Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: Man! I feel like a woman-

Man! I feel like a woman-

I'm back home for a couple of months, and in these parts of the world we are celebrating 'Woman's Day' on Monday. That got me thinking that we could have a challenge that focuses only on women in Tolkien's works, and their merits.

I would like to know what women did while their men went out fighting. We know that women in Middle-earth were not usually raised to become soldiers (though we all know they could fight when necessary, and did it well!) What kinds of heroic deeds did the women do? What was their involvement in the defense of their cities and homelands, and what was their role in the rebuilding process afterwards? Can we say that women's contribution was a great as men's, if of different nature? And, what about women's involvement in society at times of peace? Were they teachers, healers, craftsmen? -rather, crafstwomen-

I realize this challenge could lend itself to a Mary-sueish approach. My idea to avoid this is that we keep it strictly to what women do, not necessarily for love of their man, but for their own sakes, for what they feel they can give out and what they have to offer to the world.

Some examples of brave women I can think of (of the top of my head):

Silm:
Miriel, Haleth, Elwing (depending on the approach), Ancalime (depending on the approach, as well), Tar-Miriel

LotR:
Maggot's wife, Rosie and Mrs. Cotton, Lobelia (she was very involved), Gilraen (depnding on approach), Firiel (who is not LotR, but kinda), Goldberry, Galadriel, Morwen (Thengel's wife), Eowyn

And, of course, there's plenty of room for OC's. I'd particularly love to see a women of Harad.

What do you think? Do you think this has potential?

Starlight

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

I very much like this idea. So the idea is to focus on what they can give/do in their own right and for their own sakes, or at least, not fundamentally for the sake of their particular man?

And welcome back, Starlight! I hope things are beginning to settle down a bit for you. Glad to see you about.

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

I second Dwim's opinion...this is a great challenge idea!

Cheryl

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Is that an upraised hand I see...?

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Huh. I am currently about halfway through a long WIP that seems like a perfect fit for this Challenge. Can I enter an existing story, or do we have to volunteer to write something new?

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Of course we would *love* to have *two* stories from you, Danielle, but if you've got a project that would fit, then go ahead and enter it.

So is that two hands? Who else? Where's Alawa, I know she would love this challenge, and Thev as well... *wanders off to find e-mail addresses*

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

So is that two hands? Who else? Where's Alawa, I know she would love this challenge, and Thev as well... *wanders off to find e-mail addresses*

Hello there - I am still lurking around, and special hello to Starlight

What sort of time limit are you thinking of? I've just spent a good many months writing this sort of thing but I quite fancy the idea of doing it again. I'd have to wait for the Nuzgul to strike and then I'm a painfully slow writer on top of that, so if the deadline is to be at all soon, I expect I'd be putting in a placeholder.

Alawa

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

I actually have a longish piece that I'm in what I hope is the finishing stages of editing, that I think might fit this challenge. It's an AU about a daughter of Denethor, and was my attempt to create an Eowyn-esque character who was a) not a M.S. and b) did not feel the need to ride off into battle. In the end she's the one that ends up holding down the fort in Dunharrow.

Anyway, if this challenge becomes a go, then I'm in with that piece. I think it will fit, but I'd like to see the formal prompt before I say definitely.

Dwim, have you considered "Standards"? I think you could argue that that piece is about Arwen being strong for the sake of her own choice, not for her love of Aragorn.

So that's three? Possibly four?

Cheers,
Marta

Edit: Longish is an understatement. Make that long. I just happened to glance at the word count: 80,000 is not "longish."

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Yes and no on "Standards". I can think of other scenarios that would be more suited, I think, to the nuzgûl. "Ad Sum", for one, and "Kinsmen" for another, but I'd feel like I was cheating to use either of them. It does bring to mind a possible solution for a placeholder I've had for a long time now in "Anything, But Ordinary, Please!" Challenge. Unfortunately, there's that issue of time...

We'll see. And yes, 80,000 is not 'longish' anymore.

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Yes and no on "Standards". I can think of other scenarios that would be more suited, I think, to the nuzgûl. "Ad Sum", for one, and "Kinsmen" for another, but I'd feel like I was cheating to use either of them.

