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mike
and damned be him that first cries Hold! Enough!
Sat Sep 8, 2018 09:51
108.26.68.112

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
When I write a story I do not usually consider the setting, that's to say the time and place, I assume it will automatically be set by virtue of the descriptions and the characters. As soon as a familiar artifact is mentioned, it more or less declares when the story is occurring, give or take anything from a decade to a century depending upon the artifact in question.

I certainly don't want to be bogged down by having to consider, for example, how my hypothetical king runs his country, what he derives his income from - taxation perhaps - and therefore how those being taxed are making their money if indeed it's even necessary to mention this aspect of the society that my characters are part of.

George Martin - the author of 'Game of Thrones' - criticized Tolkiens ending the LOTR by stating that once Aragorn became King, he 'ruled the country wisely and well'. How did he do this, Martin said, what did he do about the thousands of orcs still in existence after the destruction of Sauron? Did he commit genocide by hunting them down and exterminating them? Or did he send envoys to help them overcome their destructive nature and teach them to become contributing members of society?

To me this sounds fatuous and unnecessary, lets just assume that they quietly fade out of the picture, having been thoroughly defeated. Or, better yet, why worry about this sort of thing at all, assume whatever you like or simply ignore any such potential loose ends and besides, you never know, at some point in the future when peace and prosperity gets to be smothering, have them resume their evil ways and be required to reform your armies and overcome the menace again.

I've got more urgent matters to consider, like finishing the story in the first place without critics (self or otherwise) trying to upset the apple cart with niggling nonsense.

In my opinion Frank Herbert took a great story - Dune - and proceeded to ruin it with the subsequent volumes detailing how the Fremen swept across the galaxy eradicating all opposition and then of course Paul Atreides gets weirder and weirder and gradually the whole complex social structure breaks down for any number of entirely predictable reasons based upon human history's horrible examples of the rise and fall of empires.

Why bother? That, for me, is the over riding message behind epics such as these and indeed reading Winston Churchill's ' The Second World War' is a depressing account of much the same sort of litany of human failures, I could hardly bring myself to read past Volume 3 as his account and included correspondences make it quite obvious what the unsatisfactory outcome must be, even if one wasn't gifted with the benefit of hindsight.

You may recall that I raised this point previously when I mentioned that to my way of thinking a satisfactory story should have a happy ending and flying in the face of the dismal past record, there was no reason why one shouldn't write a story in which the good guys triumph to such an effect that all evil is completely eradicated and the subsequent history is one of shining achievement!

Tolkiens world is one of a victorious Third Age nevertheless undermined by the last elves departing Middle Earth for good, Aragorn's being the last of the true Numenorean rulers, his elven wife Arwen having sacrificed her immortality by consenting to stay behind as the three remaining Elven rings of power sail into the sunset on the fingers of Celeborn, Galadriel and Elrond. Wisely Bilbo and Frodo and Gandalf also take this last opportunity to bugger off to safety and so would I have, given the opportunity.

Just as an aside, that's an option I wish were available to us, you and me and our beloved mates. I mean the opportunity to sail into the sunset for a long, peaceful, prosperity until the end. As the years pass by I find myself increasingly disenchanted with the world view being presented to me.

Metaphorically speaking I feel like some noble knight faced with yet another days battle, looking at my armour and sword and wondering whether I can face putting it all on and riding out yet again. Knowing that no matter how valiant my spirit I will eventually be overwhelmed. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak!

So, returning to the topic of story telling, I'll be damned if I'll add any more morale eroding fatalistic self pitying claptrap to undermine my readership and leave them not feeling uplifted and ready to face the good fight. No, my duty as I see it, is to ride out, horns blasting, banners waving onto the field of battle and to soundly defeat the foe, forcing the survivors to submit or be slain and thereafter to send out emissaries to teach the vacillating onlookers the error of their ways.

These are my principles, Faith, Hope and Charity or as Winston so ably put it:-
IN WAR - RESOLUTION
IN DEFEAT - DEFIANCE
IN VICTORY - MAGNANIMITY
IN PEACE - GOODWILL

I intend to plan this latest story out beforehand from beginning to end, learning from my past mistakes (lots to learn from then!) and yet determined for once to ensure that the victorious outcomes is not undermined by implication or default.

Unrealistic? Perhaps but setting a good example is worth doing if it convinces even one person that all hope is not lost no matter how much it may appear otherwise. A triumph is only a triumph if it involves overcoming adversity.

  • A few more ideas - mike, Fri Sep 7 12:23
    MORE IDEAS If I was going to draw more inspiration from my artwork, well then, after the map the next outline/rough sketch is a view from Lone Redoubt, in the distance on a mountain top is a watch... more
    • and damned be him that first cries Hold! Enough! - mike, Sat Sep 8 09:51
      • Mike, I agree with your thoughts concerning Dune. This happens too often. Every detail does not need to be noted unless it is important to the story.
      • Some thoughts... - Sarge, Sat Sep 8 10:42
        ...major and minor. A minor and egoist one; would love to see the family home of Laxfield represented since Norfolk and dear Suffolk seem to be the model for the setting, in the main. Purely for the... more
        • Re: Some thoughts... - roger, Sun Sep 9 10:09
          Many years agowhen I was an undergrad I attended some writers workshops. I had no interest in being a writer but it was interesting and entertaining hearing how they developed their stories. As I... more
        • Good observations - thanks - mike, Sat Sep 8 11:08
          I'm not going to attempt to rush this out because thats always been my downfall. I bypass various deadfalls and manage to keep the ball in the air until eventually it all comes crashing down because... more
          • You're in! - mike, Sat Sep 8 15:22
            As FLAX FIELD just above SOUTHFORK Heres where I got some info (as well as others) https://www.britainexpress.com/attractions.htm?attraction=4939 I chose the name on purpose because it gives me a... more
            • Way hey! - sarge, Sun Sep 9 10:07
              I like the context, too.
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