Posted 1 day ago
9, 19, 23, 28.
gloriousmonsters asked

9.  Which fic has been the hardest to write?

19. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse?

All my muses are for mindsets my characters draw on which I don’t really approve of or like - I think there’s no urge to offload my creative instincts when they agree with my politics in the first place. For things that come up often, I have an inner libertarian, an inner nationalist, and an inner hopeless romantic. Letting them out in varying doses and pointing them at the right ideology or the right person works pretty well. 

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Posted 1 day ago

Meditations on Monarchs and Murderers

for Clara, a young Ar-Adunakhor grapples with the aftermath of the first revolt in Armineleth. An interlude to All The King’s Men, but it stands alone. Opinions of King’s Men not opinions of author, except about death. I agree with them on that. 

Tar Ardamin, Ar-Abattârik, Nineteenth Ruler of Anadûnê, Lord Protector of the Nine Colonies, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, signed the execution orders with a vague expression of distaste.

“It’s a shame.”

Every heir to the throne had thought his father a stuffy, useless relic of bygone ages, Azulzir reminded himself, his toes tapping anxiously against the marble. Every heir to the throne probably thought longingly of the day he’d be in charge and all these unnecessary obstructions and misplaced priorities could be vanquished with one sweep of that sceptre.

One day he’d have a son or daughter who thought the same of him.

It was a humbling thought – or, rather, the sort of thought which ought to be humbling and which instead inspired a very different array of emotions. His mother said he was congenitally incapable of humility. If so, he’d gotten it from her side.

“It doesn’t bother you,” said the King, putting down his pen.

Azulzir sighed. “The state in your person executes fifteen hundred people a year, nearly all abroad. Some of them are innocent – not to my knowledge, obviously, but just by statistics. We aren’t infallible, the appeals system in the Protectorates is abbreviated – ” 

“I wasn’t aware this was a special concern of yours.”

“The State  is a special concern of mine,” said Azulzir tightly. “One day they will die in my name.

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Posted 1 day ago
7, 15 and 17 :)
vanimore asked

7. Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.

from ‘Teamwork' (AU):

It takes a day (or what would have been a day, before Melkor plunged the land into darkness and rendered meaningless the count of time) to find Fëanáro.

Ñolofinwë spends every minute of it resenting him.

Fëanáro, who dragged his father to Formenos in the first place. Fëanáro, whose grief and pain is outsized and dramatic and by necessity overrules their own, whose reactions have always been so volatile as to be emotionally manipulative.

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Posted 2 days ago
3, 7, 13, 16, 28, 31,
hestiaschaetzeken asked

3. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?

Eroticized dub-con or non-con resulting from institutional power dynamics (so, like, forced marriage, slavery!AUs, omegaverses, etcetera). I don’t want to criticize anyone else’s kinks, but I will not write and don’t enjoy reading fics with this premise. The Silm fandom is delightfully low on them. 

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Posted 3 days ago
20, 23, & 9
nerdaneliswa asked

20. Describe your perfect writing conditions.

 I made myself some tea a while ago, and it is getting cold. My housemate is out and the neighbors are not throwing a party. There is an ask in my ask box with an interesting prompt, and a homework assignment I should really be doing instead.

23. 
If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why?

The Five People You Meet In Valinor! It’s still one of my favorite things I’ve ever written, but I’ve reluctantly admitted to myself that it’s a pain to read - it jumps narrators constantly, the segments vary in length from 100 words to 2000, the emotional cohesion is meh - basically it’s a roller-coaster in quality and that makes me sad because I love the characters and the topic it grapples with. I have been thinking for a while of revisiting it.

9. Which fic has been the hardest to write?

Posted 3 days ago

image2. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?

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Posted 3 days ago
For the 40 questions meme: 8-11 =)
elvenwanderer06 asked

8. Share a snippet from one of your favorite dialogue scenes you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.

From Nelyafinwe: 

“Fëanáro thoroughly deserved it.” He would have said more, but his father’s expression stopped him. 

“Did he? Twelve years, Nolofinwë, in which the divisions between our people will not be mended but will be given physical force. Twelve years for his faction and yours – because that is what has happened, do not think I am unaware of it – to grow apart, to forget that they are cousins and neighbors and lovers and friends, to turn the rift between the two of you into something far deeper. Another reminder for Fëanáro that, in the eyes of the Valar, he is Marred, he is a mistake. Another reason for him to distrust them, because now he has seen his father undermined before them and the independence of the Noldor made a mockery-” 

“Would you stop?”

He would never have said it to his King, in heated counsels in Tirion where the arguing raged well into the night and the crown slipped down Finwë’s weary forehead. He would never have said it to his father, who managed after work was done to stop by his sons’ homes for drinks and bedtime stories with the children.

