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Old 05-12-2002, 05:51 AM   #161
Maikadilwen
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Has anyone just gotten so SICK of a character that they just can't wait to kill him/her off?
I dearly love all my charaters so I won't say I'm sick of any of them. One of my main characters though, is of a race that is just miserable. Take all the sorrows of Tolkiens elves 10 times and put it on one single character, then you've got my sweetie. She's truly the most depressing charater I've ever made. It will be pure mercy the day I take her out. But maybe I'll resurrect her into a form with a little more happiness. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 05-12-2002, 10:08 AM   #162
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Has anyone just gotten so SICK of a character that they just can't wait to kill him/her off? Or, they make as much bad things happen to them as possible??
I usaully don't kill the character because I'm sick of him, but more in the area of I don't know to end the story, and so killing the character is a likely option. But like Maika, I usaully like my characters too much to kill them. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

And Thinhyandoiel, I forgot to say thanx for your welcome to me. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

~M
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Old 05-12-2002, 04:26 PM   #163
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Hey, I'm only 15, but I'll take the beer [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] But what would anybody reccomend (hopefully I spelled that right) but ok, what would anybody SUGGEST about starting a fantasy novel-should I just plan out the characters first or should I just go along with it and make them up as I go. Like just write not really think everything out.
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Old 05-12-2002, 08:16 PM   #164
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My advice is just work out a core of characters. You don't need to invent everybody right away. Then, set up an interesting situation and start writing. You'll usually have a feeling about where the story will go but not an exact idea-- and it may all change as you write. Writing's a lot like dreaming, as you write you pose questions which your deep mind answers. The answers may surprise you or not, and the story rolls on to new questions.
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Old 05-13-2002, 03:38 AM   #165
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Well said, Nar. I would have offered the same answer.

As to killing off a character because I'm sick of him/her, no. There's one character in my story that I love, and the greater the tragedy I put her through, the more I love her. Of course, her terrible times fit right into the plot, or will better in the next rewrite. Sometimes I wonder if that's how it is with the our creator and us... (no theology, please) - it just feels that way sometimes...
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Old 05-13-2002, 10:27 AM   #166
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Woof! i knew that post about characters would provoke a response, but that was incredible! Wonder if i can top that...

i did have to create one character for the sole purpose of killing him off, so i made certain that he would meet his fate in a way that would seem "in character" with him and also result in a pivotal plot point for the others (what he does is descend into a mine to bring back some radioactive fuel rock, and he finds an artifact down there that another character needs but wouldn't otherwise get, since he doesn't have the gear & expertise to go down there himself) Thus Dietmar passes, mainly from exhaustion, since he's technically retired from mining (in a radiation-resistant suit of powered armor) but he's the only one at the plant who isn't already too busy, so he goes. i guess you could extract a "noble sacrifice" motif out of that...

But those two who started an argument last week about who had the right to call the shots when they should have been getting ready to receive a charging group of about 100 red-eyed monsters, now THAT was something else! Pure wicked play-Deity-with-these-puppets authorial glee! (already confessed, one of those characters isn't mine -- the other was worked up from an old GM-avatar i used to use, so yes, I knew when i was looking at 'him', "do you realize who you're messing with, buster" and of course he didn't, which made it all that more fitting that he should react the way he did. i'd like to think i'm playing him true to conception -- i guess when it gets into a readable state and others' input starts pouring in, i'll find out, maybe even put his ultimate fate to a vote, should these two ride off into the sunset together, or should she smite his impudent head off?)

As for the theology angle, well... from a gamer's perspective, i'd have to agree! (Hmm... now what other deep thoughts can i toss out here? How about, some down-time character development chatter is allowable, to give the readers a chance to catch their breath and maybe fill in their notes about your world, cast, and motives? There is something to be said for exposition, as more than just the characters need to be filled in...)

s.t.

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Old 05-13-2002, 12:17 PM   #167
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Wow, this thread is getting really deep!

