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Old 06-28-2003, 12:29 AM   #1
Morquesse
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Sting Are You Writing Serious Fantasy? II

On the last 'Are You Writing Serious Fantasy?' thread, there was debate whether we should start a new thread to continue it. I have gotten permission from the Barrow-Wight and Estelyn Telcontar to began a new thread and continue our writing discussions. The old thread will be locked but we can see it.
So here is the new thread! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] I have a question or two so we can start(if you have another idea that's fine too).

How did you decide that you wanted to write fantasy? What kind do you write? [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Has Tolkien influenced your writing? If so, how?

I'll put my answers later. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Enjoy!
~M

[ June 29, 2003: Message edited by: Morquesse ]
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Old 06-28-2003, 04:12 AM   #2
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I have always loved writing and it has been a long time ambition for me to become an author. However, I'm only 16 at the moment, so I think it's better for me to practice my writing now and try at writing a novel later on in my life. I already have a few plot ideas in my head, both based on fantasy. I have always loved reading fantasy books and it would be amazing if I could write one myself.
The Lord of the Rings has influenced me a lot, I love the books and I decided to try my hand at fanfiction a while back. I practiced my butt off and learnt so much, how to use punctuation correctly, I find that my vocabulary has increased and I've got better at spelling since I started writing fanfiction. I've found fanfiction great practice, and I hope it will help me when I decide to write something of my own.
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:31 AM   #3
Aredhel Idril Telcontar
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Sting

Well, I write just for fun and I love it!:lol. I am actually trying to write a book, but I doubt I'll have enough guts to get it published [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]. Hey, I'm only 14!!
I love reading fantasy, but it's hard to get any in my country that is in English. Tolkien has, of course, influenced me, as well as other excellent fantasy writers, but the trick is, at least for me, not trying to copy them.
Writing fantasy, in my opinion, is becoming harder and harder, since a LOT of things have already been thought of...
Quote:
How did you decide that you wanted to write fantasy?
After reading the Books, of course [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:33 AM   #4
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Sting

Quote:
What kind do you write?
Well, actually, I'm trying to pull off military (campaigns, wars etc.)fantasy. And it's hard!!! Real hard!!! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 06-28-2003, 11:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
How did you decide that you wanted to write fantasy? What kind do you write?

How has Tolkien influenced your writing? If so, how?
Well, I don't know if I count, as I write poetry instead of full-length stories. At the same time, if I can say this without being pretentious, it's usually good, and I'd like to go somewhere with the ones that turn to songs.

So, assuming I count, I write, as stated, poetry/songs. The ones that are fantasy are usually in reverence to nature, though I wrote a couple ones about battles and war a while back.

Tolkein isn't much of an influence to my writing. Usually, most of my work comes from being outside for a long while, just listening to the world. Occasionally, I'll outline something similar to elves, and I mean the elves from LotR. They were beautiful. The ones on battle, though, were based directly on Tolkein and his Nazgul.
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Old 06-28-2003, 01:55 PM   #6
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I have been writing my novel for about a year and a half now, and so far I have about three chapters finished. At the rate I'm going, it should be complete in about twenty years. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

I have always loved writing, and have written many short stories besides the work on my book. I have been using Tolkien's languages, because I don't have a big enough emagination to create my own.
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Old 06-29-2003, 12:04 AM   #7
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Sting

Daisy Brambleburr: Same here. It was because of writing I learned how to do it, and am continueing to. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] My greatist joy of it is creating and growing the characters' personalities.


Aredhel Idril Telcontar: Publishing my stuff at this time sounds exciting and scary, so I'm with ya. We'll just keep practicing.
About trying not copy other peoples' work, I heard some good advice that 'you shouldn't worry about being a copy-cat, because your and your stuff only will come out some time', and I've been following that. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Quickslash: that's cool! I don't think I have the patience for creating poetry, but I admire those who can. Do you write full stories?

Duncariel: I have been working on my third chapter also, and I'm slow too. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Though I am trying to construct some languages, it doesn't require that much imagination, just an idea of what you like and knowledge on the subject (which, could take a while to recieve). But you should at least try it.


