I started reading this (having picked it at random from the updates column) as a sort of brain Drano from writing my own fic and was astounded at its depth and quality and how damn entertaining it was. I've often thought of writing a story like this one, where ME intrudes and/or melds somewhat with our modern world, and I can say with all honesty that this is the kind of story I wish I could write.
Very well done. I do hope you decide to write sequels/prequels. I'd be very interested in reading them.
Author's Response: Thank you. I'll try.
Oh, man. That's awesome. Just awesome.
Author's Response: Thanks.
I completely adore this prologue. I love the concept of presenting it in 'campfire tale' form first---narrated by a bard in a safe environment with all the messy details streamlined and organized into resonance. Then going back in future chapters and telling it again, with all the confusion and grit and contradictions. I've never seen a prologue like this before. Excellent!
Author's Response: Than you, Pink Siamese, for your kind words. We did indeed put a lot of work in the Prologue. I will copy your review and post it on our site http://www.northernkingdom.proboards98.com - it will cheer the others up. Greetings, Gordis.
That's beautiful. I'm of the firm opinion that it was her loss. ;-)
Author's Response: Thanks. You're sweet! I thought that this poem had, by now, been long buried and forgotten in one of Minas Tirith's dusty archive vaults. It's very gratifying to learn that someone has taken the time to look over some of my older stuff.
Okay, that's pretty funny. ;-)
Author's Response: Thanks! :D
I have to disagree, but only partially, with your criticisms regarding Mary Sue/self insert stories. I would argue that creating an additional character, placing him/her within the narrative, and using that vantage point to both view and interact with the canon is possibly the best way to explore Middle-earth through one's own writing. (I'm trying to quote you from memory, and I'm probably sucking.) I agree that to pull it off properly requires a level of skill that most MS/TW authors simply don't have. They can't really be blamed; they are for the most part inexperienced writers interacting with the text, and lots of times they are young people with little life experience and most of what they've learned about sex and relationships has come out of reading romance novels.
Author's Response: Hello Pink, I applogize as I only now realized that you had reviewed this and I do make an effort to reply to all reviews and I do thank you for yours as you have definately given me something to think on as I never looked at it that way. I am definately all for younger readers exploring Middle Earth, In fact I think it is wonderful when someone younger can tear themselves away from twitter and facebook and whatever else is popular to pick up a book that they will read and enjoy so much that they want to explore it further. I wrote this essay a while back and I have softened my stance on Mary sues as there are groups out there who for some reason make a point or pursuing stories that contain what they feel is a sue I am no longer so bothered as when I started to write my very first attempt was very much a sue and so it was really hypocritical of me. I know that if someone had come along and torn me apart that I would have been so upset that I would have given up on writing all together but fortunately that was not the case so it is really not fair of me, I do try to offer advice when I can to younger writers to improve as that is what really helped me along when I was getting started. Thank you again for your review, you have truly given me something to mull over.
LOL...sometimes I write what I call "Green Room Fics," where all the characters that I write about are waiting in the green room, waiting for their turn on the "stage." I haven't written one in awhile, but when I get really going into a story, once in awhile the silliness will spill out. Very entertaining, though I don't think someone who isn't a writer will get it. ;-)
Glad you liked it. Might be that not everyone will understand it, but when I wrote it, I needed to get it off my mind, as it did not let me rest. Was the first thing I ever posted, I suppose there are still some mistakes in it as well, as it was not properly beta-ed.
I had musings in such a direction as well, a parody. Imagining all the fanfics were played in some kind of giant theatre, with different staged. The characters spend most of their time there, practicing their parts or playing for the audience. There is a large, luxurious area where the characters can go to relax, talk or be in private. A very noble restaurant, with all the favorite food and drink of the characters (e.g. Sauron’s favorite tea is ‘Speacial Mordor Blend’ tee leaves hand picked by elvish slaves.) There is a lounge for them to read favorite books (e.g. Celeborn reading: My insignificant life at the side of a strong woman – learning how to accept it) one to listen to music, … I wrote some small drafts in German a while ago, but cannot find them any longer. The thoughts urged me into manipulating with some pictures, Glorfindel practicing some scenes, riding on a giant, wooden Asfaloth … naked.
I like the attitude behind this very much. There aren't enough writers putting thought into Orcish culture. Please continue with this.
I think this makes a lot of sense as long as there are still a few random Elves lingering in Middle-earth. Once all of them have departed, I imagine they'd take their ships back to Valinor and that would be the end of any traffic. While it's easy to take a more emotional view of the Tolkienverse, as writers of fanfic it's good for us to remember that Tolkien wrote these stories as a history, and that in the matter of history practicalities still apply. Elves strive to live in harmony with the natural world---that they would denude the forests in order to avoid reusing ships is antithetical to what we know of their race. Their reverence for forests is a defining characteristic. That alone supports the idea that they would keep the shipping lines open, so to speak. As long as the shipping lines are open, what is it to carry a little mail now and then?
Author's Response: I believe that there would still be a substantial number of Elves remaining in Middle Earth during the early decades of the Fourth Age. At this time, Thranduil's kingdom is still flourishing in the north and Celeborn is founding East Lorien. I'm certain that a small number of diehard Elves would still be living in Lothlorien for a few decades after Galadriel sailed to the West. And Legolas must have had a substantial community of followers if they were to beautify and manage Greenwood in Ithilien after the War of the Ring. I'm basing most of these ideas from what I've read in "The Atlas of Middle Earth" and "The Complete Guide to Middle Earth".