I have to revise my battle scenes and I'm now without the fire that created them, so, could anyone recommend books which have good battle sequences in please? Thanks! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-13-2002, 01:36 PM   #168
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By the way, thanks Nar for the advice [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

I suggest thst you try reading The Sword of Shannara. To tell you the truth, I actually felt like I was betraying my loyalty to The Lord of the Rings when I started reading The Sword of Shannara. Yeah, I'm a little addicted to The Lord of the Rings! But I finished everything and re-read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion so what else was I gonna do! Oh well, but the book is actually reeeeeeeeally really good. And it has some fairly good battle scenes. They have some battles every so often. I don't wanna tell you it too much because I don't wanna spoil anything for you but I really suggest that you try that. But it doesn't have the huge battle scenes like Tolkien, as in the battle at the Pellennor fields, but their still battle scenes. I gotta stop myself now before I babble on even more. I just can't help it!!!
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Old 05-13-2002, 02:22 PM   #169
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Oh thanks Lothiriel, I did read that book some time ago, and forgot about it, thanks for reminding me, I will go back over it and check it out, thanks! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-13-2002, 04:03 PM   #170
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heh heh, Starbreeze... i could always send you my battle scene... (next chapter started out w/ the party members' kill counts in the header -- insert smilie w/ Gargoyle shades here)

To say nothing of the second big "difference of opinion" those two characters are slated to have later, with live steel, trading insults and choreographed to the music that helped draw it out.

So here's another odd thing for you -- just about every thing i've written has a soundtrack! Given many of Tolkein's poetry-breaks in LOTR & associated tales have been set to music, how do the rest of you find this marriage of the art forms?

Do any of you have music that tends to emerge -- or infiltrate -- your writing?

s.t.

(putting another gold piece in the jukebox)
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Old 05-13-2002, 04:21 PM   #171
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Wow, this thread is getting deep! [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]

Apart from being a writer, I am also a singer. The music I write, sing, and listen to is always running through my head, and I draw upon it like a spring of inspiration. Much of my writing is derived from music, from rock to classical, and much of my music is inspired by characters in my writing. It's really cool to see a song emerge centered around one of my characters (even though no one else knows it's about my characters 'cept me), or sometimes I'll hear a song on my stereo that just perfectly encompasses everything I had been attempting to put into words about my character, or even an event.

Some songs make it harder to write, 'cuz the remind me of different things, but if I find a song I can relate to my story, I download it and jam while the ideas come pouring out of my hands, thanx to my stereo.

This is my fave way to write, with good tunes humming out of my speakers, and plotlines dancing to the beat in my head. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 05-13-2002, 06:40 PM   #172
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Ooh, I'm glad someone brought this up! I always listen to music while I read and stuff (I do tend to use that word a bit much, sorry about that!) but I always listen to music when I read because I find that it helps me concentrate more, which some people find odd. But I usually listen to Nickelback, most likely Curb (one of their albums)or just any one of theirs but I just got the Stone Temple Pilots first album, Core, and #4 on it, No Memory, is so awesome! It's only 1 min. and 20 sec. but the only thing in the song is a guitar playing and a bass I think. He doesn't sing, but it's really very nice to listen to. It kinda puts me in that fantasy world kinda mood, so it makes it more enjoyable to read [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 05-13-2002, 06:42 PM   #173
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Oh, and your welcome Starbreeze [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] I'm only on like page 380 or something, but isn't it such a good book!
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Old 05-13-2002, 06:46 PM   #174
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Saxony Tarn, you've got some awesome questions! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

By the way, Starbreeze, Stephen Lawhead is a pretty good fantasy writer. You might want to check out his Arthurian series, lots of battles. And his Song of Albion series has smaller battles. Of course, there's way more to those stories and finding the battle scenes would probably become an afterthought until you run into one.....