Before I read Tolkien (I was about 11 at the time), I got this magazine for kids that would sometimes have comics in there. One time the subject was fantasy. I looked at that, and decided that I wanted create my own fantasy world, and perhaps write about it. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Tolkien influenced me by wanting to put lots of detail in my world, and by wanting to learn and create languages. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
See you later!
~M
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Old 06-29-2003, 12:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Quickslash: that's cool! I don't think I have the patience for creating poetry, but I admire those who can. Do you write full stories?
It's just my gift. Otherwise I wouldn't have any patience, either. ~_^ I...can write full stories, but the funny thing is that I don't have the patience for that. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] I'll start something and just let it come as it will, as I do with the poetry, and...after a few months, I'm bored. I've a few unfinished things buried around somewhere.
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Old 06-29-2003, 01:38 AM   #9
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Sting

Thanks for the advice, Morquesse! Yeah, I try writing poetry as well, and am doing quite well *ego swells* [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img].
As for languages, I actually use my own native tongue, since I write in English, and just adjust it a bit. Works quite nicely too!
In my novel, I've done the prologue, chapter one and I'm onto chapter two, but I always have to look back and fix things. Quite frustrating, but that's life [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 06-30-2003, 06:30 PM   #10
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Sting

I've been working on the pre-writing for my novel for a long time, since I want to get everything planned out first, and then actually start writing the story. All I can say is, it is filled with strong female characters, and the racial diversity is comparable to Lord of the Rings.

Naturally, the minute after I finished reading the books, I wanted to write one of my own. The books have really influenced my works, but it's not as if I'm copying whole plot-lines and characters from the stories. My Elves are very similar to Tolkien's elves, but they have some differences. For example, my Sea Elves have hair colors and eye colors ranging from blue to silver, and their skin has a bluish tinge. My High Elves are a lot like the Noldor, and are dark-haired, grey-eyed, and pale-skinned. My Wood Elves have brown to blond hair, and brown to green eyes, and they all have golden-brown tans.
I think it's all right to take some elements from other books, like the way that I did above, but I changed mine around so that they were original in some way. I think that's the best way to do it, so that you don't feel like a copycat.
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Old 07-02-2003, 04:40 PM   #11
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Sting

I did actually think about trying to create my own language, but with all the home work and stuff that I have, I found that it takes too much time.

I have the prologue finished, and the first chapter. I'm currently revising the second.
Most of the stuff that I write about blossoms from actual experiences that I apply to my main charaters. Most of them seriously resemble people that I know.

[ July 02, 2003: Message edited by: Duncariel ]
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Old 07-02-2003, 07:15 PM   #12
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Yep, and I'm finally getting somewhat serious about it now. I haven't had any fiction published, but I have some research articles and opinion pieces under my belt. I also have most of a novel finished, but I'm not ready to let it go yet.
I believe LOTR was probably my first introduction to serious fantasy, but I'm not sure. I can't honestly remember if I read Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, Narnia, or LOTR first. I've done so MUCH reading, it's hard to say what's influenced me or not.
I like to write my fantasy as partially based in the modern world - I love mixing magic and the mundane. And I've never been particularly interested in languages. I do sometimes write about elves, though. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 07-04-2003, 11:49 AM   #13
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So far I have written the prologue to a book and have about eight other ideas including one science fiction which, if I ever write it, will probably be two books long at least. My biggest problem is getting started, I am better at writing action scenes. Tolkien has influenced me a lot I expect, although it isn't too obvious to me.
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Old 07-05-2003, 12:36 AM   #14
Aredhel Idril Telcontar
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Sting

There's one thing I've sworn not to write about in my books and that's elves. It's because I could never make them better then Tolkien did.
Of course, there are immortals or really long-lived people in my novels, but they gain that through preserving sorceries, *magical* fields, plains etc.
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Old 07-05-2003, 08:24 PM   #15
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Well take a look at this. Nice going, Morquesse! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

I've been writing my one magnum opus for 17 years now (I think). So you may have thought you were exaggerating by saying 20, but well, that's life. I'm finally actually getting reasonably good at the craft of writing. I always felt I had the ability, but I got with a group and learned a lot. I'm in my 7th revision, up to chapter 17 right now. I don't have any elves either, but I do have immortals, both good and evil. I also mix modern and faerie worlds; actually, my protagonist moving from the one to the other. I'd say Tolkien has influenced the way I think a lot, but my writing is not like his much at all.

