kippurbird: (What goes on in Kippur's head)
I'm starting to think that I'm doing my fantasy series all wrong. I mean... I don't have any age old prophecies that need to be full filled. Or single individuals that are the only hope to destroy the big evil. I don't even have a big evil. Sure, there's Lorac but he's not really evil so much as insane.

In which Kippur ponders about what is wrong with her fantasy world. )

See, I'm doing everything wrong. Obviously this is what I need to do.

List of fixes for my fantasy novels )
kippurbird: (Clue By Oar)
More harping on the character stuff. Another comment/response:

Which ironically kind of dovetails with the original question, because the time that I actually felt like my characters were acting independently of me, it turned out I was doing some really bad roleplaying and needed to take a break.
I imagine this is so because he felt like he didn't have control of his characters reactions. Which really, is a good thing. Because if they're acting independently it means that they're fully functional "people". And so what if you don't have "control".

[Poll #1089963]

*so totally didn't write an essay about the sexuality in DaVinci Code*

Speaking of which, I felt I needed to better summarize the ending of the Code better than "I want a grilled cheese sandwich" which while very true isn't actually... good in the analyzing sense. But it was late and I was tired and hungry.

First of all, the ending was extremely pat. The bad guys got their 'due' other than that nothing bad happened. Everything was tied up neatly.

Silas died (finally) and he was the guy who went around shooting people so it "fits" that he dies of gun shot wounds. This is Brown being ironic. I think it would have been more satisfying if Silas had been arrested and taken back to prison which is his own personal hell. He had tried so hard to redeem himself and instead became the demon instead of the angel. That would have also been more dramatic as Silas realizes what he has done and what the consequences are.

We also see what happens to the Cell Phone Bishop, who lives and will live happily ever after. CPB didn't do anything evil and instead was merely misguided (but then again he had absolutely nothing to do with the plot having never interacted with any other character) so he was injured but is allowed to redeem himself by being healed.

Teabag on the other hand is being muzzled and labeled as a mad man. He was the one however who tried to reveal the truth but now anything he says will be considered ravings of a loony. This too is Ironic. And he gets his Just Reward.

Our incompetent Police chief who was merely misled is given a second chance. Instead of taking the fall for trying to convict the wrong man on a high profile case, his reputation is save and he is allowed to continue on as before with the assurances that as long as he doesn't run into another Brown Hero he is an excellent police man.

Finally Sophie was allowed to regain her family. She thought she had lost her grandmother and brother but instead found them. There she was able to learn about her family secret and was granted the chance to continue her grandfather's legacy as the Holy Grail. All the bad things in her past with her grandfather have been washed away so that she can begin anew.

As for Langdon is free, he has found the Holy Grail and can now go on to the next adventure that awaits him where he'll probably not have sex with the next woman he meets.
kippurbird: (Clue By Oar)
Rper's are strange. At least the group I'm currently talking to and they remind me horribly of Paolini. There's an OOC community and on that community I posted the question, "Just out of curiosity, but has any other muns have the problem where you say your pup is going to do one thing and they just kinda give you the finger?". I realize now it was horribly vague and I should have worded it better. But I've always been of the opinion that if you have your character well done and fully realized that they'll react to situations as they should with out you, the writer, having to consciously say "This is how they will react."

I also am of the opinion that the characters will speak to me. The most recent example of this being when Darian told me he was going to die. I didn't want that and I didn't even think that would happen. I wasn't even planning on it. I knew that I had to raise the stakes somehow and was trying to think of a way to do it and apparently a character death was the way to go and apparently Darian was the one chosen to do it. But as I was writing and these thoughts were tumbling through my head I came to the realization that Darian would be the one to die. Perhaps it was because I felt that I couldn't do any more with his character or a whole host of other things, but to me, it felt like told me this is what he was going to do, and I listened to him, as reluctant as I was to kill him off.

If we recall in a certain Paolini interview (which I cannot find right now) he said that one of the things that he enjoyed most about writing was the fact that he could play god with his characters. And we've seen how flat and horrid they've turned out. Most of the responses I've gotten from the other muns are things like, "No, because they are the direct result of my conscious decision-making." or

"...I hate to break it to you, but that's all your own conscious decision-making. Since, you know, your pup isn't actually real? And is just a fictional character that you, the person at the keyboard, are dictating the actions of through a series of developmental events and established characteristics/traits? (That you, yourself, also made up.)

And if your character 'decided' to 'not forget the Nexus', that doesn't mean he's got a mind of his own. It means that you realized partway down a particular characterization path, the retcon or whathaveyou was a seemingly bad idea or difficult in some way, or things just weren't working out the way you imagined. Not him. You.

Because PROTIP: our characters are not real.

Of course, what I wanted to say "Of course our characters aren't real you stupid idiot I never said that they were, I just meant that they sometimes go in directions you didn't expect them to go, and I put it in a vaguely amusing way to make discussion." But I'm in enough hot water as it is in that group and didn't want it to devolve into a flame war.

But still, the fact that they keep on having to harp on the idea that the characters aren't real and that YOU the mun make the decisions make me feel that they aren't listening to their characters. The fact that they have to make CONSCIOUS decisions on what their characters have to do means that they don't really have their characters down. They don't understand that you don't have to make every decision consciously. If you know the characters well enough they'll do it or you'll make their decisions unconsciously. It's not something you need to stop and think about.

Strangely, most of the people who are having issues with what I said about the characters making decisions for themselves are people who I've had trouble with in the past. We just don't seem to have the same outlook on things apparently. And I think they're so intent on their characters being "puppets" that they forget what makes a good character. I never really like the term Pup and have trouble using it. I prefer using character to pup. And I never really liked RPing with them either. Their characters never seemed to know how to react to mine who were at times rather spontaneous (With Alec more than sometimes) and didn't react to things in the Expected Way. (Expected way is boring anyway.)

Most writers I've talked to say that a good writer is someone who listens to their characters and do what their characters tell them. In no case to they say that their characters are alive but the do somehow indicate that they've "evolved" to such a point that they don't need to think about how a character would react or what they do. They are a fully realized fake person.

What are your thoughts on this?

I'd post a link to the discussion but I can't link to it here. If people want, I shall do it later.

