Characters and stories

"Abandon the search for Truth; settle for a good fantasy" - come here to discuss your favorite books about things that never happened.
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Candy Kane
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby Candy Kane » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:34 pm

When I was more into fanfiction I was always reading stories about girlies being every bit as handy with a sword as men. Erm, usually, they're not. We're not generally as strong as men in the forearm department.

This is not to say that women should never be portrayed as tough or anything, but it's good to be realistic about it. One slash writer told me she had no idea how to write strong women so that's why she writes slash. I think it's possible to write strong women without making them all butch and violent.
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ElviraStarkeeper
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby ElviraStarkeeper » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:29 pm

Yeah, it is definitely very difficult :(
There's a traditional sword fighting (read: not pansy foil-fencing) academy here in Vancouver and there are many girls in it who have advanced quite far, but that is with a lot of patience and practice. I did a workshop with them and was pretty sure my arms were going to fall off!
But yes, it is difficult to properly write strong women, and it's something i need to work on in my own writing. If i do make them fighters they are often more speed and dexterity based than rawr smash things rawr :P
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Candy Kane
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby Candy Kane » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:46 pm

Well, yeah. But it depends on what you call "strong."
Some women can go through a lot and come out the other end doing well for themselves, e.g. Oprah Winfrey.

Some women are capable administrators and can deal with a lot of responsibility.

If we think of the strong women in our lives, I bet none of them has ever been violent! Even if they have, those incidents would be rare. The point is, I bet we know a lot of strong women who are interesting and exciting and don't run around like Lara Croft. Besides, in genre fiction you need ordinary people to highlight the extraordinary nature of what's going on in the fic. The genius of Tolkien was having Bilbo, a very ordinary workaday Hobbit thrust into a situation where he was in constant danger or discomfort.

Giving Bilbo's job to a Ranger or other hero would have made for a much different story.
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ElviraStarkeeper
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby ElviraStarkeeper » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:26 am

Indeed! I used to always start out with my heroines premade with their skills and values and blah blah blah (eg: princess who has problem with authority an who has been doing sword training on the sly and hanging out with wizards) and i found the stories ended up rather flat. Im having a lot of fun right now writing the transformation of one character in a distopian future who is all enamoured of the ruling regime because she has no reason to disbelieve the propoganda... yet. I think it's made her a lot more believable.

Also i feel a bit guilty for having hijacked this thread and drove it off into writing discussion. Whoops!
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Candy Kane
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby Candy Kane » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:24 am

To be honest, Elvira, I don't think anybody minds much. I'm enjoying the discussion and I daresay everybody else is, too. I hope you will post this story on the archive. I've validated you so you can get going when you're ready.

It's good to see a thread filling up, and it's good for the forum because we've been chatting away, and that's what we need here - animated chats like this.

To get back on track, who are the most believable characters in the books you've read?
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby ashbow » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:33 pm

Tom Bombadil has been my favorite LOTR character. I can just imagine his carefree days tramping through the wood and coming home to Goldberry in the evening.

As for believable characters, I think whatever you are reading, you need to just put in an effort to think about where the character is coming from, and what events made them who they are. Believability all comes down to the reader's imagination.

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Re: Characters and stories

Postby ElviraStarkeeper » Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:41 pm

Tom Bombadil rocks my socks! I was so full of rage that he wasn't in the films.. but then again I probably would have been full of rage at however they interpreted him sooooo you never can tell. :P

As far as things I've read recently, I found Richard Cypher to be a fairly believable fantasy hero. It was a refreshing breath of air to read him, as the trend for "believability" these days seems to mean "angsty and impossible to get on with". >:{ *cough wheel of time cough*

I also, as a group, find the Weaslys from Harry Potter quite believable. In fact, aside from Harry having fits of angst in the 5th book, I find most of the characters, while strange, quite real feeling.

I don't think i could name all the awesomely real feeling characters from Discworld, but there are many, right up alongside the ridiculous caricatures.

And last but not least, Dear Old Bilbo. He pretty much goes "Here i am. I am a sensible hobbit! What is all this weird business going on! I'll have none of it! Look how hobbity i am!" If someone of a fictional race can be believable, it's Bilbo.
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Candy Kane
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby Candy Kane » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:12 pm

Ashbow wrote:Tom Bombadil has been my favorite LOTR character. I can just imagine his carefree days tramping through the wood and coming home to Goldberry in the evening.

As for believable characters, I think whatever you are reading, you need to just put in an effort to think about where the character is coming from, and what events made them who they are. Believability all comes down to the reader's imagination.

Good point, Ashbow.