I listened to a group called Iona to write my third and fourth revisions. There's one largely instrumental Celtic thing they wrote that is really spiritual and dark and it's the theme music for my "tragic young woman" chapter I referred to earlier. I also have a chapter in which I describe the music of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite and Faure's Pavane because my protagonist's fiance is a ballet dancer and they're on a date but during the Firebird Suite a certain fiery haired faerie being shows up (Nar, you'll know what I'm talking about here) and completely distracts my protagonist from his beautiful ballerina bride to be. Yeah, you can probably tell my stuff can drip with romance if I let it. Which I probably do too much. Not in the next rewrite, I promise you.
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Old 05-13-2002, 09:34 PM   #175
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Mm, theme music. That stuff gets me writing. However, in my latest slump even music is hard to get in the mood to write to. *sighs* But whenever I read or write, I usually listen to the Titanic soundtrack. It has it's own battle music, it's own sad, happy, melancholic music...it works on so many different levels! I used Titanic for LotR. There's this one song where there's a trumpet sounding in the background. That song had to be put on repeat cuz it fit Helm's Deep so well.

Back to my killing off characters thing. I guess I'm not sick of that character. I'm just mad at him for picking on my other characters so much. He's one of the characters that's the complete opposite of another, what IS the term for that!? I know what it is, it's on the tip of my tongue...they're...______ characters...FOIL! Foil characteres! That's it! Whoo! *does happy dance* English comes in handy. ^.^
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Old 05-14-2002, 09:36 AM   #176
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So here's another odd thing for you -- just about every thing i've written has a soundtrack!
I frequently find myself making up a soundtrack in my head as I'm writing. Actually, I often do the same thing as I'm reading. Once or twice I've actually written music to go with something I'm writing, though I find that when I actually sit down to write the music, it's difficult to make it follow the book. I have great respect for the film composers and their ability not just to write great music but also to keep it in line with the action.
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:21 AM   #177
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well that was great! (thanks LMpoet, this round's on me! |_|) )

somebody else's turn to think of a good topic, my quiver's empty at the moment (excuse me while i go 'round the battlefield scavenging for arrows)

No, wait a minute, let's talk about that one character that's picking on the other one. Foils. Absolutely. Polar opposites, two North ends of a magnet, two bulls locking horns... How do we keep such character tiffs interesting (or at least entertaining) to the reader? (especially if both characters are the same gender, then it's not quite so easy to say, ah ha, i bet those two end up in love by the end of the story! i'm thinking of Mordigan and Sorcha in WILLOW here -- oddly enough, i'd cast Val Kilmer as my smart-arse Elf on the basis of that role. And Grace Jones for the half-Orc, if she's the one who played Zula in the second CONAN flick (Carlton Rex, help me out here) Don't know why, she just seems to fit the specs of 'deeply tanned butch female proficient in opening cans o' whoop-arse')

s.t.
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Old 05-14-2002, 01:22 PM   #178
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How about The Lord of the Rings soundtrack? Or does anyone listen to cellos or even bagpipes....? Or is that just me again!
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Old 05-14-2002, 03:15 PM   #179
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I use the LotR soundtrack every now and again. And bagpipes have a melancholic tone to them that I LOVE to write too. (Heh...yes, my word for the day is melancholic...^.^)

Foil characters. They give so much to the development of one of the themes of my story. Friendship. Also, they're great for comedic relief. Tolkien used Legolas and Gimli for this, and I thought it worked great. My two characters are actually two Elves. One is a scholar, the other is a warrior. It's the warrior that's driving me nuts. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] They're both of the same gender, and their first argument was over parchment. Yes...parchment. That one wrote itself, and I laughed so hard when I re-read it. "That ones a keeper" I says to meself! ^.^ Heheh. Anyone else have foils in their story? As Saxony Tarn so aptly put it, two North ends of a magnet (I like that one! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img])
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Old 05-14-2002, 06:05 PM   #180
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Two Elves having a tiff over parchment! Uff da! Thinhyandoiel, that's priceless & i'd probably get a kick out of reading it! Are you planning to post it anywhere (or sell it to a 'zine where we can see it in print?)

As for my smart-arse Elf, he seems to be everybody's foil (with the Dwarf bravely standing in as his straight-man and the half-Orc getting in her one-liners where she can) but is primarily concentrating his razor wit on hazing 'the new guy', that being the one who tried to upstage the party leader in one of my earlier posts. Not that he really needs to, said new guy has let on that he's having enough problems dealing with said party leader, as in, he can stomach playing second banana to some Ranger, but taking orders -- in combat -- from a woman -- even one powerful enough to be able to drop a proverbial game token on him and hit "Continue Game" (or flip him on the pavement of Minas Tirith if he doesn't shape up) -- appears to be more than he can handle. Ah, Boromir, welcome to Purgatory.