Minor edit of amusement. I think some of the people are surprised that I'm agreeing with them on some points and not devolving into a horrid flaming bitch of you don't agree with me so you obviously don't know what you're talking about. They keep on trying to prove me wrong or something, and I'll agree with them on some points and try and logically explain my points. But then again, I thrive on this sort of shit. I'm also a sick, sick person.
kippurbird: (Canon gone)
I got into an argument over the summer with a friend's brother about the nature of fantasy. It started with a discussion of my Eragon sporkings. I was pointing out the illogic of the universe and used the example of the Zombie Horses, that is, the horses are able to go on longer than should be physically possible. The brother said that how do I know? It's fantasy. The normal rules don't apply. Anything can happen. For all he knows horses in that world can do that. I of course argued that you need limits in the world just like in a non-fantasy world, or even more so. He said no you don't because anything can happen in fantasy. Obviously, if this was true, you'd end up with stories like the following:

The sky had turned a blood red from the soot billowing out of the volcano behind the two warriors that faced each other on the dried and cracked mud plain. At one point this had been a large and glorious lake filled with life, but with the coming of the Dark Lord Tyranal, it had withered and died as he pulled it's energy into himself. But finally Palandus had gotten the one thing that could defeat him. The Sword of Exmahina. The quest had been long and arduous, he had lost many friends along the way. But now, now, it would be all worth it. He would slay the evil fiend and free the land from his rule, as well as fulfilling his vow to his dying father, the king of Fredum.

With a bellow, Palandus charged across the field, swinging the mighty sword. With a single strike he cut off Tyranal's head, just like it said in the prophecies! He raised his sword to give thanks to the gods, when Tyranal got up and put his head back on.

"How did you do that?!" Palandus cried, horror and shock gouged in his face. "No human could survive such a blow! No creature!"

Tyranal smiled, "It's fantasy. No one ever said that I couldn't."

The End.

Obviously, I think my example here proves that just because it's fantasy doesn't mean that you can do whatever you want. The reader expects certain things when they read a book. If you chop off someone's head, they stay dead. A horse will act like a horse. The sky is blue. If there is a difference it should be noted in the narrative. Subtly.

For example: Horses in my world have horns on their heads.

Picture! )

Usually the way I indicate the difference between Terran horses and these horses is in sentences like this: The horses pulling the coach matched perfectly from the socks on their feet to the horns on their heads. Magic must have been used to make them identical." This is quite different than say, "On this world, horses have horns on their heads." The first example is from a character's point of view. They're not going to comment or realize that horses elsewhere don't have horns. To them horned horses are everyday creatures. Instead the emphasis is on the two horses' identicalness. Horns are mentioned, to give a reader the picture of the horse, but they're not called out. The second example is from an omniscient point of view where the narrator can comment to the reader, acknowledging that the reader doesn't know the ins and outs of the world and thus need to be told. However, I don't particularly care for this sort of writing because it does directly call attention to this fact and is saying, "Look! Look! This is DIFFERENT!" almost pulling the reader out of the story just to note that fact before moving on. It indicates that there are other places where horses don't have horns, which also pulls the reader away from the focus of the story, because they're being explicitly reminded that this is a different world with different creatures.

However, if there are no differences, then the reader shouldn't have to be surprised about it. If you just say "horse" and never mention a difference about them, then they should act like Terran horses with all the same weaknesses and strengths. These are the "Rules" of the universe or world. And every world needs to have them. The world doesn't necessarily have to follow Terran physics, but differences (as mentioned above) need to be noticed or else the reader will assume Terran baseline norms. If they're not mentioned then you'll end up with a scene with Palandus and Tyranal.

Yes, anything can go, but not everything can go. If it was like that, then how would any problems get solved? How would there be any problems in the first place? If you can changed the rules will-nilly because it's fantasy, then what's the point of the story. The Hero doesn't need to Quest. The Villain can never be destroyed. And if that can't happen, then what's the point?

If the story had been a science fiction story then the "everything goes" theory would be right out the window because science has limitations. It's not as undefined as magic. It can be just as mysterious as magic like genetic manipulation, but the reader would expect some technobabble to go along with it, to explain how it works. The technobabble doesn't have to make sense (that's why it's babble) but it has to sound good. Magic should work the same way, because magic doesn't come out of nowhere. Or it shouldn't come out of nowhere. The characters may not know where it comes from, but the writer should have some idea how the magic works so that they don't get a bunch of contradictory effects.

The rules of magic are like the skeleton and organs that make up the body of the world. The people of the world don't have to know how it works, just that it does. You the Author, the body maker, has to know how it works to create something believable.

Of course, "It's Magic." Could make for a good comedy/parody story...
kippurbird: (Give a damn?)
My Hatred right now seethes like a volcano on the verge of eruption. Not only do I have to sit up at the front desk for five hours today, but Paul is making me do Harvey's job with the newspapers. To express my annoyance, I'm going to tie up the system with the Serial Deletes.

To relieve my annoyance, I'm going to mock Paolini. And then maybe write porn.

Also, on a complete and utter nonsequitor my default icon looks like a floating head in space. A giddy, stoned, head in space.

Paolini mocking!

In the back of Eldest there is a short essay entitled "On the Origin of Names". This is where Paolini tries to make his world be deep and meaningful and indicate that it does, in fact have culture. "To the casual observer, the various names an intrepid traveler will encounter throughout Alagaesia might seem but a random collection of labels with no inherent integrity, culture or history." (page 672) This, of course, does seem how the world has been named, with random labels that were made up. There appears to be no difference between the elven and the dwarf names, just as there appears to be no difference between the elven and dwarf languages.

But the best sentence of all in this short essay on languages is, "The enthusiast is encouraged to study the source languages in order to master their true intricacies" He then gives off a list of his made up words and their translations. The biggest problem with this statement, "to study the source languages" is that there is no way to do this.

He says that we should should study them, but how do we do this. There are no books written on his forms of Elvish, Dwarfish and ancient languages. There are only the words that he has given us in the back of the book. The only reason why he says that we should try and study them is that he's trying to imitate Tolkien. The big difference between him and Tolkien is that Tolkien actually provided a way for would be scholars to learn his languages.

Tolkien had an entire appendix worth of language instructions; from how to pronounce words, to corresponding letters in the English and Elven languages, to grammar guides. Pretty much everything that would be needed to learn how to write and speak in that language. Why was he able to do this? Because, as we all know (bob)[*] he was a linguist. This is what his first love was, the creation of languages. It took him eons to create and perfect his languages.

Paolini, who must have taken less that three years (assuming he started to create the languages after starting to write Eragon) could not have created such an intricate language as he claims to have. So, all of this claims of a language is in fact Paolini trying to imitate Tolkien and pretend that his world is greater- fuller - than it seems.