But the man before him was something of both, and not really either, and somehow it slipped out.

“I am bloody sick of you. You have such blinders on when it comes to him. It’s the Valar’s fault, for interfering and sending him away. It’s your fault, for permitting us to reach this point, it’s mine for provoking him, you can see every single extenuating circumstance and shade of complexity and comprehensible motive but you can’t see the raging self-centered jackass at the center of it, you can’t see that your beloved son is, for the rest of us, a bloody nightmare.”

“Nolofinwë-” 

“I am not done. I. Am. Not. Done. If you looked at the rest of the world with a fraction of the empathy you have for him, you’d see that you’re driving my mother away, that you’re throwing the goodwill of your people away, that you’re leaving us all to wonder whether you regret that we even exist. You wouldn’t have had more children, would you? If you’d realized it was going to hurt Fëanáro’s feelings…”

Finwë did not even look angry. Just tired, very, very tired. And normally that would be enough to stop him, but today it was making everything worse, and the irrational thought that flitted through his head was ‘He does not even care enough to be angered.’ 

“He is not a victim of the Valar. You are not a victim of the Valar. If they undermined you, it’s because you’ve been undermining yourself, by making it utterly clear that your favorite and heir is above all reproach, by enabling him until he finally did something so unforgivable that the rest of the world stepped in.[…]

Why I like it: I honestly wanted to quote the whole conversation between Nolofinwë and Finwë here. They’re finally angry enough to be straight with each other, and the result is really interesting to me - both of their perspectives make sense, people have told me they find each of them sympathetic, and even though this is an AU it strikes me as a confrontation that would have happened in canon. Also I might have a thing for angry Nolofinwë. 

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Posted 3 days ago
11 and 28? :)
xredriverx asked

11. Is writing your passion or just a fun hobby?

I know some writers who say things like “I knew from the time I was 12 that I was born to be a writer. I can’t imagine doing anything else.’ Or ‘real writers don’t write because we want to. We write because doing anything else is torture’. Or… you know the sort of quotes, they tend to circulate on tumblr.

When I was younger they made me very insecure. Here I was, feeling like a real writer, but doing other things wasn’t torture. Sometimes I didn’t even want to write! Sometimes I wanted to write, but couldn’t think of anything to say! Sometimes writing was tedious and frustrating!

And… if there are any people like younger!me out there I want to tell them this: some people figure out that they’re a writer when they’re 12, and some figure out when they’re fifty, and some of them want to write for a career, and some think that would suck all the joy out of it. The writers you look up to and admire don’t possess some magical quality that makes writing effortless and magical for them. For the most part, they just write a lot and get better at it through practice. You aren’t missing the essential magical writerly character trait, because it doesn’t exist. 

A passion? A hobby? Can I split hairs and claim it’s a hobby I am passionate about? I might want to write for a living, if it would mean I could also code things and do maths. Some days writing really is effortless. Some days writing sucks. Sometimes everything else in my life is a Thing I Do To Not Starve Between Writing Fanfics, and sometimes writing feels like a chore. 

28. Share three of your favorite fic writers and why you like them so much.

Ugh, this one was torture. If every single one of my followers sent me a 28, I think I could come up with enough favorite fic writers to fill that list. But here goes:

Lyra on Silmarillion Writer’s Guild has prose that is just delightful. Sometimes I enjoy it on the level of ‘this is fun to read’ and sometimes I try to pay attention to it, to learn to be a better writer myself, and am just astonished by how well-crafted and comfortable and fun it is. She manages to write the Finwean menagerie without anyone coming across as the villain, which I know from experience is an excruciatingly difficult thing to do. My favorite fic of hers is probably The Embalmer’s Apprentice, but The Tempered Steel and Golden Days are very, very close seconds. 

Clara here on tumblr is one of the best character writers I’ve encountered in any fandom, in any context. Her characters are capable of amazing depths of antagonism and respect and deference and envy, sometimes all at once, all established with impressive efficiency through only a few lines of characterization. These are stories delightful to read for all of their minor details, the sort that reward you for poking a little closer. I’m often tempted to have the background politics in my fic be ‘trade routes’ or ‘deployments’ or something similarly vague or boring. Until I started reading Clara’s, I don’t think I realized how much depth and color it adds to a fic to have genuine politics in the background, to have the miscellaneous dinner conversation (over which our lovers are flirting) be intriguing and complex and nuanced in its own right. Favorite fic is Anemoi, favorite short!fic is Glass Castles, and anyone with the patience to get to know her Númenor OCs will find themselves rewarded with the most delightfully machiavellian, morally ambiguous, complex female characters I’ve seen anywhere, fanwork or original.