How about a new question: how do you make your protagonist (hero) somebody your reader can relate to, or like, or at least sympathize with? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 07-05-2003, 09:44 PM   #16
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Sting

Quote:
How about a new question: how do you make your protagonist (hero) somebody your reader can relate to, or like, or at least sympathize with?
I make my protangonist someone *I* can relate to, and sympathize with, and I let my audience take care of itself. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
For some reason, everyone keeps saying my current protagonist is really eccentric, but I like him, so I figure that's all that matters. He really IS a likable guy, and his way of perceiving things makes sense (to me, anyway). There's no relation between Tolkien's work and mine though, although I'd like to work on the geography and history of my novel and give it some more depth (which is something I admire in Tolkien's work).
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Old 07-06-2003, 02:04 AM   #17
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Sting

The first thing I did, before starting my novel, was to sit down and think of how I want my characters to be. Do I want them perfect? Obvioulsy not.
People can related to more flawed characters. A simple person thrown out into the cruel world is an excellent main character (as Tolkien and others proved).
My main characters are actually quite likable (at least I think so). They have their virtues and flaws (egotism, arrogance etc.).
But all that's pretty obvious [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 07-07-2003, 07:19 PM   #18
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Now I am just starting to write a novel. I only have the outline. But it will be finished I hope some day and hopefully it will be published. I have always enjoyed fantasies and novels etc. Since I can remember I always saw those three big books on the shelf which I couldn't even read the titles of, and I always said to myself, I'll read them when I'm older. So in 5th grade I finally began to read then, and I loved them. (and it just so happened that when I began to read them the movies came out so that was a bonus) I also remember going into my brothers room and looking at all his books and saying which ones I was going to read when I was done with LOTR. And so Tolkien enspired me Dragon Lance enspired me and Dungeons and Dragons (a role playing game that I play with my brothers and their friends every Sun.) enspired me too. But the top thing that pushed me the most was my own cousin, he wrote a novel and it got published. At this I decided that it was time I picked up a pencil and begin to write a fantasy of my own! I loved writing anyway and thought it would be fun. So far so good ideas have been pouring into my head and my family is cheering me on (especially my mom). But I do have a problem I have all these ideas for my book but I don't know what the title will be. I'll keep thinking but anyway, this novel will be a big part of my life and I can't wait to start the story (remember I just have an outline right now) and I hope if it does get published the readers will love it as much as I will! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 07-08-2003, 08:35 AM   #19
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Tolkien

I've always liked writing, mostly short stories, and I must admit once in a while I thought about writing a novel. My problem was that I couldn't think of anything to write. That is, until I read LOTR. Somehow that book inspired me to write the longest piece of work I have yet done. June 5th of 2002 I started to write what I thought would be a short story. After a few days of writing, I decided to extend it and make it into a novel. I had no clue what I was getting myself into.

My story first started out as a fan-fiction of LOTR. I made up my own characters, of course, but I put the settings in Mirkwood at a time after the 4th age. After a few months of writing, I started to talk to people about it. I even talked to a few on this site. They, unfortunately, convinced me to not write a fan-fic but a novel of my own creation.

I sat down and had to re-do the entire thing. I kept most of the characters I made, and some points of the original story, but now it is completely different. This fantasy I am writing has probably taken up most of my free time at home and at school. I would constantly keep coming up with ideas, and no matter where I was, I would have to write them down.

I made up my own world, characters, places, creatures, everything. I had no idea the sort of thing was in me. And now after over a year of when I started this piece originally, I have written 13 chapters. I started out with probably around 6 characters at the beginning, and now I have over 25. I have 7 different types of creatures, 15 names of places, and so many pages of story I don't even know what to do with it...and I'm not done either. Even now after all this time I have finally come up with a title for my novel, and it would be Mirage.

Now...you ask...

