I read once in one of my "How to write romance" books that you can't be afraid to do terrible things to your characters. I thought "oh okay, not so tough. I can do that." But it's really really a hard thing to do. Now, I'm not a big fan of the "rape fantasy" (I just don't see how a woman falls in love with a man who does that to her, or why anyone would find rape or sexual violence against women as a turn on)but in uncivilized times (or even in modern times)sexual violence against women was how men excerted thier dominance; it was used to humiliate, exploit, manipulate. Therefore I think it is very realistic in this situation.
Sometimes ambitious men (well, mostly men) will do anything to gain power, or wealth or influence even if it means betraying their own country. And clearly, there were men who did not possess the Rohirrim's social or cultural values; Grima, Grima's father, Fengel, these men here in the last scene.
You've got some really good dialouge here. I think some of the best dialouge you've written. Natural, flowing, very much like normal speaking. And I liked that paragraph describing the men. And really?! You write the best cliff hangers! It really doesn make me want to read the next chapter like, right now!
Author's Response: I agree with you here. I don't understand the rape fantasy idea. It is not a turn on in the least, as far as I'm concerned. And doing bad things to our characters, or putting them in harms way is difficult. I get very personal with my o.c.'s and I find that I want to protect them. But the fact is, things like this happened back then and still happen to this day. The difference is, it was dealt with differently then. Women were easier to use and a lot of the time nothing would be done about it. Thank you for your comments about the dialog, and yes, I have been accused of being a tease with the cliff hangers in the past. Actually, while originally writing this chapter, it was getting a little too long and I had to cut it in half. So it ended up like this, a cliffy. You don't know how much I want to post more than once a week. I have always posted at about a 5 day range. But I want to keep far enough ahead so that posting doesn't catch up to writing.
Oh My God! Anyone who is not reading this because it doesn't have cannon characters at the main characters is an idiot! Oh this is getting so good! It's great that there's some mystery to it and you're not giving it all to us.
Terrwyn is resourceful isn't she? Enterprising, almost entreprenurial. She's not afraid of work and makes a job for herself where ever she goes. She's also kind hearted and, I think, loyal.
If I have to read one more Regency romance where the heroine's only job is to go to musicales and afternoon salon, I'm going to yak. Terrwyn at least has a purpose.
I like Alric too. A very nice man with either a dark past or dark secrets.
I'm excited to see where this is going! I wish I would've come up with this one!
Author's Response: Your reviews are always as entertaining as your story. Yes, Terrwyn has learned a lot from living on the open plains. I think it will come in handy throughout this tale. She is basically on her own now. Alric was the best person that could have taken her in. She's grown up fast and he recognized that, teaching her the skills she needed to see that she could keep herself safe. And you're right, I'd rather read about an independent woman trying to survive than some pampered debutant. As for Alric, he got caught up in something he knew was wrong, but tried to correct it by doing what he thought was right. But there are some things that are not easily forgotten, which Terr will find out soon.
I hope she listens to Alric, take the jewels and leave. I fear those men would come, take her and do terrible things to her. I hope she is not that stubborn. Can't wait to see how she fairs. Maybe if she is about to be accosted, that she shows how well she fights and hopefully....someone with chestnut hair shows up in the nick of time. Like this story so far. Keep it up.
Author's Response: Hi regaliaria. Haven't seen you in a while. Hope all is well with you. Glad you like the story so far. Yes, Terrwyn is a fighter. She's smart and knows how to take care of herself, though there will be lots of twists and turns in this one.
I think this is a rather realistic portrayal of what life might have been like in Rohan at the end of the third age/start of the fourth age. War is war. Men die, women suffer. I can just see the heads of feminists exploding, you know, cause women have never traded sexual favors for survivial. It's just a reality in uncivilized times or in uncivilized places. I think it would have been a difficult existence for an unmarried woman.
Terrwyn is a persistant little heroine isn't she?! Brave, resiliant. Traits of the Rohirrim, but traits they would have to have living in a rather desolate or isolated place.
Some good imagery a couple times here too. This seems like it is going to be an exciting story, maybe a little mystery too! Looking forward to the next chapter!