("and I tire of having to point out the obvious to you -- you may well be the Captain of the entire armed forces of Gondor, but WE ARE NOT THE ARMY OF GONDOR!!" -- Iarangol Nurborniel, parry and riposte)

That's the wonderful thing about it -- I hadn't planned for them to start arguing then, but it came out, and i liked what i saw and let it stand (in fact, kept refining it) especially since the strong averse reaction to being overruled by an assertive female just seemed so appropriate! (as previously confessed, all that Savage Sword of Conan & such as a child seems to have lent itself masterfully to the occasion)

Which brings me to my next Molotov cocktail, given the amount of Elf Princesses running away to fight like their brothers on the fanfic section here -- anyone have a great example of smashing the expected gender boundaries when creating characters that they'd like to share? (this'll likely be more resonant with the elder members of this thread as the difference was more pronounced in earlier generations)

Alternately, while i'm on the subject of my favorite member of the cast -- which character do you find keeps your interest as the author longer -- a good, pure, competent and capable hero/ine who can triumph over just about anything, or a scaled-down, reasonably pure, good and able character with a few flaws that you can exploit? My vote's always for the latter -- i think they're more interesting (and they certainly keep me more engaged in loading plot complications on them just to see how much they can take before they crack, or reading to see how they get themselves out of mess after mess...)

s.t.

|_|) <-- stoking up on the caffeine now, to go home and write like a demon tonight -- the half-Orc is slated for some camera time. And i guess you could TECHNICALLY say she's Lurtz's mother. i'm grinning in anticipation of some character-revealing conflict-laden dialogue already...
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Old 05-16-2002, 05:53 PM   #181
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^.^ Yeah, it was funny. The characters, Malithil and Elfal (copyrighted 2002!! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]) were supposed to be good friends, but then I realized that one came from the courts and one came from the protective force of their lands. Instantly it was known to me that they would NOT get along. That argument about parchment came along when they were packing for their journey and Malithil took out some parchment and a quill with a bottle of ink to take with him. Elfal instantly started berating him on the usefulness of such "weapons" and so it carried on from there.
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That's just a line from it. I'm thinking of expanding the argument because I just loved it so much.

Hey, Saxony Tarn, what IS the half-Orc. Like, is she half-orc half-human, or is she half-orc half-elf?? I was just wondering on this. Because, if you think about it, it could really go either way. *shrugs* And I do have that story up at fanfiction.net under the originals section. Plus I'm getting some good pointers from some fellow authors here. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 05-17-2002, 04:40 PM   #182
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Thinhyan' -- Skheel's mother was a captured Haradhrim "present" to Saruman from some of his Far Southern allies, and according to her tale, this poor unfortunate became part of the gene pool for his New & Improved Uruk-Hai. I think it amazing but cool that the first character Bor' reaches a level of mutual understanding with in this group turned out to be, well, let's be honest, the mother of the monster that shot him! (Well, Mr. Elf, you're busy being a witty little snob, of course he's going to bond w/ fellow berserker first, even though she's half Orc!) i have no idea if "Skheel" has any meaning in Orcish and don't really care -- that was the name that came with the character, and i'm loath to change it (as i have some of the other characters, as part of a running gag perpetrated on another of them)

i'm having the most fun i've had in a long time writing it; just got to make certain that my Elvish passes muster, so i've managed to enlist a student of it to proof the draft i've got so far.

Can i get a link to your fic so i can read it? It sounds like great fun...

s.t.

[ May 17, 2002: Message edited by: Saxony Tarn ]
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:12 AM   #183
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Hello! that old nuisance Baggins junior has returned to the Barrow-Downs. Thank this thread for my absence. I started that writer's group, we now have nine members, interesting discussions and good texts. This was an advertisement :-).