However, I say, this is totally unnecessary to create the illusion of a fully cultured and thought out world. There are hundreds of fantasy worlds out there that do not have made up languages in them that are richer than Paolini's Alagaesia[+]. Why is this? It is because the writers of these world take the time to actually plan out their worlds instead of just copying things that they like from other worlds and patching it in, thinking that it'll make a cohesive whole. One of the things that I've constantly called Paolini's world is a patchwork quilt. You can see the seams and where the patches come from. And while it may do the job of being a world, it is still a patchwork quilt. Now the patches may be pretty, it is just the covering of the world. If it doesn't have any substance -any filling- it's not going to do any good.

Substance comes, not from things that are similar to other worlds, but things that are different. Things that make the world unique. Careful thought has to be put into such things. And when the writer is starting to think about the differences, they have to start thinking about how these things will work in the world. Or at least, they should. Basically, a world should be started from scratch. You can add elements in from other things, but these other elements shouldn't be overwhelming the original material. Cultures and lands should be at least sketched out, by this I mean, a character sheet should be created for it, including population, major cities, imports/exports, brief history, religions, relations with other neighboring civilizations. Everything that is needed to make a three dimensional character should be used to make a three dimensional culture.

I must admit that I cribbed some of this from one of my D&D manuals. Perhaps later, if I recall, I shall put up the format that the manual uses to give the basics of a land or city. If anything it should be useful.

Another thing, now that I think about it, that is useful, is the creation of a word bible. This would contain all the notes and everything that you have on your world in one place.[@]
You could have a section on Flora and fauna, on religions, on kingdoms/countries/etc/, on main characters, on the history of the world, a time line. Everything you need all in one place. And it'd be easy to update and change as things happen. All the things need to make a world a richer and better place.

And this was a fascinating train of thought as I started out to mock Paolini and wandered into world building. Funny how that happens.


[*] This is just me being weird. In some texts the infodump is described as a character going, "As you know Bob, Infodump here" I couldn't let that go by. I'm sorry. Really.

Which I'm sure I've mentioned before, sounds like analgesic, which is supposed to relieve pain. Highly Ironic since all this land does is cause pain.

Which is something I really need to do as I have all sorts of things scattered about in different notebooks.
kippurbird: (Pretty sane...except for the duck)
So, [ profile] millenium_king brought up an three way interview with Paolini and two other authors. Curious, I went searching for it, finding it here.

It was fairly banal stuff, Paolini talking about writing and wanting his characters to have depth and such:

Paolini: I know when I'm writing if I happen to get sidetracked into long pastoral descriptions or too many fantastical elements, I find that my interest, even as the writer, diminishes. It doesn't return until somehow I find a way to get back to the characters' inner lives and how they're dealing with the questions of everyday life.

Or where he gets his ideas.

One of the things I love about working on a large story is being able to fill it with interesting little tidbits from the world. For instance, puzzle rings. I came across them last year, and I'm putting them in the book. I gave one to my hero to stymie him. Then I found out that the American Indians used to make bows from the horns of mountain sheep. I have monsters with large horns, so I thought, Maybe some of my characters are making bows from their horns.

Thus proving my previous theory that Paolini put things into the novel because they were "Oh Neat", which is not the way you want to write a novel. Just because you find something interesting or cool, doesn't mean that it'll fit into the novel.

And then there was this gem:

Actually, I think that's one of my biggest complaints with the majority of fantasy I've read, where you do have a hero or sometimes heroine who does not seem to experience the majority of human emotions and runs around hacking monsters and all this stuff. There's no reaction to it. There's no emotion about it.

Which is exactly what Eragon does. He has absolutely no emotional depth and all he does is goes around and kill things. Except for rabbits. The fact that Paolini actually thinks that this is otherwise shows that he doesn't have the experience and knowledge of human behavior to write this accurately. He talks about emotions in the books, but they're never followed through. We're told that he's sad about Murtagh's death, and then we never hear about him again.

A good place to mention Murtagh would have been in his training or after he had been elfified. He could have thought to himself, "if only I had this power when I lost Murtagh, then I could have saved him" or something like that. But instead it feels like we're being told that he has this emotional response because that's the appropirate response for him to have.

It reminds me of my brother, when he was younger. He would sometimes hurt himself, and he'd cry until mom said that it was fine, and then he'd be okay. It's as if he was only crying because he was told that was the appropriate response for getting injured. Another similarity, is the empty gesture. You say something, like, "Oh, we should get together soon," or "do you need any help," when both you and the person you're speaking to knows that you don't really mean, but you're saying it because you're trying to do the right thing and show that you are interested in the other person and what they are doing. This is how Eragon and everyone else's emotional responses comes off as. They're emoting because that's what they're supposed to do, but after that... they stop. Kinda like Data with his emotion chip.

And then there's this insight into the final of book three,

It's interesting that you mention that because I was considering how Book Three is going to wrap up, and I don't want to give away the details, of course, but it involved what you do with the people who once held power. Now they're out of power. What do you do with them? You can't have them sitting around, and yet I can't have a mass murder on my hands because I would hate myself for writing it, and I would hate my characters, and I know my readers would just throw the books in the trash.

Fortunately, I managed to come up with a solution that works within the rules of magic and the laws of my world that I've already established, but for a long while I was feeling very badly because I knew realistically you can't have a threat to the power structure hanging around without it being dealt with one way or another.

So, it sounds like Eragon is going to do the Noble Thing and not kill Galby, thus proving him different that Galby. After all Galby is a mass murderer (which is different from Eragon, who is a Mass Murderer). Personally, I think the best way to end it would be to kill Galby as much as I like him. Because that is how Eragon has dealt with the previous Big Bads and it would be out of character for him to suddenly do the noble thing. Eragon is very much a kill first ask questions later type of person. Except for that one moment in Eragon where he bitches at Murtagh about killing the slaver. He's been shown to revel in learning how to kill and the act of killing itself. To use magic to "fix" Galby, which is what it seems like he's going to do, is a cheap cop-out. He's not being punished for the evil that he's supposedly done and it's safer to get rid of him, least he discovers a way to become a threat again.

This is like the dilemma that Harry Potter faces with Lord Voldemort. He's been forced into a position where the only reasonable and safe thing to do is kill Voldemort. He may not want to do it, because he doesn't want to become a killer, and even if it is the only way to do it, it's still not an easy thing to do. If Harry were to let Voldemort live, to show that he has the moral high ground then everything he has worked for and all the deaths that happened because of Voldemort would become meaningless. People died to take Voldemort down. To let him live would be the complete opposite of what they worked for.

You can't let the greatest threat ever known live, because it means that he wasn't as big as a threat that the reader was told that he was. In away, it would be like if the Nuremburg trials decided that the best punishment would be to just... maybe wipe their minds and let them go. Which is what I have the feeling Paolini might do.
kippurbird: (Alec Sitting)
It's amazing the things that I come up with to write about when I'm trying to avoid working. But working is so dull and these are so much more interesting. Even if I feel a wee bit guilty about doing this. Just a wee bit.