Quote:
How did you decide that you wanted to write fantasy?
All my life I have been interested in what you would call "fantasy". Pretty much, I have just been fascinated with things that would not happen in everyday life. Sci-fi, mythology, and even just plain fiction has all intrigued my mind in a way I have not been able to escape. I guess writing a fantasy was just a way of making me happy.

Quote:
What kind do you write?
I used to write short stories on ghosts and aliens and different stuff like that. Now, however, I have been interested more in mythological type writings. Things having to do with magical beings, fairy-tale type lands, and, of course, extraordinary heros like Sam are now my main topic.

Quote:
Has Tolkien influenced your writing? If so, how?
How could he not? Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were the ones who inspired me to write fantasy in the first place. I think it was to a point that I envied their works so much that I wanted to write something just as good as them...which we all know is not possible. But Tolkien influence me in giving me the will and determination to write my novel, and not stop writing until I know it comes to what I want it to be.
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Old 07-11-2003, 07:19 PM   #20
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Fantasy writing is my main passion in life.

Quote:
How did you decide that you wanted to write fantasy? What kind do you write?
Well, it's just the area that I'm the most comfortable in. It's fun and challenging, what more could you want? I love finding the balance between the emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of the story. Making it fantasical (I'm willing to bet that's not a real word [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] ) and yet belivable to some extent. And with fantasy, you're able to create so much for the world you're writing in. So many different species, languages, places, and people are possible. The challenge comes in making them all real, bringing them all to life. I love it.

As for what kind - well, I write action, adventure, drama, and romance all in one story. It's tough, writing in so many different genres, but it's necessary for the story; I've got battles I need to write (those are the parts that are hardest for me [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] ), relationships that need to develop, exposition on past events, and... phew. It's hard, but that's just one of the things that makes writing so fun - the challenge.

Quote:
Has Tolkien influenced your writing? If so, how?
Of course. He practically invented the genre, didn't he? I started writing my main fantasy story long before I'd read LotR, but as we all know, ideas develop long after you've started putting things down on paper (or WordPad, as the case may be [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ), and I think reading Tolkien made me more mature as a writer. He opened my eyes to all that's possible, to all I could be (I sound like an Army advertisement, don't I? [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] ). Also, a lot of things in the Appendices inspired me - I was rereading the Tale of Ages and thought, "Hey, that looks like fun!" [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] So I wrote a timeline for my world. And it was more than fun, it was insanely helpful. I finally had a synopsis, and I hadn't even intended to write one! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] And though I'd been developing maps and languages before I read LotR, Tolkien really helped me to improve what I already had. Like I said, I became much more mature as a writer after I read Tolkien's works.

I guess we as fantasy writers are all indebted to Tolkien in our own way. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

By the way, I think threads like these are wonderful, giving writers a place to come together, share experiences, and help each other out. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ July 11, 2003: Message edited by: Estella Brandybuck ]
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Old 07-11-2003, 07:42 PM   #21
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Okay, for some reason, the site wouldn't let me edit my last post, so I'll just have to post again...

Quote:
How about a new question: how do you make your protagonist (hero) somebody your reader can relate to, or like, or at least sympathize with?
Well, my three main protagonists are based off of people I know in real life, with similar strengths and faults. Ahh, faults - I think that giving your characters a decent amount of flaws really helps the reader identify with those characters. And that, my friends, is why Mary Sues are such a turn-off. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Now that's not to say that these people should be complete spazzes, unable to solve any problem and spending most of the story bouncing off of walls. Even if the character isn't human, I think it's good to give them the human quality of making a few mistakes while also having plenty strength of their own. I don't know if I'm making any sense, so I'd better stop now...

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My story first started out as a fan-fiction of LOTR. I made up my own characters, of course, but I put the settings in Mirkwood at a time after the 4th age. After a few months of writing, I started to talk to people about it. I even talked to a few on this site. They, unfortunately, convinced me to not write a fan-fic but a novel of my own creation.
Aww, I think you should've continued with the fanfic! Fanfiction is a great way to pratice your writing. It helps you understand and respect proper characterization, character interactions, decent plot continuation, and things like that. Plus, it's really fun. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 07-12-2003, 11:33 AM   #22
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Interesting thread, guys! I flatter myself I am a beginning writer after the style of C.S. Lewis. Time will tell.