I just wanted to tell you that I've done a naughty thing: I printed all this thread, all five pages. Made an awful load of paper, though I used the smallest print. Had to do something with my university printquota, and this thread is the best thing I've found in the web for a long time. And now I can read it under an apple-tree. Everything worth anything has to be read under an apple-tree on a sunny day.
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Old 05-20-2002, 08:24 AM   #184
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Reading the myth of how Newton 'discovered' gravity might change your mind although there is the possibility for delicious irony.
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:34 PM   #185
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Niphredil Baggins! I forgot you made the group! A thousand thanks! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Saxony Tarn, my story, as mentioned earlier, is up at fanfiction.net. Just go up and search for Midnightrogue. It's the only original I have, and if you do read it please keep in mind that that is the VERY FIRST draft and hasn't been edited (officially) yet. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:55 PM   #186
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I have never done fiction (well, not really.) When I homeschooled, my mother had me write a novel for part of my English credit. I found out that I was no good at fiction, but found that I loved to write poetry and exegesis of Scripture. I have writen two books, neither of which are published at this time, each going through a different Scriptural principle.

Now, I try my hand at fiction again. I am doing a fan-fic to start off with. Maybe later I will branch off into other fiction/fantasy. This one is with the help of 4 of my cousins, ages 11, almost 12, 12 and almost 16.

My main purpose in doing this is to help the boys, 11 and 12, be a team. Two of them are brothers and they fight alot. Also, I hope that this will get them more interested in reading and writing, as the 11 yr old reads at a 2nd grade level and is dyslexic. Maybe this will help them in conflict resolution.
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Old 05-21-2002, 04:36 AM   #187
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Does anybody know of any good resources to help Joy out?

The only suggestion that I could think of, is to try your hand at writing additional Narnia adventures, especially if your children are already familiar with them.

Any other thoughts, all you 'dead'?
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Old 05-21-2002, 08:21 AM   #188
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Thinhyandoiel: Yeap, it's me - Heidi aka Niphredil aka Arwen Imladviel - I've got too many names, I know, but moderating as Niphredil Baggins... well, Niphredil has an odd personality and there are rumours about a miruvor problem... Heidi is at least sensible... Arwen writes the fanfiction, Heidi the original fiction. I haven't got a multiple personality problem, the names are different windows through which I look at the world. Or worlds.
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Old 05-21-2002, 10:59 AM   #189
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Thinhyan -- gotcha, i'll go check it out (maybe give you any suggestions that come to mind in the event that you might someday find them of benefit)

Some wonderful deep discussions going on on these boards -- one lovely one in Books with lots of insight from our very own littlemanpoet debating which of the brothers Denethorsson would make a better leader. (Owing to the nature of MY story-in-progress, i'm -- wisely, i deem -- not even going to touch that topic with a ten-foot lance, not even if it lay by the highway, i'll just stick to my half-Orc, smart-arse Elf, and guilt-laden penitent... Now that i've got a fellow Wight translating Sindarin double-entendres for me, it's really taking off; i'm stoked!)

Keep those great discussions bubbling. Speaking of which, i think my gender-role-smashing question seems to have fallen by the wayside -- anybody have anything to comment on that at all?

s.t.

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Old 05-21-2002, 11:35 AM   #190
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Right now I am doing a LotR fan-fic, because 3 of them have read the books and all 4 have seen the movie.

Only one of them as read Narnia, and I haven't read but the first 2: Lion,Witch and Wardrobe and The Magicians Nephew.

I am doing all the 2nd-4th Age research and my 16 yr old cousin will help me write our part from the end of 4th A to end of the 6th Age. That is where the boys come in. One is born 467 6th Age and the others are born 33 7th Age. I am having them write their own geneologies and family history. Then in the year 57 of the 7th Age (2002) will will set out on a quest. They each will write thier part, I will correct grammer and spelling or help them in areas of continuity.
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Old 05-21-2002, 11:42 AM   #191
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Hello all, this may be a little out of the line of discussion, but as it comes as a gift, with bow and all, I hope no one will mind. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

While writing a short story I realized it was critical to the story for me to really be able to visualize what it's like to fight with a broadsword. So I did my homework, perusing a 19th century text on the subject (I've also a little fencing experience and the insights of the instructor to draw on, et al).