Heroes, Villains, Protagonists and Antagonists, a short discussion upon them

Protagonists and heroes, villains and antagonists; two things that are often considered interchangeable while discussing a story. Your hero is your protagonist and your antagonist is your villain. However in many cases, this isn't true. A hero usually makes a better protagonist than a villain, but not every protagonist is a hero.

A hero is someone like Superman. He is an individual with a high moral code, that is devoted to helping others. He's selfless. He doesn't kill. He believes -and this is the important part- that it is his duty, his responsibility to help others because it's the right thing to do with his powers. As Stan Lee said with Spider-Man, "With great power comes great responsibility". Superman truly believes in his responsibility to his fellow man, and his actions show this. He also doesn't give up his moral code when it would be easier to do so, because it's not right. Heroes always try to do the right thing.

The problem with heroes is that they have to be good. They have to follow their moral code. They're not allowed to deviate from their path, least they not be called heroes anymore. They aren't really allowed shades of gray. To make questionable decisions. We trust them to do the right and good thing and if they don't they loose the title of "Hero".

Villains are like heroes in this respect. They're on the opposite side of heroes though, in morality. They may have an honorable code, but they do things that are considered wrong by the majority of society. Unlike heroes they're completely selfish. They do what they do for personal reasons and damn be the consequences. They may have different reasons for becoming a villain, but in the end they all do it for personal reasons.

Unlike heroes, villains are allowed to do acts of "good" and still be considered villains. This is because the acts of evil often out weigh the acts of good. Yes they may have spared this one person's life but last week they blew up a building killing everyone inside.

One would think then that a hero would be able to do an act of evil every once in a while then. But, people would say, if he did it once, he could do it again and where do you draw the line? Is two evil acts okay, but on your third one you're no longer a hero? The road to the dark side is easy to get on, but more difficult to get off.

Protagonists however, are allowed to have moral shades of gray, as they are just the main view point character. Most of the time they are considered "good" but they are allowed to do evil things, as long as it is not their first resort but instead their last one. They'll kill -but only when in battle for their lives, for example. They don't have a strict code of honor that a hero has, but instead moral guidelines. When they are forced to do an evil act, it effects them negatively. They don't enjoy the fact that they hurt someone, or stole from someone. They can regret it and often do. But they do what they need to do to stay alive and at the same time complete their tasks.

We may watch as a protagonist slow devolves into an "evil" character, but it should be seen as a natural progression of their acts. They become less reluctant to kill, or they no longer feel remorse for the bad things that they've done, for example.

Harry Potter is a good example of a protagonist. He's generally considered good, but he has a moral code. He protects his friends, but doesn't feel the need to protect or be kind to those he doesn't like. The time that he attacked Draco in the bathrooms in The Half Blood Prince, he feels horrified at what he's done, at the pain that he's caused, even though Draco is essentially his enemy. He did not want to hurt Draco as badly as he did, even though he disliked him. He did an evil act, but wishes that he didn't.

On the other hand, Eragon is constantly called a hero -by his author and the people of his world- but he does not show it in his thoughts or actions. He has no code of honor, instead he does what he needs to do to get what he wants done. He willingly kills and tortures those that get in his way, and he delights in his destructive capabilities. He even looks forward to being able to cause violence against his enemies. He does see the use of violence as a last resort or something that he must do to get the job done, but instead as another tool in his arsenal to be used as often as he wants, without care for the consequences.

Antagonists have the most freedom as to what they want to do and how the can act than all the previously mentioned character types. Antagonists are merely someone who opposes the protagonist. They are someone that the protagonist needs to "defeat" to get to their goal. Sometimes the antagonist could be the police, another hero type character, a villain or any number of things. The best sort of antagonists are the ones that have their own motivations and reasons for doing things, for opposing the protagonists. They may be actively trying to stop the protagonists or their paths just happen to be at cross measures. Antagonists can be the most mysterious characters in a story because we don't know why they're doing what they're doing and why they're opposing the protagonists. An antagonist could easily become the protagonist, if we were telling the story from their point of view.

Because of this, antagonists should never just oppose the protagonist "just because". They need to have their own reasons and motivations for doing things. An antagonist who opposes the protagonist "just because" is there because the story demands that there be something in the way of the protagonist getting what he wants easier. He has no reasons or motivation. We know that he's going to block the protagonist's way because that's what he's supposed to do, and that makes him uninteresting. We know that he's going to lose, because he has nothing at stake, no reason for him to need to win. He's not a true challenge for the protagonist.

A good antagonist should make the protagonist work for their victory. He should have an equal chance of winning. This leaves the reader in constant wondering on how exactly is the victory going to be pulled off. How is the protagonist going to defeat the antagonist? At what cost shall there be victory? I think the best example of this sort of reasoning comes in, once again, the Half Blood Prince. In the first chapter, Fudge is talking to the Muggle Prime Minister about the war that has started between the wizards and Lord Voldemort. The Prime Minister, finally says, "But you're wizards! You can do magic! Why can't you stop all of this?" And Fudge tells the Prime Minster, "The problem is, the other side can too."
kippurbird: (*_* SHINY!)
It appears that Christopher Paolini has something in common with a classic piece of American Literature. This piece of literature being the books of Fenimore Cooper. And this is not a good thing. At least according to Mark Twain. And as Mark Twain is an expert at literature and what a good story is, I'm going to take his word for this.

Mark Twain declares that the books, Deerslayer and Pathfiner violate eighteen out of nineteen rules of literary writing. I would like to say that Eragon and Eldest also violate these rules.

These rules being and Coopers offenses (Paolini's in italics).

1. That a tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere. But the "Deerslayer" tale accomplishes nothing and arrives in air. If we look at Eldest, we are currently almost done with the book and we haven't accomplished anything nor have we ended up anywhere, as nothing has happened.

2. They require that the episodes in a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale, and shall help to develop it. But as the "Deerslayer" tale is not a tale, and accomplishes nothing and arrives nowhere, the episodes have no rightful place in the work, since there was nothing for them to develop. Again, in both Eragon and Eldest, we have found numerous random scenes where nothing has happened could have been cut entirely

3. They require that the personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others. But this detail has often been overlooked in the "Deerslayer" tale. Seeing as how Paolini's characters are all about as alive as a corpse, I think once again, he breaks this rule.

4. They require that the personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there. But this detail also has been overlooked in the "Deerslayer" tale. Any one know why Elva is there? Anyone? Please, tell me. What about Angela?