Jess here on tumblr is extraordinary for the sheer range of characters whose stories she can tell, and for how precisely and interestingly those stories interact. Read her Edain of the House of Beor, read her Finrod, read her Maedhros in the siege of Himring, and you find yourself seeing the same vision through three wonderfully distinct lenses. It does more to hint at the complexity of the story - and at her amazingly nuanced understanding of the Silmarillion - than anything that could be done in a single story. She also has an amazing sense of humor. Much of her fic is surprisingly lighthearted and all of it is sympathetic, entertaining, and humanizing. Favorite fic is The Book Amnesty (Jess’ Turgon and Elenwe are torturously cute) or maybe Truth (Jess’ Hurin and Morwen are torturously even cuter).

Posted 3 days ago
18, 35, 38
houseofhaleth asked

18. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines?

The first novel-length fic I ever wrote was a Harry Potter AU for my little brother’s 11th birthday. He found himself transported in the middle of Order of the Phoenix, tried to save the day, and accidentally started a civil war. I planned the hell out of that fic. I developed one hundred and twenty characters for his cohort at Hogwarts. I knew their grades in every class and their physical descriptions (which I scrupulously matched to Britain’s demographics). I had a plot outline that was thirty pages long and written in five different colors of ink. I spent weeks just working out a Hogwarts course schedule that made sense for all four houses and all seven years.

And when I finished the fic, I was a much better writer than I’d been at the beginning of it, and I realized that my first few chapters sucked. The tension lagged, the dialogue was wooden, the plot was hard to follow. I had to redo everything, and my beautiful outline fell to shambles. You know that saying ‘no plan survives contact with the enemy’? In my experience, no outline survives contact with the page. 

(Also, if your plot is so convoluted that you, the writer, can only understand it with five colors of ink, your readers won’t be impressed. They’ll just be confused.)

Now I write with no tools at all, skipping around to finish my favorite scenes in the story first, and my outlining looks like [skipping this scene b/c idk how to write it right now. somehow fingon needs to end up in Nevrast and be grumpy] or [tie mortality back in somehow or I’m gonna need to rework all of this]. Don’t get me wrong - I admire the planners and outliners. Having dipped my toes into those waters I am in awe of the amount of work required. But my best writing takes its shape as it goes. 

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Posted 3 days ago

40 Questions — Meme for Fic Writers

rointheta:

  1. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic.
  2. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?
  3. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?
  4. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?
  5. Share one of your strengths.
  6. Share one of your weaknesses.
  7. Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
  8. Share a snippet from one of your favorite dialogue scenes you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
  9. Which fic has been the hardest to write?
  10. Which fic has been the easiest to write?
  11. Is writing your passion or just a fun hobby?
  12. Is there an episode above all others that inspires you just a little bit more?
  13. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever come across?
  14. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever come across?
  15. If you could choose one of your fics to be filmed, which would you choose?
  16. If you only could write one pairing for the rest of your life, which pairing would it be?
  17. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write the scenes out of order?
  18. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines?
  19. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse?
  20. Describe your perfect writing conditions.
  21. How many times do you usually revise your fic/chapter before posting?
  22. Choose a passage from one of your earlier fics and edit it into your current writing style. (Person sending the ask is free to make suggestions).
  23. If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why?
  24. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics?
  25. What do you look for in a beta?
  26. Do you beta yourself? If so, what kind of beta are you?
  27. How do you feel about collaborations?
  28. Share three of your favorite fic writers and why you like them so much.
  29. If you could write the sequel (or prequel) to any fic out there not written by yourself, which would you choose?
  30. Do you accept prompts?
  31. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your fic being canon compliant?
  32. How do you feel about smut?
  33. How do you feel about crack?
  34. What are your thoughts on non-con and dub-con?
  35. Would you ever kill off a canon character?
  36. Which is your favorite site to post fic?
  37. Talk about your current wips.
  38. Talk about a review that made your day.
  39. Do you ever get rude reviews and how do you deal with them?
  40. Write an alternative ending to [insert fic title] (or just the summary of one).
Posted 5 days ago

hereff:

Before I sleep, just want to post this weird quote I found when I was looking for entirely different thing:

But the Noldor in Beleriand were exiles from Valinor, having rebelled against the authority of Manwe supreme head of the Valar, and Turgon was one of the most determined and unrepentant supporters of Feanor’s rebellion. 

From LAST WRITINGS. Of Glorfindel, Cirdan, and other matters. HoME XII

WHAT. ARE YOU SURE.