Fair enough. "Standards" I've read, the other two I haven't (though I've been meaning to find the time for "Kinsmen" for a while now -- might actually get to it this week, if the rain holds and I'm stuck inside).

Out of curiosity, why do you think it would be cheated? Because you've already written them, or because they don't quite fit the theme?

Cheers,
Marta

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

So is that two hands? Who else? ...
Dwim, I replied to your post onlist, but what the heck - I'll pop another in here. I'm interested. I have the almost completed rough draft of a story that would fit this perfectly. The poor thing has been languishing in my hard drive for months now. Bless you, Starlight, you may have given me just the impetus I needed to finish it up, polish it a bit and set it loose here at HASA.
~Nessime

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Most excellent, Nessime!

And Alawa, no problem. Placeholders exist for a reason. And the deadline can be somewhat far in the future if that suits people's schedules.

Marta: I'd feel that I was cheating with "Ad Sum" and "Kinsmen" because the former was written for a Challenge in the first place and the latter is... em... very closely concerning Aragorn, although certainly it's an answer to what women do while the men are away at war. I'll be interested, if you have time, to see what you make of them. And don't get me started on the rain: it is blowing great gusts of freezing cold air up here. The only saving grace is that it isn't raining today.

So we have three people who are pretty solidly in for the ride. We need two more...

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Um. I have an idea for something involving Arwen explaining to Eowyn why staying at home in Rivendell and Lorien was not a cop-out but a choice...and that staying home from the war doesn't necessarily mean one isn't fighting it in different ways...and that she didn't just spend the whole fifty years or whatever it was pining away for Aragorn, for goodness' sake! [must avoid turning story into soapbox...must avoid turning story into soapbox...]

Given that the above is ALL I currently have ("fledgeling" is overstating it at this point!), I would be voting for a somewhat removed deadline if this becomes a challenge. But I guess I am volunteering!

-- Jeannie, who is really just putting off taking another crack at her Black Breath challenge fic, which is stuck AGAIN. [sigh]

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Just realised my post contained the words "I'm ... a writer" Aaaagh! I'll have to be updating my bio next.

Alawa

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Oh, I'm so excited you all like this idea!

Dwim wrote:
So the idea is to focus on what they can give/do in their own right and for their own sakes, or at least, not fundamentally for the sake of their particular man?

Exactly. I think it would be so much fun to focus on a woman and, well, just focus on her, her achievements, her accomplishments as a woman, and not as somebody's woman. Tolkien wrote of many brave women, but some of the stories are just sketches, and some others are seen through the lens of the men. I'd love to see the other side


And welcome back, Starlight! I hope things are beginning to settle down a bit for you. Glad to see you about.

Thank you! I'm so glad to be back. I've missed you all *a lot*


Note on "Ad Sum" and "Kinsmen:" When I thought about brave women I thought, among other things, on your charrwoman, Dwim. She has that kind of spirit! But, since you mention "Kinsmen," this could be the opportunity to give us that bit of backstory on your lady. We know that what she did, she did not necesarily do for love of a man, but for love of her people, after all ;-)

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Alawa wrote:
Hello there - I am still lurking around, and special hello to Starlight

Glad to see you, Alawa, and thank you so much!

I've just spent a good many months writing this sort of thing but I quite fancy the idea of doing it again.

Was that 'Keepers of the Hearth?' That was an outstanding piece. I very much enjoyed it. I will be looking forward to your next strong woman ;-)


 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Marta wrote:
Edit: Longish is an understatement. Make that long. I just happened to glance at the word count: 80,000 is not "longish."

I so enjoyed your edit, Marta. Sometimes those seemly harmless nuzgulings certainly go out of hand! Good luck with your story (and, I understand your need to have someone at Dunharrow)

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Nessime wrote:
I have the almost completed rough draft of a story that would fit this perfectly. The poor thing has been languishing in my hard drive for months now. Bless you, Starlight, you may have given me just the impetus I needed to finish it up, polish it a bit and set it loose here at HASA.

My job is done, then Good luck, and looking forward to read it.

