagination or feigned; fictitious literature; the action of feigning or of creating with the imagination.
Fantasy: the free play of creative imagination; a creation of the imaginative faculty whether expressed or merely conceived as a fanciful design or invention or a chimerical or fantastic notion; imaginative fiction featuring especially strange settings and grotesque characters - called also fantasy fiction.

So fantasy is a subcategory of fiction.

You tend toward a reductionistic approach to just about everything you discuss. Fair enough, but I think you wind up missing out on a lot, my friend.

I could not disagree with you more regarding level six. Reading Tolkien set my way of perceiving the world on a different course than it would otherwise have taken.

Ack! I gotta run! Writer's group.
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Old 04-25-2002, 05:05 PM   #77
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Oh heck. One more thing. I've posted chapter one of my story on FWW. Check it out if you like.

[ August 31, 2002: Message edited by: littlemanpoet ]
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Old 04-25-2002, 05:33 PM   #78
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littlemanpoet:

In regards to your earlier question about the levels of fiction. I would rate mine about a 3-4. I know for a fact that my characters are loved (And if any of my readers knew what I have planned for Aven and Sirey I would be the object of a massive head hunt...er...overexaggeration, but you get it) But I am also trying to portray a few themes across to them, whether they recognize or acknowledge them or not is up to them, but they're there if they want them.

Tolkien would definately reign in with level 6, and that is an amazing feat indeed! To live up to that kind of calibre doesn't seem to be hard for him and a few gifted others. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

KingCarlton: I disagree with what you said about Tolkien, but that is understandable as all opinions can not be expected to be identical. I found it quite engrossing, indeed the folklore, languages and history of Middle-Earth is the main reason why I could not put those books down as I read them. The lives of Hobbits contrasting with those of Elves, Dwarves and Men was quite intriguing. To me that is. Everytime a new story, that of Nimrodel or that of Luthien and Beren, came up I enjoyed every word. I guess that is why I am finding it hard to understand your points of view. We seem quite different from one another.
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Old 04-25-2002, 06:47 PM   #79
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I'm working on something now, for the last 2 years actually, but it has completely changed in plot since I started and it doesn't even have a name yet. Because of all the changes, I'm only about 3 chapters into it, and it really bothered me until I learned how long Tolkien worked on LOTR. My story is pretty different from Tolkien's because I had only read The Hobbit when I began writing. I sometimes worry that it sounds too much like a teenage girl speaking when I write from the guys' point of view (don't let the name fool you, it's just a joke with friends. We are Pippin, Merry, Sam and Frodo) I have started to create languages, cultures and an entire world. I have maps to scale, a small dictionary for the languages, some songs and am a history for it. (I need a social life...)
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Old 04-25-2002, 07:01 PM   #80
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littlemanpoet:
Quote:
For fear that I may enter in your strife
you shrink away and shroud yourself from life.
Love those lines! Liftoff!

[ April 25, 2002: Message edited by: Nar ]
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