Besides mail, I don't think it would be unreasonable to assume that a limited amount of trade goods and/or gifts would also be carried. In the above mentioned chapter of "Arwen's Journey", Aragorn alludes to a small cask of fine pipeweed which Evenstar had previously sent to our Hobbit hero.
My profuse thanks for your thoughtful and insightful review.
And you forgot one: who cares if Obama is Muslim? Religious affiliation has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to run the country.
Aw shit, she's going to run in 2012? Oh man the Mayans had it right. The world is totally going to end. ::shudders::
Very nice work.
Author's Response: Thank you, Pink Siamese. Happy you enjoyed it.
Thanks for the shout-out! ;-) I'll say it loud and I'll say it proud---I am a big huge brainy geek. It's unfortunate that you feel like "geek" is an unflattering word; is there anything better than losing oneself in intellectual pursuits? You should be proud of your intelligence and remember that there are people out there who would die to be half as smart as you are.
Author's Response: Like I was saying to Anwyn, I really try to take it as a compliment when somebody calls me a geek, but it's something that various people have always made me feel ashamed of. And you're very welcome :) thank you for contributing! "You are a writer" - I certainly feel like one now I've read your essay. Totally inspiring. It's very true that so many people claim to be writers, or express ambitions to become one, and yet barely ever put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard. Reading your thoughts has given me more self-belief and confidence in my identity; I've never had anything published, but since I do write every day, I now feel that I can officially call myself a writer. Thank you.
Awhile back I came across a story in a Southern Lit anthology that turned out to be a fanfiction based on one of William Faulkner's short stories (A Rose For Emily). I squeed so loud that I startled my mother. ;) But yeah, derivative works have been around as long as...well, as the works they're derived from. Neil Gaiman wrote Chronicles of Narnia fanfiction ("The Problem of Susan") and of course there's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The film 10 Things I Hate About You is a reinterpretation of Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew. So yeah, the list goes on and on. I'll continue to maintain that people who loathe fanfiction feel threatened by it on some deep level. I suppose on some level it kills the myth of being "original," and an insecure artist is usually the first to tell you how "original" their original fiction is. At bottom everything is derivative, either from art or from life.
Author's Response: Oooh - what's the name of the Faulkner-based story? And I think I need to read "The Problem of Susan" too; is it about how she grew away from the other three children? Gah, I guess I'll read and find out. " I'll continue to maintain that people who loathe fanfiction feel threatened by it on some deep level" - probably true, but I wonder why they feel that way?
I really love what you're doing with this story. Another reason the Rohirrim may geld their horses would have to do with the organization of bloodlines---they'd be keeping some sort of breeding records, at the very least to prevent accidental inbreeding, and also to document exceptional lineage. Once a stallion has sired x-number of colts, snipetty-snip. I'm looking forward to the big climax, where people start to figure out what's going on. :)
Author's Response: Oooh, I never thought of that as a possibility - thanks, Pink! I'm glad you're enjoying it still; the lights are going to start witching on very soon! Thank you for the review :-)
Is this going to be in parts?
Author's Response: Yeah, I tend to write several stories at once...this one isn't going to be long, though. Two or three chapters plus the prologue, I reckon.
I write several stories at once, too. I know how it is. ;-)
Author's Response: Hehe even so I think with this one and the other two fanfics I have on the go, plus my original stuff, I have enough to work on for now!!
I patiently await the revelation. :)
Author's Response: Teehee :) won't be long! Thank you for R&Ring.
YAY OMG LOVE! ::incoherent fangirl fluttering:: C.S Lewis reference for the win! Mr. Proust FOR THE WIN! (Someday I will be more coherent about this, I swear.)
Author's Response: Haha, incoherent is cool :D I'm glad people seem to like this chapter; this is one of the scenes that's been in the brewing for a long, long time! Thanks for reading and leaving feedback - I've got way behind on Dawn, I need to catch up. I think I might go back and reread from the start.
I could really just hijack most of Spiced Wine's review...the dialogue in this chapter is superb: natural rhythm, lovely pacing, and a deepening level of intimacy that is skillfully handled and believably presented. I love how you're revealing the story to us a little bit at a time, creating a little bit of that same intimacy between the story and the reader, which of course draws us in ever tighter. And the cliffie is great! Lovely work, as usual. ;)
Author's Response: I could really just hijack most of Spiced Wine's review...woot! Thank you so much *glows* when I get a nice review from you, SW or both, it's like a teacher putting a gold star on my work - makes my day! Like I was saying to Kitt, I have to pace myself in terms of how quickly I reveal the info - now I know where I'm going (and it's not where I thought I was going originally, but then again it never is) I can't wait to share it with the readers. Glad you enjoyed the dialogue, too; I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for reading and reviewing, as ever!
I went through and read other reviews of this chapter and the last chapter, and I'm so relieved to see that I'm not the only one wondering about Aiken. I'm not sure it's intended on your part, but I'm feeling kind of sympathetic toward him...wondering how he feels about Beomia, if he loves her or is attracted to her at all. His taciturn manner intrigues me, making me wonder what's going on in his head. Of course, this likely has more to do with me than with anything else; I'm intrigued by quiet men, and I'm old enough to find the right kind of fortyish balding man sexy. ;-)
Author's Response: Haha!! Actually, it wasn't my intention to have readers feeling sympathy for Aiken - yet. He comes more into his own further in, and it is made clear how he feels about Beomia. I'm glad I've got you wondering, though! Thank you so much for keeping with the story and leaving feedback :-)