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

My job is done, then

No, no, your job is just beginning, Starlight. After all, we now have four *pinky finger waves at Jeannie* people in on this. We need number five...

Have we got a writer?

(Ha, you see, Alawa, it creeps up on you, that term! And you are one. So stop hiding from it. )

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Was that 'Keepers of the Hearth?' That was an outstanding piece. I very much enjoyed it. I will be looking forward to your next strong woman ;-)

Thank you Starlight! Problem is that Winfrith's so firmly fixed in my brain at the moment I might have trouble booting her out to let another character in

Alawa

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Edit: Longish is an understatement. Make that long. I just happened to glance at the word count: 80,000 is not "longish."

I so enjoyed your edit, Marta. Sometimes those seemly harmless nuzgulings certainly go out of hand! Good luck with your story (and, I understand your need to have someone at Dunharrow)


I'm embarrassed to mention it, but the piece started out as a Denethor PWP where Den & Fin go out of the city for a picnic. It was the first thing I ever wrote (not that long ago -- mid-April 2003), and I began it before I was even aware of the existence of "fanfic," let alone a community with it's own ideas of what should and should not be done in a fic. Not that I really listen to those conventions, anyway.

And for the record, the smut never got written. A few throw-away lines suggested they had their daughter with them, and the story evolved from there. I've learned a lot since I began this piece, both in terms of canon and writing mechanics, which has made the editing process interesting to say the least.

But I'm sorry to go on about my story. Back to your challenge. Have you thought about approaching Thevina Finduilas? Her story "Daughters of Orome" might work for this challenge. It's about the shieldmaiden culture in Rohan -- and it focuses on an OFC friend of Eowyn, not Eowyn herself. Rather a good story.

Cheers,
Marta

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Dean Este of Maia wrote:

"A Man of Ha accepts this challenge, for the honor of
the Women of Middle-earth."

Woot! I believe that that is number five, ladies and gentlemen:

Forodwaith, Alawa, JeannieMac, Nessime and Dean.

Now, about those pesky deadlines... And Starlight, do you have a preferred wording for this Challenge? Post it here or e-mail it to me or Marta (or both).

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

Dwim wrote:
Dean Este of Maia wrote:

"A Man of Ha accepts this challenge, for the honor of
the Women of Middle-earth."


All right! Oh, I am so looking forward to this one.

Woot! I believe that that is number five, ladies and gentlemen:

Forodwaith, Alawa, JeannieMac, Nessime and Dean.


That's great! I'm so glad I could do my part in the spreading of the little monsters... Thank you, guys!

Now, about those pesky deadlines...

I have no idea, Dwim. Do you think four months is too little?

And Starlight, do you have a preferred wording for this Challenge?

I had not thought of that. Do you have any idea? I'll try to draft something coherent and post it soon, but I'm open to whatever you all think.

And, Dwim, will you write adopt one? ;-)

 

 

Re: Man! I feel like a woman-

I'm so glad I could do my part in the spreading of the little monsters... Thank you, guys!

It is fun, isn't it? Feel free to share a nuzgul any time you like.

Do you think four months is too little?

Most challenges run for three months, but it's really up to you. If you think four months would work better, that's fine. If you'd like to see when other challenges are closing, check out the open challenges section.

And Starlight, do you have a preferred wording for this Challenge?

I had not thought of that. Do you have any idea? I'll try to draft something coherent and post it soon, but I'm open to whatever you all think.


If you'd like examples, you could look at some of the old challengesfor some descriptions. But basically when I try to write a challenge description I want it to do two things:

(1) Tell people what is eligible for the challenge. For this challenge (as I understand it), a story should focus on a female character who's motivated by something other than love for her man. So you should stay this.

(2) Tell people why they should write for a particular challenge. If I weren't already convinced to write this challenge, what could you do to grab my interest?

That's my style; you can can of course write your own wording however you like.

Dwim and I will help you in whatever way we can. Feel free to contact me off-site if you'd like.

Cheers,
Marta

 

 

No Man's Woman

All right, I've finally had time to work up wording for this. Starlight and other victims, this challenge is called No Man's Woman. Check it out. Starlight, if you have suggestions or want anything changed, let me know.

 

 

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