I thought it would be helpful to other writers so I've been writing what I've learned Here in the movie forum, called 'Lessons on Swordsmanship.' It's becoming a project in itself, and I'm wondering if I'll ever get to my short story - ha! But one of the things I love about Tolkien was how tangible Middle Earth seemed. It was this kind of attention to detail, the fact that fires don't start in a wind, swamps are filled with bugs, and most of the time outdoors is uncomfortable, that I love dearly.

As far as the half-page to describe a tree (that's not far off actually) it depends on what kind of story you're interested in writing. If the story is really about this world you're describing, the milieu, than sure, go ahead. But it should tell the reader something new.
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Old 05-21-2002, 12:07 PM   #192
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Hey, thanks for that link! i'll go check that thread out now (having enough fight-scenes, sparring bouts and arguments-with-live-steel in my own draft)

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Old 05-21-2002, 03:40 PM   #193
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Niphredil Baggins..ah, the infamous multiple personality disorder. ^-^ Kudos to all three of you! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] And good luck with the miruvor prob!

Maril, thanks for the link! I have a bit of a problem with battle scenes (psst, I rush them a bit too much) so any and all info on how to use and hold a sword is appreciated! I've held one before, at my uncle's house. I wouldn't scream it aloud but in my mind I was going "ELENDIL!!!!!!!" Heheh. That was fun.

How much research does everyone put into their work? Like, if you need to know of a poison, or of symptoms or animal behaviors, etc. Or, when, say, "inventing" a sickness (ie. Frodo after he got stabbed by the Morgul blade) do you spend that much time on making it realistic? A friend of mine says she doesn't. That because it's HER story, and it's FANTASY, that whatever she says goes. No questions. End of story. I am inclined not to agree. What about everyone else?
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Old 05-21-2002, 03:51 PM   #194
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Ah, Thinhyan' don't get me started on research!

(BTW, found your fanfics, may take me awhile to hack my way through them)

It's always been important for me to be able to feel that i know what i'm talking about (be it at work or when writing) thus i've got boxes of old college class notes, magazine series, old books and other such reference material for just such occasions when i need a little solid-foundation material to lay brickwork for fantasy. The key to good fantasy, after all, is making it so reality-based that your reader can believe that it could be real.

Give you an example, i wrote a story in college about a petroleum geologist trying to sell a marginally profitable oil well to an investor (in a "fantasy" world with modern technology, it should be said) and i had my class texts from a geology class open on my lap, so Matthias knew what he was talking about. No slick marketing hype, just hard facts, which is what this investor wanted to know. And with that (and other reasons that didn't immediately concern him, but the other party's long term investment plans) he sold the well. But if i hadn't had the data to back it up, it wouldn't have come off at all believable.

This is where these threads are worth more than gold -- i'm getting the benefit of others' research and saving myself a lot of brain effort.

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No takers on my gender-role-smasher question, huh... okay, guess i'll pick that gauntlet back up, tuck it in my belt, and save it for later (like, when Eowyn makes her debut)
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Old 05-21-2002, 11:03 PM   #195
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I feel almost as if I've missed the bus, but better late than never, except in sky diving, so I'll answer the original question of the thread.
Quote:
Are any of you writing serious fantasy? If so, how have you dealt with the temptation to be imitative of Tolkien? How long have you been working on your story, and why? What pitfalls have you faced and how have you overcome them - or not?
I suppose it depends on what you mean by serious, but I shall assume our ideas meet.

Tolkien, of course, inspires and permeates my work, to a point that I mock myself for it within the story itself. However, I don't think I'm imitative of him, simply because I can't hold the linguistic style that long. It drives me mad to try and write in it, so I eventually give up and become a good deal more colloquial (for me, at least).

So far as plot and form go, my serious fantasies still tend to be more character driven than history driven, so I avoid imitation there. But that's also how I think, so . . .

Drat. I'm being forced of the computer. Oh well, that's my small contribution.
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Old 05-22-2002, 02:12 PM   #196
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Six phreeeekin pages! You guys are amazing.