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How did you decide that you wanted to write fantasy?
It just came to me. I've always loved creating the characters in my mind, and realized that I was capable of developing a real passion for the person I imagined. When I started reading more fantasy, I couldn't help but try my hand at writing!

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What kind do you write?
I have plans for several novels, and have one well underway. I'm starting over, though. I was in a real slump, and couldn't understand what was holding me back. Then it hit me: I ALWAYS write with an outline, but had failed to make one for this work! Aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!

My poetry is truly awful. That's okay, cuz I really don't want to write poetry anyway. I only create it when I'm very bored and want a writing challenge. What I do is think up a complicated rhyme scheme and think up something to fit it. Doesn't make for great writing, but it's great to kill some time!

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Has Tolkien influenced your writing?
I'm sure Tolkien's writing has influenced me in some way. It really isn't obvious in my writing, though. I dislike fan fiction, and would never try to copy anyone, but I think the idea of creating my own languages probably came from Tolkien.

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How do you make your protagonist (hero) somebody your reader can relate to, or like, or at least sympathize with?
My current main character is a true antihero. Not the type that gets respect. I don't even like him. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] I tend to depend on a strong "supporting cast" of characters. Hmmm...Gotta work on that.

My writing has been described as correct and well thought out, but not interesting. I foresee a career as a journalist before me! [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img] Thankfully, my lil'sis is helping me with character developement and description. She has a truly artistic mind, and that flavor carries over to her writing.

Can anyone suggest a site where I can get help and inspiration?

Have a great day!
~Kates~
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Old 07-12-2003, 12:39 PM   #23
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Lily, don't worry about not being able to think of a title for your book/work/novel. I am three chapters into my poem and still don't know the title.
Well, right at the beginning I named it "The Tale of the Fall of Men into Evil" but I think that sounds terrible. So I want to rename it but I don't know what to call it.
I have heard that the best thing to do is to wait until you've written your entire work and that's exactly what I'm gonna do.
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Old 07-12-2003, 12:44 PM   #24
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Aww, I think you should've continued with the fanfic! Fanfiction is a great way to pratice your writing. It helps you understand and respect proper characterization, character interactions, decent plot continuation, and things like that. Plus, it's really fun.
Actually I probably should have. It was kinda cool, because I had my character run into Merry and Pippin's grandchildren while she was wandering near the road in Mirkwood. Although, I have to admit I think I might keep my fan-fic writing to only poems. I might write a short story here and there, but I like writing mostly poems. Who knows though...I might get inspired soon to finish writing it.

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How do you make your protagonist (hero) somebody your reader can relate to, or like, or at least sympathize with?
I'm not sure about this one. My hero is pretty much just an average person...who might know how to fight pretty good. Like in my book, my main character I had as one who loves music and poetry and she loved the outdoors. I guess it all depends on what the reader is interested in as if they can relate to it or not. I pretty much just think of a character with traits that I thought would be interesting, and I just hope that others will think the same.

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Can anyone suggest a site where I can get help and inspiration?
Well I can recommend this site for inspiration. You can go to the RPG sections or also the fan-fiction section of the Downs. There are so many great writers here that there is no possible way not to get inspired. For instance, Gilthalion wrote a wonderful Fan-fic called "The Hobbits" which I have constantly read and re-read. It inspired me so much. I think it was because of this story that I was inspired to write my first poem about Frodo and Sam.

As for help, I'm sure anyone on this site would be glad to help and also there is breeunderbreehill,Ringbearer, and Tolkien Online. I love all of those.
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Old 07-13-2003, 05:19 AM   #25
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Hmmm... I didn't exactly answer Morquesse's questions. I better rectify that.

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How did you decide that you wanted to write fantasy?
Back in '86 I couldn't find the kind of fantasy I wanted to read, so I decided to write my own. I didn't think it would take this long to be halfway through my first novel! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]

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What kind do you write?
I write "transition" fantasy; that's a term coined by Nar in the old "AYWSF" thread. It means that my protag starts out in our modern world and leaves it to go to the faerie realm. So it's part high fantasy and part modern fairy tale, I guess.