Author's Response: Like you have mentioned about your own story, life after the Ring was not all glory and cheer. There must still be bad men out there who don't agree with the choice of King. I kind of see them like terrorists, without the exploding jackets. They feel like their lands are being threatened and they're being pushed back. They are greedy and will not give up until they take back what they think is rightfully theirs, or they die trying. Still, they are cowardly men and immediately target the weak, those poor Rohirrim living out on the plains where it may go unchecked. You know, let the feminists explode. These peoples lives are being threatened. Maybe their husbands will be killed if the women do not agree to trade favors. It's all a part of the crude survival of the times. I believe this is the time when there was still a lot of chaos. The King can only do so much in the beginning. The guards cannot be everywhere. Until order is completely restored, which doesn't happen over night, people are still going to suffer. I'm glad you like Terrwyn. She is still just a child, but she is a surviver.
okay, so one time, i was reading advice for writers from writers and one of the things one of the writers said not to do was open with a dream sequence. Most of the advice was along that same vein... don't do this... don't do that.. I was so discouraged when I finished reading all that I thought, okay, now exactly what can I do!!?? Just because someone else thinks it can't be done, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it! So I say yes! it's perfectly fine to open with a dream sequence as long as it has something to do with the rest of the story. The opening here certainly does, I can tell that without reading the rest of the story. It's not like she's just running around flying kites and picking flowers. you're telling us this for a purpose and using it as a hook to get us to read the rest of the story. who cares if the characters are cannon or not. I'm living vicariously through these people and I want to be able to relate to her and fall in love with him no matter who they are. Your character names are always unique.. I'd like to know how you come up with them! Over all smooth read. Nothing halting or oddly worded sentences that make me read it over several times. Frankly, I think you're a better writer than alot of these category romance authors. You know the type that use the awkward 'had had' or 'that that' together in a sentence and it makes you go 'that's the best you can do?' I don't think I've ever seen you do that. Oh yeah, and you're like, wow, extremely creative!!
Author's Response: Again, I'm all smiles reading your review. I can definitely see what you're saying about opening with a dream sequence. I guess you don't want to open with something that has nothing to do with the story. Here, Terrwyn is having more of a memory than a dream. She's not dreaming that she's taking a bath in a toilet and accidentally flushes herself (ok, maybe that was my dream, lol). This is something that actually happened to her. Honestly, when I wrote this I had no idea what was happening and told myself, 'OK, now you've committed yourself to a scene that you haven't even written yet.', if that makes sense. But it felt good and it felt right. As far as character names (and I guess I should give credit where credit is due), most elvish names come from arwen-undomiel.com or realelvish.net. Gondorian names come from realelvish too. But Rohirric names I have made up on my own by looking at Old Norse or Welsh names. I kind of split them apart and add 'dred, 'mund, 'wyn, etc. on the end and ba-da-bing, Rohan names. If it sounds poetic and rolls off the tongue easily, it's a keeper. Again, your encouraging words mean so much. I'm glad it seems to be off to a good start. This one is a challenge for me, as I'm not following any pre-existing Tolkien timeline. There's not much said for the 4th age and it's become somewhat of a very big and sometimes intimidating playground, but I'm having a blast playing here and hopefully so will everyone else.
Yay! First review, first read haha - the things that make me happy ^_^
Anyway (sorry had to get that out) the beginning of this story was just wow. When I read it I was like, hold on what's happening - but in a good way (hehe), I have to say, the way you describe the elf really makes an impact on the reader, he's just something else! *fans self*
When you wrote about how she would never see him again really spiked my interest and now I can't wait to see what happens!
As well as that I love the way she was a child during Helms Deep, not once have I read anything like it before and it's just so refreshing to see it from someone else's point of view.
I love the 'Master Elf' fellow (could it be Feredir??) he was so tentative and kind but as an Elf would be? If that makes any sense! You captured how an Elf would act beautifully and when I saw you had a new story I just had to be the first to read!!! It's an absolute amazing beginning and I can't wait for more - such an impression for one chapter!!!
Author's Response: Wow! Thanks for such a positive review, Dragon. I'm very happy Feredir made such an impression on you. Actually, the 'Master Elf' you mention is not Feredir (who will come along later in the story), but he is a character from my other story, Taming the Wild. This scene coincides with a chapter from that story in which he is entertaining some children at the Deep. I just have to say, I don't think I've ever received a review on a new story so quickly and wanted to say congrats on being the first, lol. And thanks again for reading. I hope to keep you entertained.