Thankyew Saxony Tarn for the compliment on the other thread. I just hope somebody picks up on it. Nobody has since the last time I checked. That's Boromir versus Faramir, friends. hint hint...

A fellow Wight translating Sindarin double-entendres! That is tooommutch! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Hmm now hoo now hoom hum hoom - gender role smashing? Hoom hum now, I don't recall that in any of the lists. Let's see now, hoom, hum, hoomty toom toomty tum - well now, it seems I have a knack for well defined, strong women. One is as androgynous as can be, sexy, a dark anima figure, one of the smartest characters, and dominant. Make that domineering. With her mind and her will, and sometimes with her body. Not that I get graphic, but power is power if ya know wut I meen. (Party's messin' with my hed still).

Joy, you don't need any help. I'm surprised you don't have other homeschooled parents' kids beating a path to your door. I think once you've put the finishing touches on the whole project you ought to write it up and get published in the homeschooling lesson series market. I hear it's growing like maples in may.

Thanks, Maril. One must be careful about how much one puts in one's story about what you know. Just last October I had one scene where I had seven against seven characters, the object of the fight being a stolen power-sword, and I spent days random generating every six seconds of absolutely everybody's movements, something like three minutes' worth. I wrote up the battle scene, throwing out about 95 percent of what I'd generated, showed it to my writers' group, and their comments, to a reader, were, way too much detail. I'm getting lost in it.

They were right. The most important thing in any scene, be it battle or whatever, is make the reader feel it. Show the reader, don't tell the reader. I read that Stephen R. Donaldson never did any research for his monster Covenant series, but imagined everything for himself. I'm not saying that that's the right way, but it seems to have worked for him. Also, we all know a heck of a lot about a whole lot of stuff just by virtue of seeing all the action movies, reading all the comics, all the television shows, where they really give you the detail. I have, however, done research into flora and fauna for the latitude and climate in which my story takes place. And animals. And there's a whole lot I've learned over the years that makes its way into my story too, about castles, feudalism, how streams flow, what's in burial mounds, customs of the Anglo-Saxons, early Celts, you name it. It's all making its way in - as appropriate.
Just like Tolkien. Now that's one thing anybody should want to imitate, I'd say.

And welcome, Naaramare. Hope to see more posts from you. I suggest that you spend some time with this thread and read all the pages. Lots of good stuff.

As far as character driven, I'm convinced that the best stories ARE character driven, AS WELL as plot driven. Don't we all love Frodo and Sam? and Faramir? and (in that sniveling way we all secretly have) Gollum?

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Old 05-22-2002, 02:28 PM   #197
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Thanks so much for the link Maril!

Quote:
How much research does everyone put into their work? Like, if you need to know of a poison, or of symptoms or animal behaviors, etc. Or, when, say, "inventing" a sickness (ie. Frodo after he got stabbed by the Morgul blade) do you spend that much time on making it realistic? A friend of mine says she doesn't. That because it's HER story, and it's FANTASY, that whatever she says goes. No questions. End of story. I am inclined not to agree. What about everyone else?
Um, research...well, lets just say that I spend more time on research than on my story, but that's half the fun! I love researching, I hope to persue it as a career, and it adds extra enjoyment to my story. I also love to learn, so investigating herbs, or celtic mythology, or medicine through the ages, or clothing, is really satisfying.
I think that in fantasy, to make it really good, you need to make it real, not just a superficial world that vanishes when you put down the book, it has to come alive, and live on past the pages, in the inaginations of real people, then it becomes real, then you have created real fantasy.
Did you ever hear the quote "Fantasy is a place"? I hope to reach that place in my writing, and I won't be satisfied until I do.
Going back to what little man poet said about the levels of writing - well, to make good fantasy, level 5 or 6, you need detail and you need to make it real - without those factors its just another book - I would not be happy if people saw my work in that way.
Tolkien's books are not 'just another book', they are real - as we can see from the number of members on this board, and on others.
I have to make my world real for me. I have to make it so that I can escape there when I write - then I know that when people read it they will escape too. I feel that the main purpose of fantasy is to enable the reader to escape, if I can't achieve that, not least for myself, then it needs more.
Well, I was going to write more, but I guess I have already repeated my self too much and I don't want complaints that people have died of boredom, I don't want that many deaths on my hands! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Welcome Naaramare, to the Downs! Post lots and enjoy being dead!
[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 05-22-2002, 03:36 PM   #198
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No, Thank YOU, littleman -- your randomly generated six-second-segment story reminds me of some writing i did for my game -- TESTING THE RULES by using them to influence how the plot moved depending on the results from each character's actions.