One of my biggest regrets about Tolkien dying when he did is that I think he was considering making Turgon a much bigger player in Beleriand politics. There’s a brief sketch of a timeline where Fingolfin doesn’t exist (okay, I’m not sorry Tolkien abandoned that one) and it’s Turgon who leads the second host out of Valinor  and to who Finrod in particular owes his obedience (“for Turgon had been elected supreme lord of the Noldorin hosts”). 

I have entertained the thought that Fingolfin declared Turgon his heir post-Alqualonde as a (fairly vicious but perhaps politically necessary) reprimand to Fingon for entangling the Nolofinwean host in that whole mess. It could explain why Maedhros regarded returning for Fingon and his following but not the Nolofinweans in general as a possibility. But Turgon a unrepentant supporter of Feanor’s rebellion just makes sufficiently little sense that I ignore it. 

Posted 1 week ago

Poisoned Javelin Problems

Then Eol looked into the eyes of King Turgon, and he was not daunted, but stood long without word or movement while a still silence fell upon the hall; and Aredhel was afraid, knowing that he was perilous. Suddenly, swift as serpent, he seized a javelin that he held hid beneath his cloak

what

So a javelin, of course, is a throwing spear, and historically they were 2m (6.5ft) long - a heck of a thing to hide in a cloak. More importantly, they’re a single-use weapon. Eol could not have effectively used a javelin to defend himself if he’d been assailed by orcs or spiders when pursuing Aredhel and Maeglin toward Gondolin. 

Also, the javelin is poisoned. 

This is the only use of poisoned weapons by Elven characters in Tolkien’s works. That’s not to say that no one had them or used them (though I’m going to guess that in Tolkien’s mind they did not; poison is pretty thoroughly associated with evil in his works). Gondolin’s healers must not have faced poison even from their enemies, because it doesn’t occur them a wound might be poisoned and they don’t know how to treat it. Presumably Eol knew that you’d have to have very good aim and luck to kill an Elf with a javelin; the poison, though, makes sure his target dies even if the shot is only glancing.

What I am saying here is that a poisoned javelin is an assassination weapon, not a personal weapon used for murder in a spur-of-the-moment decision. 

I think there’s a lot more going on in this scene than is obvious at first sight.

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Posted 1 week ago

glitteringgimli:

scorpionhoney:

Someone requested during the livestream for a Hurin and Morwen so I drew them UuU.

- Hurin and Morwen

- Túrin babysitting Lalaith

- Melian and Túrin 

new stuff~

Posted 2 weeks ago
Hi there! Rather randomly, I was thinking about the War of Wrath and wondered whether half the (u)maiar would be female. It made me wonder if you had any thoughts on the valar and gender roles? As in, are the ones that the elves develop based off of the valar's (accidental, since they are incorporeal..?) or did, perhaps, the valar enforce existing elven ones by taking on corresponding male and female forms?
Anonymous asked

This is a really interesting question!  I have a lot of thoughts about this but I’m not going to pretend that they’re very canonically grounded.

So first off, Tolkien almost certainly intended both the Elves and the Ainur to, being the spiritual superiors of Men, be more likely to behave rightly and to innately have instincts for right behavior. Which meant to him to abide closely by early-20th-century conservative Christian values. One of those is the existence of innate differences between men and women (still a feature of conservative Christianity today); as a result, I think Tolkien would have indeed imagined the Valar had innately male or female natures, and that those with female natures preferred traditionally (that is, 20th-century-conservative-Christian) female roles. So, likely few women among the umaiar in the War of Wrath, and likely he would have imagined that they preferred to be healers.

But who needs Tolkien? Personally, my headcanon for the Valar is that most of their early actions are guided by their fragmented glimpse of the world Eru’s song created. They remember a lot of essential features of what it was supposed to look like (the general form of the Children, the ecology, the various human arts and disciplines) but are missing a lot of other ones (the Sun and Moon, the fact the world is spherical, Melkor’s proper role, the future of human potential). It might be hard to imagine that someone would have noticed enough to create grass and trees and living beings, but not have noticed that the world is round or that its major light source is the Sun. But imagine getting a cross-section of ALL INFORMATION about Earth’s geology, ecology, atmosphere, human cultures, and magic in one brief moment, and then having Eru dismiss it and say ‘go build that’. They can be excused for missing the forest for the Trees.

What does this all have to do with gender roles? Stick with me.

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Posted 2 weeks ago

likes-drawing-elves:

Do you ever just sit down and think to yourself, "I am so glad that Tolkien ended up naming them Noldor instead of Gnomes. So. Very. Glad."

not nearly as often as I think ‘I am so, so glad that Teleporno didn’t make the final drafts.’

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