ElviraStarkeeper wrote:Tom Bombadil rocks my socks! I was so full of rage that he wasn't in the films.. but then again I probably would have been full of rage at however they interpreted him sooooo you never can tell. :P

As far as things I've read recently, I found Richard Cypher to be a fairly believable fantasy hero. It was a refreshing breath of air to read him, as the trend for "believability" these days seems to mean "angsty and impossible to get on with". >:{ *cough wheel of time cough*

I also, as a group, find the Weaslys from Harry Potter quite believable. In fact, aside from Harry having fits of angst in the 5th book, I find most of the characters, while strange, quite real feeling.

I don't think i could name all the awesomely real feeling characters from Discworld, but there are many, right up alongside the ridiculous caricatures.

And last but not least, Dear Old Bilbo. He pretty much goes "Here i am. I am a sensible hobbit! What is all this weird business going on! I'll have none of it! Look how hobbity i am!" If someone of a fictional race can be believable, it's Bilbo.

I'm with you on pretty much everything apart from Tom Bombadil. It's the singing, you see. Mind you, he's handy to have around if you're in trouble. I suppose I like him a bit...
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ElviraStarkeeper
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby ElviraStarkeeper » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:59 am

Hmm, while I do love Tom myself, I can understand why some people don't. I did first read Lotr when I was 9, and I guess the singing didn't really bother me too much, and subsequent readings have always ben influenced by the first one. Certain things are still terrifying to me, even though if had first read it now they may not be. Certainly, my sister can't make me cringe and cover my ears by yelling "Nazgul!" when I least expect it anymore, but WHOO BILLY the barrow wrights are still spooky, not to mention the dead marshes. I think Shelob has become less frightning with time, as I adore real spiders, and we had a Venus Fly Trap for a year or so and named her Shelob :P
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby shireling » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:24 pm

I admire spiders, too, Elvira - from a distance - the further the better.

What I like about Bombadil is that he's never defined. Tolkien didn't know who he was; when the hobbits, ask all Goldberry can say is "He is Master". First and Fatherless, and that's it. There was homage to him in the Willow scene in TTT (his words were given to Treebeard), but if you hadn't read the Book you wouldn't know that.

I love Frodo - the Book and extended DVD Frodo. I love Elijah Wood's portrayal of him, but I wish there had been more of his fire and less of his innocence. Like when Arwen takes him to Rivendell, it robs him of one of his best speeches. When he's facing down the Nazgul at the river, his talks with Faramir, his much more extensive knowledge of Elvish - I could go on, but you get it.
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ElviraStarkeeper
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby ElviraStarkeeper » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:03 pm

I think the willow scene where treebeard gets tom's lines is only in the extended edition, which i saw a couple of years after the main one came out. For me by that point i had been raging about the films for a while and it was a case of "dangit, jackson! too little too late! rawr!"

The book Frodo is excellent, but i thought the movie one seemed a little.. floppy. Elijah did his best with the script he was given i think!
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby MsBrandybuck » Sat May 05, 2012 8:13 pm

I have a confession- I have to tell this to people who will understand how momentarily devastated I was. I've read the Hobbit and LOTR about 26 times over the years since I was 13 years old. This story's been incorporated into my soul.
Now, I've not read the books for about 15 years and have not sat down to watch the movies for maybe 5 years now..... and I am starting to FORGET!
[covers face with hands]

I was at work the other week in a small meeting room and there was a picture on the wall of a lighthouse in the dark, with the light blazing through a storm. There was something a bit creepy about it, actually, so I leaned over to the guy next to me [who also happens to be a Tolkien fan] and pointed out to him that the picture reminded me of Sauron's eye on top of Orthanc.

Yes, I said ORTHANC!!

And he said, "You don't mean Orthanc, you're talking about the dark tower in Mordor."

Yes, I agreed....... and I couldn't for the life of me come up with the name of the stinkin' tower!!! I had to ask my co-worker.

And he looked at me funny while saying, "Barad-Dur. How could you forget that?!" :wtf:

How, indeed........................ I was very unnerved and now I feel sheepish. :/
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Candy Kane
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby Candy Kane » Sat May 05, 2012 8:31 pm

Maybe you should spend more time here yakking about it, Ms B. I'd be happy to indulge your obsession — since I share it!
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby shireling » Sat May 05, 2012 8:46 pm

Oh, me too, me too!!! Please!!! But how do we do this?
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Re: Characters and stories

Postby Candy Kane » Sat May 05, 2012 8:49 pm

Well we could reminisce about the books and the movies and our favourite parts...
To err is but human, to forgive divine, and to design is AWESOME! :8


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