5. The require that when the personages of a tale deal in conversation, the talk shall sound like human talk, and be talk such as human beings would be likely to talk in the given circumstances, and have a discoverable meaning, also a discoverable purpose, and a show of relevancy, and remain in the neighborhood of the subject at hand, and be interesting to the reader, and help out the tale, and stop when the people cannot think of anything more to say. But this requirement has been ignored from the beginning of the "Deerslayer" tale to the end of it. As everyone in Eragon and Eldest seem to have varying speech patterns and we have random conversations for no reason, again this is another mark.

6. They require that when the author describes the character of a personage in the tale, the conduct and conversation of that personage shall justify said description. But this law gets little or no attention in the "Deerslayer" tale, as Natty Bumppo's case will amply prove. The heroes of Paolini's work often do things worse than the villains and the Villain appears to have done nothing wrong at all

7. They require that when a personage talks like an illustrated, gilt-edged, tree-calf, hand-tooled, seven- dollar Friendship's Offering in the beginning of a paragraph, he shall not talk like a negro minstrel in the end of it. But this rule is flung down and danced upon in the "Deerslayer" tale. Like mentioned at point five, with the varying speech flows that everyone has, they wander all over the place,

8. They require that crass stupidities shall not be played upon the reader as "the craft of the woodsman, the delicate art of the forest," by either the author or the people in the tale. But this rule is persistently violated in the "Deerslayer" tale. I believe this goes to Eragon's Zombie horses and traveling feats. As well as that missing army.

9. They require that the personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausibly set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable. But these rules are not respected in the "Deerslayer" tale. Um... Eragon learning how to become a swordmaster in less than a month everyone?

10. They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of the "Deerslayer" tale dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together. Paolini's characters have about as much interest as a lump of salt

11. They require that the characters in a tale shall be so clearly defined that the reader can tell beforehand what each will do in a given emergency. But in the "Deerslayer" tale, this rule is vacated. I can't tell what anyone is going to do at any given point. It's like spinning a wheel. They don't act from past actions, but as Paolini needs them to act.

Then there are these smaller offenses that they both violate.

12. Say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it.

13. Use the right word, not its second cousin.

14. Eschew surplusage.

15. Not omit necessary details.

16. Avoid slovenliness of form.

17. Use good grammar.

18. Employ a simple and straightforward style.

The rest of the essay is here. But I think it's fascinating how similar they are. Perhaps Cooper was the Paolini of his day? Or at least as bad in his craft as Paolini is.
kippurbird: (Ew)
I was thinking about Religion, the nature of good and evil and Eragon. But my mind slided away from the paper cut out world of Algesia and wandered into Randland, the world of the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. And I realized, once again, just how annoyed I was at him and these books. I would do an analysis of his books, but then I'd never be done. I maybe crazy, but even I know a fool's task when I see one.

But I digress. The Wheel and Time and Religion. The basic belief in the world of Rand is that the Creator "Light" is good, and the Dark one "Dark" or "shadow" is evil. It's a fairly simple view of the world and doesn't leave much room for gray areas. But lots of fantasy worlds have that sort of narrow minded belief, with the defenders of the light and dark lords of doom. While that is horribly cliched, that's not what really bothers me about this thing.

What does bother me is that EVERYONE in Randland worships the Creator. And they all have the same name for him and there is no variation on it. Jordan constantly is creating all sorts of interesting (if slightly absurd) cultures that are very different from everyone else's. They all have their strange little quirks. Which leads to, of course, the constant, well they're just idiotic because they're not doing it right sort of fights that are found so often in the books. Really, that plot device got old in book three. Despite this vast abundance of cultural differences, they all have the same religion. They all worship the Creator. And they all call him that. Even the Seachan from across the sea do it.

Which, I think, is highly implausible. If you're going to have such disparate cultures, then they're going to have different forms of religion. Religion is one of the backbones of society. It's the "What we believe is important" thread of society. We have, in Randland, a culture that doesn't believe in fighting back and have their little thing called "The Way of the Leaf" and they still worship the Creator. There are the Aiel, a warrior society that lives in the desert and find water the most precious thing they have. And they also worship the Creator as the Creator. There's no variation. It's all the same.

You would think that different societies would have different names for the Creator, even if they all worshiped the same being. Or that there'd be other religions and beliefs that made the Creator a more multiple aspect or a hundred different possibilities. But, no, it's not there. And that is a real problem. It shows that Jordan doesn't understand what makes a society. It's not all the weird cultural things that they do, but what they believe as a whole.

In my world, one of the things that I've been trying to do is create different belief systems. I have several different cultures present in my world and they're not going to believe the same thing. I don't have a single "creator" that is good and a "dark one" that is evil. Because that's unrealistic. Instead I'm trying to find compatible belief systems that may have arisen based on the world around the people. So far, I have three. One group that worships gods based on the Elements, one group that worships Lorac, whom they think is a deity, and another group that worships the moon goddess. The element worshipers have a conflicting view point with the Lorac worshipers, but they don't mind the moon goddess worshipers. Each of these cultures have their own society and thus developed their own beliefs based on how and where they lived.

There is no "right" religion in my world. There is just multiple belief systems. You're not evil for believing in Lorac (though the wizards might disagree with you) nor are you good for believing in the moon goddess. The religion may shape your beliefs in something, but it doesn't automatically mean that you're good for believing in one thing and evil for believing in another thing.

I think this is why these "Light" and "Dark" religions bother me so much. Because it assumes that you're either Good or Evil and that's the only choice you have. And you can tell your alignment by what god you worship. The real world isn't like that, and why should our fantasy worlds be like, except that it makes it easier if not more believable to do split the belief line down the middle. No one goes to a religion to on the idea that they're going to be worshiping evil. At least, in a realistic world.

It is more difficult to create different beliefs systems for different cultures, when you're creating a multifaceted world. But even if they aren't used or talked about explicitly, if they're there, just in the background, it adds more flavor to the world. It makes it different to the others.

Mercedes Lackey did a good job in her The Heralds of Valdemar series, where there are multiple religions present. Herald Albrich is from a place where there is only one religion and is surprised to find that there are other religions out there and that they're tolerated. The religions are really mentioned as "And there is this religion that believes in this" but it's just there in the background. And it makes the world that much richer.

One of these days, I'm going to create a culture that finds the "dark" good and the "light" evil.
kippurbird: (Gekco)
So I'm going to Stokton this weekend. I get to take a bus to Bakersfield and then a train ride up to Stokton. My mom and I and a friend, Ken, are going. My mom and Ken are speaking at an Autism conference. I'm just going along for the ride. They're going to get paid three hundred dollars for the conference. I wish I was speaking at it.