Oh! The other category besides transition fantasy is "immersion" - which is when your protag starts out in the world you've created. That's what LotR is.

So - are you writing transition or immersion fantasy?

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Has Tolkien influenced your writing? If so, how?
Heck, Tolkien has influenced my entire life! I was introduced to The Hobbit when I was 8, and finished LotR by the time I was 14. LotR and Middle Earth had a powerful impact on how I see the world. For example, when I was a little kid I was brought up to be very patriotic, but by the time I was 12 I loved Middle Earth instead of my own country. (Watergate and Vietnam didn't help either, but that's another story).

More to the point, does Tolkien influence my writing? Yes. Since he influences my entire outlook, how could he not?

So are you writing transition fantasy or immersion fantasy? [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 07-13-2003, 01:23 PM   #26
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So are you writing transition fantasy or immersion fantasy?
I am writing both, I have several stories that I am currently working on, some transition and some immersion.

I wrote a short story for an english assignment that I think is good, but it isn't very well developed, because I didn't have much time to write it, and it seems more like a segment of a longer story.

I have a really hard time introducing my main characters, which is why I've only written a prologue so far, although I've come up with many ideas for different stories.

Sometimes I like to start with a title that gives me an idea of what the main idea will be.

These are my random ramblings...
I'll stop now.
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Old 07-13-2003, 01:26 PM   #27
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I write "transition" fantasy; that's a term coined by Nar in the old "AYWSF" thread. It means that my protag starts out in our modern world and leaves it to go to the faerie realm. So it's part high fantasy and part modern fairy tale, I guess.
Ahh, so there's a word for that kind of fantasy! Yes, my current story is a transition fantasy; four of the main protagonists (the main humans) come from our world and pass over into the world that I created. I'd explain it a bit more, but then I'd end up summarizing the whole story, and I know no one wants that. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

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Actually I probably should have. It was kinda cool, because I had my character run into Merry and Pippin's grandchildren while she was wandering near the road in Mirkwood. Although, I have to admit I think I might keep my fan-fic writing to only poems. I might write a short story here and there, but I like writing mostly poems. Who knows though...I might get inspired soon to finish writing it.
I think that would be nice. I've found that the more I write fanfic, the more my writing improves, which greatly helps my original story. And who knows - maybe you can incorporate any new ideas or certain lines from your fanfic into your original story.
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Old 07-13-2003, 02:06 PM   #28
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So are you writing transition fantasy or immersion fantasy?
Well, I never really thought about writing transition fantasy before. I mostly write immersion, though, the idea of transition fantasy does give me an idea for the 3rd sequal to a short story I wrote in 6th grade.

Anyway, yes, I like writing immersion. I guess I just get all caught up in the world I created in my book, that I never even stop to think about "What if I had a character from today's time enter the story?". I did think about having people from a distant land, like and existing land around the time my world would have exitsted, come into the story. But somehow when I started writing it the idea just disappeared from my mind. Thankyou for reminding me of that, littlemanpoet, though I'm sure you did it unintentionally. I think now I have just discovered the ending to my book.
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Old 07-13-2003, 02:13 PM   #29
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I dont know what immersion is, but I don't think I write that either. Mine is like Tolkien's Middle-Earth, It's our world, but in ancient times.
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Old 07-13-2003, 02:26 PM   #30
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I am currently working on a fantasy quest type story very much inspired by Tolkein's works (especially the Silmarillion and LOTR). I want to create my own fictional universe like Tolkein and Lovecraft have done.

I have no idea what the main story will turn out to be except that it will be a quest of some sort. Right now i'm focusing more o ncreating the background of the story (how the 'world' was created, common legends, different races/cultures, etc). I'm also working on a language though that is proving very difficult since all i have are a bunch of sounds and these sounds must mean something and it must be consistent, unfortunately i'm not a linguist or a philologist like Tolkein so this complicates the task for me (i only know 2 languages fluently). As well I want to make it more morally ambigious than anything Tolkein ever came up with since i feel that the obvious christian tone/message of Tolkein's works are their only weakness. I'll probably be working on this for many years until i feel it'll be published as i'm only 22 and i'll i've ever written are poems/songs and a few short stories here and there.
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:37 AM   #31
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How did you decide that you wanted to write fantasy? What kind do you write?
I liked fantasy very much. Read Tolkien's essay on Fairy Stories for the last word on what fantasy should be. In short, it is an entertaining way to get at the Truth.