Really helped me visualize them, but would certainly have to be for a VERY targeted reader audience.

And as far as "that other thread", well, heh heh, until i can come up with an airtight defense for why I'd lay MY sword at the feet of King Boromir, i'm staying off that topic! (Reason number one, the man is definately motivated! No slacker loafing around in a banana republic here. Revitalized economy (war's good for it, ya know!) resurgent national pride... he'd probably even make darned sure the trains ran on time, assuming Gondor ever got to that level of tech -- wait a second, i said i'd stay off that topic... Quick, i'm getting entrenched, somebody send Gwaihir to airlift me out!!!)

And the Sindarin double-entendres, well... when i get the entire story "downloaded" from my brain and into beta draft at the very least, i can probably toss the opening three bits onto the Downs and see what rises from its grave to check it out. Just last night it came up with another title for itself, even more fitting and tying in nicely with the Sindarin puns (which have had me rolling and pounding the floor, just like the smart-arse Elf who delivers 'em)

For another bit of amusement, check out The Movies -- FOTR Drinking Game thread. i've just added the Gamer's Edition sub-rules.

s.t.

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[ May 22, 2002: Message edited by: Saxony Tarn ]
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Old 05-22-2002, 10:19 PM   #199
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Littlemanpoet, that is a great idea, although I am not a homeschooling parent - I have no children! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Though, one of my cousins, the 16 yr old, might be homeschooling next yr. She will be in the 9th grade. She was not doing very well in public school, there were too many in her class, 58 total. Last yr she went to a private school, a total of 12 in the whole school! Well, the school will be closing this yr as the teacher for the whole high school is pregnant.

I have talked with her mother and her father, and they both agree that she will be able to do this, if I consent to be the teacher/tutor. I have a BA in Biblical Studies, BA in Education with a foriegn lanuage concentration, a AS in Psychology and an AS in Computer Science.

Hopefully, this will open the door for my other cousins to be homeschooled, as they are being passed by in the system. The 11 yr old, Matt, is in Spec Ed and is reverting to more childish behaviors.

But to keep this on the topic of Tolkien, I have noticed that since the other boys, almost 12 and 12, have read the Hobbit and LotR, they have been more encouraging to Matt and I have noticed that they seem more concerned over his well being.

I explained to them that in a way, we are all on a quest, the quest of life. It takes each person to contribute to the completion of the task. We can either pull each other down or help each other, as Sam did for Frodo. I seem to use Sam and Frodo or Gandalf as a basis of correction for them, since they accept these characters. Then I use a principal here to relate to a foudational principle of the Scripture.

Sorry to ramble. Just spent the whole afternoon with Matt. We talked about the story that is in progess and how we can use this story to relate to one another in real life. It has been an interesting day to say the least. Also, will be spending much of tomorrow with him.
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Old 05-23-2002, 12:10 AM   #200
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Tolkien

Quote:
How much research does everyone put into their work?
Oh Goddess. x.x More than I ever thought I would. My parents, a doctor and a Crown Counsel, are getting somewhat annoyed with my constant questions ("what does a concussion actually entail? can you have a mildly serious headwound without a concussion? what kind of legal system would be in place in a medieval setting?" ad nauseum) and I have sixteen different encycolpaedias bookmarked in my favourites.

As for personal research in the tunes of creating new illnesses/magical systems/what have you, I've also done extensive work, down to the naming systems of my elves (I love my elves. When I don't want to eradicate the whole race of them). I think the idea "it's my story/fantasy, I don't have to" is rank idiocy. You have to stay consistant in your own world; there has to be a reason for every rhyme and a cause for every effect. Me being the perfectionist I am, I'd rather have those be realistic causes for the effects.
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