Anyway, it's Autism Awareness month. I've been seeing a lot of "help donate to such and such organization to help cure autism" around. Which buggers the hell out of me. I really don't think that we need to be cured.

Oh yes, Hi, my name's Kippur and I'm autistic. Hah. So is my mom and brother. And I think a first cousin once removed... and maybe an aunt.

Where was I? Oh yes, curing autism. The problem that I have with the word "cure" and "disease" when in reference to autism is that it seems to indicate that there is something wrong with me, when there's not. I'm not un at ease. I'm quite at ease (at least most of the time). There is nothing too cure. As I like to say, it's like trying to cure blue eyes. Sure, blue eyes are different, but there's nothing wrong.

That isn't to say that I don't think that we shouldn't be funding research to see what is the cause of autism, but I think the money spent looking for a cure should be better spent helping the lower functioning people adapt to normal society. (And please, don't say, "well, what is normal?" Normal is what the majority of society deems is acceptable.) I would be considered a lot lower functioning than I am now, if I didn't get the intervention that I did when I was younger. My mother take all the credit for this. It was she who looked at me and my brother and gave us what we needed to learn how to function in society.

One of the things that I've learned about autism is that it's not that we can't interact with people, it's just that we have different social cues than normal people. It's rather like going to a foreign country and being expected to know all the little ins and outs of their customs just as you get there. The problem is that we're born into this foreign country and no one ever teaches us what the customs are. We can learn them, but it's rare that we become at ease with them as a native would. In reverse, if you get a bunch of autistic people together, they will interact with each other with no problems, because they understand the social cues that the other people are giving off. I've seen this happen at AUGA (a socialization group for adults with autism) all the time. The parents will bring their child to the meeting and they'll end up standing around unsure of themselves while the child is sociable. One mother once commented that it was the first time she had ever seen her son make conversation.

So, it's not that we can't interact, we're just not taught how to interact with non-autistic people. Money would be better spent on doing that. Then they won't need to find a cure, because the kids will learn how to function in society by themselves and not be handicapped in their interactions.

Personally, if anyone asked me if I wanted to be cured, I'd tell them no. I enjoy the way I think and see the world. I can't understand why anyone would want to be normal. They have to constantly worry about all these things (like what clothing to wear, is it fashionable, what do other people think of me... etc) that I don't worry about. They're not allowed to play, something that I can still do. Sure there are drawbacks, like the anxiety attacks and the dependence on routine, but those can be handled with the right support.

Being autistic allows me to sit and enjoy the day, let me explore the world and experience and take joy out of the simplest things. After all, I doubt most people would find immense satisfaction at feeling a nice piece of fabric or watching a bird on their finger.

So, that's my Autism Post for April.
kippurbird: (What goes on in Kippur's head)
Why I think everyone should write fan fiction.

An Essay.

Fan Fiction is a controversial subject in the writing world. Published writers say that it's an infringement on their writerly rights and creations. Would be published writers say that it's a cheap substitute to real writing. It's fraught with bad, terrible and disgustingly horrifying writing. However, I think that fan fiction is a fantastic idea for the beginning writer to do.

One of the most difficult things to do in writing is the creation aspect. The creation of characters and then writing them so that they're not some sort of flat creation. World building is also difficult for the beginning writer. All of these things take away from some of the more basic craft things that a writer needs to learn: plot, story telling and dialog. And this is why fan fiction is a good thing to write.

Fan fiction has everything that a writer needs. Characters, a world to put them in. The characters have their motivations and there is even a history of the world. It leaves the writer room to work on other aspects of their craft, the creation of a plot, coming up with smooth story telling techniques and writing believable dialog. They know how a character is supposed to act. What they like and dislike all ready. All they need to do is keep the character in character.

Of course, this is the biggest problem with a lot of fan fiction writers. They don't see writing fan fiction as an exercise in becoming a writer, in fine tuning their craft but instead as a way to write out their fantasies. They don't see the need to keep the characters in character, but instead want to use them to be original characters in their own stories. They don't understand what fan fiction is really about. The writing of stories in someone else's world, but instead think that it is just a template for their own fantasies. They use the characters and the dressings of the world and then go off on their own tangents that don't fit the world. The craft of writing isn't important to them.

Instead they have an idea and they write it, without realizing that they have to see if it actually can work in the world that they're writing in. They force the characters into positions that they can't be in. They then expect to be patted on the back for writing something.

But I digress. I think that if a person really is serious about the craft of writing and interested in becoming a better writer, writing fan fiction is a good exercise for them. They have a model that they need to mimic, something that is difficult to have in writing original fiction. In other arts, like painting when you're learning how to paint, you have models and exercises to copy. But writing so much of it you have to create on your own that if you don't have a good character, then the rest of your story falls flat. But if you're using someone else's character, then you're free to work on other aspects of your writing. And when it's done, you can compare your writing, the way you wrote the world to the original text and see what you did right and what you did wrong.

It makes you learn how to keep a character in character. It makes you have to follow certain rules for a world. It requires discipline to write good fan fiction. You can't write whatever you want and so you have to really think about what you're writing and why. Why are you making a character do this? Is this something they would really do? Is this a plausible use of something in this world? Does it contradict other set down rules?

This is one of the reasons that I enjoy writing fan fiction. I have a ready made world to play in, and I get to work on things like character and story. I don't have to worry about creating a new culture or wondering if this fits into my world. It's all already there. I just have to make sure I'm using everything correctly. It's a good writing exercise.

On an utterly unrelated side note, I'm curious as to the sort of fan fiction that'll be created when my works get published. I can look at what I have written now and extrapolate what sort of things Sue Authors would take advantage of, but for the more serious writers, I'm not so sure what they'll do, and that's something I'm curious to learn about.
kippurbird: (Default)
I first created Alec in 1992. He was my avatar into the cartoons and books that I read. I wrote fan fiction with him in my head without really realizing that it was fan fiction. They were just stories. He was related to everyone and everything. But as I did this, I decided that it would be fun to publish stories about him. Here I came up with a problem. I couldn't publish the stories of him as is. After all they used other people's properties. (God only knows what would have happened to him if I had discovered the internet back then.) So, I needed a world for him.

Long rambling thing ahead )
kippurbird: (Witic)
Mrrr... I need to find a cheap copy of the blue brick... or steal it from someone. I have the sprinklings of a paper idea and I'd need the book for reference. Anyone want to send me their copies of the red and blue brick? Kidding.

Anyway, paper ideas.

1. The Heroes Journey in Eragon and Harry Potter: how they related and how well do they follow it.

2. Harry Potter vs Eragon: Similar to number one, but instead focusing on the actual characters instead of their journeys.