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Has Tolkien influenced your writing? If so, how?
Yes. He inspired me to make the most of language, including the practice of poetry. Description is important, and Tolkien was a master of it. Poetry can reach us in ways that prose often cannot, and working at it produces a concision of thought that makes prose even better.


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How do you make your protagonist (hero) somebody your reader can relate to, or like, or at least sympathize with?
In the case of THE HOBBITS, there was some consideration of the audience. I thought that Elediriel, a bookish hobbit lass who gets caught up in an adventure with the very folk she knew so much about from her books, would be quite relatable. As with her friends, I tried to introduce the kinds of emotional responses that a person might really feel in her shoes. (Not that she ever wore any.) Describing how she FELT about what was happening to her induces the reader to sympathize with her.


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What kind do you write? (Transition or Immersion)
This was a short novel written in the Immersion style. I don't know if I will ever write another fan fiction, but a Transition tale might be fun, if handled convincingly. The next work I do should be for publication, and it will be a long novel about the forthcoming Millennial Kingdom that, again, is immersed in its own millieu.


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ERUWEN: You can go to the RPG sections or also the fan-fiction section of the Downs. There are so many great writers here that there is no possible way not to get inspired. For instance, Gilthalion wrote a wonderful Fan-fic called "The Hobbits" which I have constantly read and re-read. It inspired me so much. I think it was because of this story that I was inspired to write my first poem about Frodo and Sam.
[img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] This made my day! Perhaps you've seen the banner ad that directs you to my simple fan site, which links back to THE HOBBITS as hosted here on the Barrow-Downs. I highly recommend that you purchase this sort of advertising for your own tales, if you truly believe in them (and in the Barrow-Downs)!
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:09 PM   #32
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How about a new question: how do you make your protagonist (hero) somebody your reader can relate to, or like, or at least sympathize with?
My main characters are mostly (ahhh! brain freeze, can't remember how to spell model) models of some of my friends. I don't suggest trying this method, seeing how it is fairly difficult to pull it off without them knowing it. Most of the situations that they "land" in are also taken from real experiences.

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I made up my own world, characters, places, creatures, everything.
I have created a world similar to Tolkien's ME, complete with a map and a bestiary. The creation of the world in which the characters exist has taken up most of my writing time. So, now that it is finished, I can get down to business. Although, the "business" part is a lot more fun... [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 07-18-2003, 12:18 PM   #33
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I am currently working on around five or six novels, or at least the basic ideas. Two are most definitely not based on Tolkien, and a couple are not even fantasy.
One is more comparable to Lord Of The Rings but I am trying to avoid any large similarities. I am also working on a series of short stories, which are largely unrelated to Tolkien.

The only way in which Tolkien has influenced my work is in the way he has portrayed elves. I suppose I never really considered the different ways in which elves could be personified, ie. near-human, pixie, etc.
Other than that, Tolkien has no major influence over my work. I have been writing since I could write, and it has always been fantasy. I generally live in a dream world (in fact, I'm wondering if I have some sort of mental disorder, I spend so much time "out of the real world"), regardless of my love of Tolkien.
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Old 07-19-2003, 09:09 AM   #34
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the guy who be short: Nar classifies Tolkien's - and therefore your story - as immersion fantasy. The reason for this is although it's our world, it's a different time, thousands and thousands of years removed from our own such that it's tantamount to a different world. Of course, there's plenty that is familiar and feels like "home", but that just makes it all the better. It's still immersion fantasy.
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Old 07-19-2003, 10:21 AM   #35
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Ahh, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who has four novels in the works and ideas for more flitting through my mind.

I actually began writing poetry before I started actual stories. Then, to make my e-mails to my Grandma longer, I started to write "short stories" about the life of flowers in our garden...the short stories actually ended up to be a short book. Then the poetry side of me kind of "died out" and I started a sci fi, with a plot that my brother thought out. There is one book that is based on LOTR, but I won't have any elves. I will introduce faeries, but they will be slim little girls full of mischeif (I don't think I spelled that right)! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Of course Tolkien influences my work! The main thing is how he makes everything so deep, bringing in bits of the past into LOTR. That is what influences me. I try to show the past (which I plan on writing one of these days) into my story.

