Showing posts from August, 2015

The Power of Stories -- Not "Just" Entertainment

"But that's not the way of it in the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually -- their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten." -- Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings , Book IV Chapter 8 In The Two Towers , Sam ponders on the sort of tale he and Frodo have fallen into, comparing it to the ones "that really mattered." For Sam, the stories that really mattered are the ones in which characters press on to the end regardless of their circumstances, and some of them had really horrible circumstances; he mentions Beren facing Morgoth (the first Dark Lord of Middle-earth) and taking one of the Silmarils from Morgoth's crown in a time when no one -- I mean no one -- could be expected to survive such an attempt, much less

Villains Revisited

What I'm Writing:  Merlin Book 2 (first draft; planned to be finished by November)                                 Oz retelling (pre-writing and outlining; planned for NaNoWriMo 2015) What I'm Reading: The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (reread)                                 The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater                                 Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (Kindle)                                 Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography                                 They Have Not Seen the Stars: The Collected Poetry of Ray Bradbury                                 Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper (audiobook; reread) A while back I talked about villains with shallow motivation making for weak characters -- and by extension, weak stories and conflict. I finished Dune a few days ago, and it has got one of the best-written villains I've come across in a while. He's truly villainous, and odious to boot. I'm talking about