3. Unexpected homosexuality and erotica in Eragon and Eldest.

4. Eragon the Hero? Why Eragon fails at being a true Hero

5. The Hero's Journey in Superhero comic books. (oh look something not Eragon related) How does a Superhero continue to be a hero and can he follow the Hero's journey if he's already come into his power? Is this plot a viable story in Superhero comic books today?

I think that I'd like to submit 2 or 1 to a Harry Potter symposium and 5 to Comic Con and see if they like it. 3 and 4 could probably go to a literary magazine.

As for my Eragon and Eldest sporkings, I'm going to be looking into getting them published. I'm going to check out those publishers that do the Unauthorized such and such of Harry Potter, or the one that did the Harry Potter Theories from

It's funny... I really enjoy writing these papers. I get a real satisfaction from putting them together, watching as the arguments fall into place. It's just very cool to do them. And then giving the papers themselves in front of people and watching their reactions. I've always gotten good reactions from my papers. I don't have to do them any more either. I'm graduated. I'm not attached to any university, but a part of me really likes doing them.
kippurbird: (Elightenment)
I have Kosher for Passover water. This is what the label says, "Mizmor Kosher Water". It even has a little bible verse on it, "My soul thirsts for thee" book of Pslams 63/2.

I don't know what makes this water different from all other waters. (Sounds like a fifth question. On all other nights we drink all sorts of water, be it from tap or bottle, why on this night must we drink only bottled hekshured water?) I never knew water could be unkosher in the first place. I mean it's water. There's nothing in it at all. Maybe it's the bible verse.

Mmm... reminds me of a warning on a can of evaporated milk I saw. "Contains Milk". I would certainly hope that my can of evaporated milk contains milk. I wonder if my milk contains milk, and my peanutbutter contains peanuts. I know my bread contains wheat. I know why they put these warning labels on the products, but really, if you're too stupid to know that evaporated milk contains milk, then you deserve what you get.

On a totally separate note all together. I seem to be doing a lot of essay type things on writing lately. I wonder if I should do more specific things, like [ profile] limyaael does with her writing rants. I almost did teach a class on creative writing... something to think about.
kippurbird: (Writer at work)
First of all, Kitty spam!

Chaucer )

Then because I feel like I've been recalcitrant in my duties of Analyzing things when I said yesterday that I had done two of Paolini's essays and Have only done one, I am now going to do the second one. I'm just insanely thorough like that.

Once again, all quotes take from here.

Paolini's second essay, entitled "Dragon Tales: An Essay by Christopher Paolini on Becoming a Writer". From the title it can be assumed that this story is about how Paolini became a writer.

I have visions of lizards. Not just little rock lizards, or even something as big as an alligator—no, I see gigantic, majestic flying dragons. I have visions of them all the time, whether in the shower, sitting on the couch, or riding in the car. The problem with seeing dragons is that they tend to take over your mind. And once that happens, you can go a little crazy. Which is probably why I became a published author at eighteen.

This opening paragraph is interesting in several ways. The opening is such that it's trying to draw in the reader's interest. He sees lizards. This gives the reader the question of why does he see lizards and what do they have to do with writing? But then in the second sentence he says that he sees dragons, not lizards. This is problematic because one generally doesn't confuse a lizard with a dragon. By starting his essay by saying he sees lizards and then continuing on to say that he sees dragons, it makes it seem like he's not capable of telling the difference between dragons and lizards, and then it confuses the reader and makes them wonder, why did he say "lizard" when he really meant "dragon"? Better he should have started the essay with, "I have visions of dragons, gigantic, majestic flying dragons." Then he makes several assumptions about seeing dragons, the fact that they take over your mind and that will drive you crazy and this insanity is why he is a published author at the age of eighteen. This of course completely ignores the fact that his parents owned a publishing company and published the book for him. No, he apparently believes in his own genius and the fact that this is why he was published so young. Never mind the fact that going crazy and getting published have nothing to do with each other. Nor does seeing dragons all the time. If that were the case, I would have been published years ago. Instead these assertions merely make him look conceited and foolish.

But it hasn’t stopped there. I enjoy stories so much that I took the next step and started writing them myself. I read college-level courses on the subject, teaching myself about everything from plot structure to descriptions. All of this culminated four years ago, when I sat down and outlined the plot for a trilogy of books. For weeks, I struggled to figure out every detail. Then, with everything ready, I began to write.

Now, while reading about writing is certainly a good way to learn about certain parts of writing, like what a plot is, what a character is, themes and things like that. The best way to learn about writing is to actually write and have someone look over your work who has the proper skills in writing to know what you did wrong and what you did right. It's rather like any skill, you need to use it to learn how to do it properly. From what it sounds like, this is Paolini's first attempt at writing a story. After all he read the books, he worked out the plot and then he sat down and wrote. The fact that he read college level books on writing is meaningless if he doesn't have the experience and knowledge to put them to use.

Once my first draft of Eragon was finished, I had to learn how to write properly. That may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s not. The first step in writing my book was a purely creative phase. After that, however, came the grind of editing the manuscript into readable material. It was there that I learned how to produce graceful and grammatical prose. Doing is the best way to learn, but it helps to read the rules first. In my case, I wish I had learned more about grammar before writing Eragon—it would have saved me an enormous amount of time spent fixing easily-avoidable mistakes throughout a gigantic manuscript!

One learns how to write properly by writing. And while that does include grammar, it also includes how to carry a story, how to make believable characters how to create a world. Any writer worth their salt will tell you that the first stuff that they ever wrote was crap. Why? Because they haven't had the practice in making it good. There maybe a kernel of something that is good, but if you don't have the skills then it's not going to be worth anything. What should have happened is that Paolini should have written his first draft of Eragon and put it in a drawer somewhere. Then he should have written another story. And another story and another story, and written hundreds of stories, taken classes on writing, had other people read his stories, then come back to Eragon, looked it over and seen what could be salvaged and what he had to throw out. But from what he says here, he took his very first writing and made it into a book. Something that no real author would do.

Following that excerpt is an excerpt of Paolini's favorite scene in Eragon. He just puts this scene in and then never discusses it again. It could easily been cut from the essay and not have made a bit of difference. It is remarkably similar to his writing where he includes things because he likes them and never makes reference to them again. It interrupts the flow of the essay and makes no sense to be there.

Thus we can see that Paolini is not a very skilled writer and proves it when he talks about writing and how he became a writer. It is as if he read a book on architecture and then set about drafting blueprints for a house and building it without learning how to use the tools in the first place with smaller projects and with teachers. Eventually, this should be his downfall. If not in his lifetime then in successive generations when his books are forgotten.