I like to develope my characters so that they have plenty of original sin and are not perfect demi-gods. I also want to make them deep and intricate so that you are really drawn into them and its as if you are really them when you read about them. Of course, I have a really hard time with that. I want to make my characters so real, that if one of them dies, you start to cry.

I am writing in four genres: science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, and future fiction (a book like 1984 and Brave New World). As you can see, I'm a fantasy nut. Love fiction, love fantasy even more, despise history and biographies because they are usually drier than dust. Actually I did read three that weren't like that. Autobiographies are usually better, but I really love fantasy because it is so different.

The main problem with writing my stories is that I run out of inspiration. Everybody loves my writing (even strangers!). It's just that I run out of ideas, I get out of the writing mode, everything I've written sounds poor and worthless...those are the main problems I need to overcome.
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Old 07-19-2003, 12:20 PM   #36
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The main problem with writing my stories is that I run out of inspiration
I basically have the same problem that you do, Imladris. A good idea is to copy all of your original ideas into a document on your computer, or into a separate notebook. That way, you can review them and add more as you go along with your story. Worked for me! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 07-19-2003, 07:53 PM   #37
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I know this sounds really cheesey, but LOTR is what first fantasy book that made me say,"hey! I think I want to write fantasy!" There have been many more since, but LOTR sticks with me as the first one. I'm still working out the plot of a story right now, but I'm thinking it will be pretty good. The problem for me is starting the book!
I've always kinda wanted to write, and this has enhanced my decision. I can't wait to get started. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 07-20-2003, 11:46 AM   #38
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Regarding inspiration: I've had my share of troubles in the past, but I got a few helpful pointers from my local writer's group, as well as a certain online writer's group I joined.

1. Look for conflict. Conflict drives plot.

2. Check for implications. For example, do you have a magic item or artefact? What does it do? Who wants it? Who has it now? What might that other person who wants it do in order to get it? How did something your main character did, affect your other characters? Take a look at each one to see what cause and effect stuff is going on.

3. Ask all of your primary and secondary characters what they're up to while the plot you've already figured out is going on. This is a source of unending plot twists for me. It also helps me fill out my minor characters, and don't you know that one or more of them become major characters that are sometimes even more interesting than the original protags.

That's usually enough to get whole new chapters written for me.
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Old 07-21-2003, 04:10 PM   #39
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Wow! Littlemanpoet, that last post about inspiration was excellent! I do have one question thought, what do you mean by conflict? How does conflict drive the plot? I know stupid question...
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:11 PM   #40
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Quote:
What do you mean by conflict? How does conflict drive a plot?
Not stupid at all, Imladris! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Conflict in a story, as well as in real life, is when two different people do things, or want things, that both can't do or want at the same time. That was too confusing to be worth it. I'll try again, by means of examples.

My two primary protagonists are step-brothers. #1 had his Dad, #2 had his Mom and Mom and Dad got married. #2 and Dad never really developed much of a relationship. #1 and Mom were constantly at war because Mom was always trying to force #1 to take #2 along with him everywhere, which #1 couldn't stand. So there you have conflict between #1 and Mom, between #1 and #2, and between #2 and Dad. That doesn't sound much like fantasy, but it is background.

My magical Society has three factions; the light faction is trying to hold power and the dark faction is trying to take it away. The middle faction is trying to transcend the whole power play thing and get on with practicing the Art.

In my faerie world, it's light versus dark.

My #1 protag is taken to my faerie world by a lady faerie. Thing is, he's engaged. He's not romantically interested in the faerie lady, but #1 looks and acts just like the faerie lady's lost lover. #1 has to choose between the faerie world and his fiance. There's conflict.

How do these people's desires conflict with each other? Throw a magic sword in the midst of the Society and the power struggle intensifies around the new item.

And so on. I hope that helps. If I'm still being unclear, let me know and I'll try again.
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