And for something really amusing, Look it's a Jell-O San Fransisco!
kippurbird: (Writer at work)
I found a pair of essays (term used loosely) written by Paolini on writing.

I thought it would be interesting to share a bit of the more interesting tidbits. (All tidbits are taken from here.)

Writing is the heart and soul of my being. It is the means through which I bring my stories to life.

Eragon is the first novel in the Inheritance trilogy. I started this book when I was fifteen, after several failed attempts composing other stories. It has been an incredible learning experience, and not only in writing. The greatest lesson it taught me was that clear writing is a direct result of clear thinking. Without one you cannot have the other.

Eragon is an archetypal hero story, filled with exciting action, dangerous villains, and fantastic locations. There are dragons and elves, sword fights and unexpected revelations, and of course, a beautiful maiden who's more than capable of taking care of herself.

While the first paragraph is almost pretentious sounding, I think I understand what he's saying, which is basically he needs to tell stories. I think perhaps a better way of putting it, a clearer way of putting it, would be "Storytelling is the heart and soul of my being. It is through writing that I bring my stories to life", but that's just the editor in me.

Now as for the line, "The greatest lesson it taught me was that clear writing is a direct result of clear thinking. Without one you cannot have the other." I believe I have great issues with. While this may be true, I can honestly say from struggling through his writing, his thinking is about as clear as tar. The fact that he believes this to be true of himself means that he hasn't had a good editor go at his work.

What he describes as the archetypal hero story is not the archetypal hero story, but instead a list of cliches that are often found in archetypal hero stories. The hero's story does not need dragons, elves, sword fights, dangerous action, and exciting villains. The hero's story only needs the hero character going on a journey or quest to discover something and then return triumphant changed by his new knowledge. "A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: Fabulous forces are encountered there and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow men." (J. Campbell (1972) Myths to Live By (pp.202-03). New York:NY.Penguin Putnam, Inc. There's nothing in there about villains, getting the girl or anything like that. What he has done is taken the skin of the hero's journey and called it the entire animal.

For me, the time I spend plotting out a novel is more important than the actual writing. If you don’t have a good story, it’s exceedingly unlikely that a good book can be pulled from the morass of ideas floating around in your brain. Typing out Eragon was a rather straightforward affair once I had the plot firmly in hand—though I did spend some time revising Eragon and Murtagh’s flight to the Varden because of some fuzzy thinking before reaching that segment.

Now, I think, you can take a bad story and if you're a talented enough writer create a good book. But looking at this, I think he's confusing plot with story. A book is a story. The two terms, at least in fiction, I think are interchangeable. A good story makes a good book, because if the story isn't told well, then you can't tell if it's a good story or not. Plotting is apart of writing the story, it gives you the structure of the novel, it tells you how you're going to tell it. It may be more important that the physical act of writing, but it is still writing the book. And even still, if you have the plot firmly in hand you must be willing to make changes to it because sometimes the plot, the story, or the characters demand it. Plots are at best outlines that grow organically from the beginning to the end, twisting and changing as you develop the story and the world.

I used Old Norse as the basis for my Elven language in Eragon, as well as many names. All the Dwarf and Urgal words, however, are of my own invention.

I really don't think that Paolini could have learned enough about Old Norse to make his own language and then he goes and proves that he's been pounding at the keyboard to make shit up.

And now I have to take my cat to the vet.
kippurbird: (Ducky drama!)
"The bad novelist constructs his characters; he directs them and makes them speak. The true novelist listens to them and watches them act; he hears their voices even before he knows them." ~*~André Gide

I rather like that quote.

It reminds me of Lorac.

Several years before I knew his name, he showed up in my head. All I knew about him was that he was insane and he was obsessed with Alec. Sometimes he was old, sometimes younger. He always had long white blond hair though. And he was always powerful. He sought out Alec always trying to get to him, always trying to be with him. But he wouldn't tell me why.

When I started to finally sketch out Alec's world he gave me his name, and insisted that he was apart of it. In creating the mythology and the background of Alec's people, he informed me that he had a significant part and that Alec was the reason for his madness. He told me that he did not live in the same time as Alec but before him in a different city. Thus Pentarch was discovered.

My first attempts at figuring out how Alec drove Lorac insane were feeble attempts. I knew, from what Lorac told me, that Alec was a student of his. So, I tried to build their relationship as student and teacher. Alec originally staying in a dormitory. But these stories never worked. Alec's mere existence and being an annoying prat was not enough to drive a man insane.

So, I started writing several smaller pieces involving the two of them. One piece that appeared to be recurring was a scene of Lorac tending to Alec in his sick bed. Lorac was always very tender and gentle with the sick Alec, never leaving his side. He would touch Alec, brushing his hair back and worry about him. I don't know how many times I wrote that scene out in different variations, but finally I came to the realization: Lorac was in love with Alec.

After that everything just clicked. Everything made sense. Lorac went insane from his love of Alec. I remember that moment when it clicked. I said to myself out loud, "Oh my God, he's in love with Alec."

Ever since that point Lorac has been more than forth coming and helping me with the series of novels I'm writing.

Contrasting this, another thought that popped into my mind when I read that quote, was Paolini's quote of "Characters are born out of necessity". Which puts into mind the idea that he's just filling in the blanks. He needs someone to do something so he creates a doll, sticks a name on it and puts it the story, pushing it along like a puppet. The character has no life or free will. It has no voice.

Some of the characters seem to try and free themselves from Paolini's writing. Angela, when coming to the Varden removes her self from the action. There's no reason for her to be there, except because Paolini wants her to be there. So she hides. Murtagh allows himself to be written out of the book entirely. Saphira, even, struggles as we see her personality swerve all over the place as she tries to find a voice.

But they are mere puppets with no lives of their own. No concerns or desires. They are stationary until Paolini needs them to move.
kippurbird: (Default)
My paper. Please Read and Tear apart! I had a dickens of a time with it.

kippurbird: (._.; ... Yeah..)
I've been reading the Wheel of Time books now, and just finished book number eight.  That leaves... three books? Or is he on number twelve? I don't remember. It doesn't matter to me.  I have however come to the conculsion that while extremely prolific, Robert Jordan is an exteremly shoddy writer.

Why you may ask, do I have this opinion? Well let me tell you.(long rant ahead)

I think that's enough for now. When I get done frothing, I'll come back and talk about Rand.
kippurbird: (Default)
So Here it is: My essay on why  Fan ficc writers have done what they've done.  In regards to Evil , at least.  Comments and Critisim and tearing apart are much welcomed, for they only serve to make it better. 

February 2016

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