Forum: Anglachel - Stories

Discussing: Legacy


A speculative gap-filler intended to answer the challenge of writing realistic sexuality in Middle-earth, as well as to present Hobbits as something besides comic side-kicks, infants and/or yes-men.


One question I have always had question about is whether this is "slash". My own opinion is no. Why? Because, though it addresses the presence of sexual preference besides heterosexual desire, it is not specifically focused on a homosexual relationship between two characters, which is what I have always thought the designation "slash" to indicate. However, others choose to apply the term to any story in which homosexuality (or, more broadly, any sexual orientation besides heterosexual, however minor, oblique or hidden the reference) appears.

Mostly, I wanted to write a good story.




Re: Legacy

I wouldn't call it slash, either, for exactly that reason. While there are some same-sex encounters in the story, they don't qualify as anything like a relationship. (I'm trying not to give anything away, here!)

For my money, it's a good story - because it deals with more issues than just that, too. A short story can have a single theme, but a long one needs more.

And how the heck do you get your links to be not underlined, anyway?




Re: Legacy

Ancient HTML secret.....

class="bodylink" is the answer. Include just after the URL portion of the anchor tag, just before the closing angle bracket. Do a "View Source" to see how it is used on the pages in the site.


One of the interesting parts of writing Legacy was trying to figure out what "heterosexuality" would look like in a pre-Freudian world. Concepts, attitudes and reactions we take for granted in a Western, modern, industrial culture with a highly developed sense of individuality and interiority simply do not exist in a place like the Shire.

Writing about relationships within a strongly clan-based social order with strong social pressures to act in the interests of the group means that politics and economics are always a powerful part of sex and reproduction. It is definitely not a PC world.

Much to my surprise, change became the motive force in the story - what happens when a society is threatened with profound changes? How does this threat (and its actual working out) affect personal and clan relations?

If there is a theme in Legacy, it is about truth and truth-telling - perhaps "bearing witness" is a better way to phrase it - which comes back to change. What is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves, individually and collectively? The stories we tell affect the way in which we are able to (or fail to) engage a time of profound change.

Bilbo and Frodo (and almost every other character) is faced with the question "What do I say?"




Re: Legacy

If I had to choose a genre for "Legacy", besides "excellent story",it would be most likely "mystery story", with Bilbo as a kind of private investigator. Because that's what he does, slowly unraveling the plots and spider's webs around Frodo.

It is not a slash story for me, either, because the main focus is not on homosexual relations or feelings of the characters.
Maybe not the best example, but with the same reason you could qualify "Legacy" as a horse story because there are some ponies in it.

By the way, will we see "Legacy" at HASA again? I mean in the public area.



Re: Legacy

Umm, can't say precisely because that might be considered soliciting votes. I am finishing some edits, and I will resubmit at some point in the future.

I call it a drama - though I think it is properly a political who-dun-it. Snicker - sure, I can call it a horse story! ;-)

I admit to being somewhat alarmed at the willingness to call anything that portrays any type of same-sex affection as "slash". It is one of the most common search terms used on the site. To my mind, there are stories that are rightly termed slash - where the focus of the story is on a homosexual erotic relationship. They can be explicit or not. Simply having same-sex eroticism does not make a story slash. For me the term is almost meaningless anymore, except to flag where there is some kind of homosexual content. Well ,geez, by that definition the Bible is a work of slash.

What I see is a phenomenon where stories that have any hint of looking at same-sex erotic relationships are summarily categorized as slash (no matter what else is being examined in the story), and then are dismissed as porn or smut, no matter how the topic is addressed.

This is a tough one for me. On the one hand, I think that erotic writing is a legitimate writing form and does not deserve to be suppressed by the cultural conservatives. In those cases, I would rather claim label so as to fight censorship and prudery. On the other, I resist allowing a work of fiction that includes frank treatment of sexuality in social, cultural and political contexts to be reduced to a story about sex or sexual encounters.

I don't think there is an absolute line of demarcation, but I think there is a difference between writing about sexuality and writing sex/erotic scenes.




Re: Legacy

I don't think there is an absolute line of demarcation, but I think there is a difference between writing about sexuality and writing sex/erotic scenes.

Absolutely. One can, of course, try to do both. And it need not be homoerotic, either.




Legacy - Chapter 1 Review

I know the review thread for this story is not actually chaptered, but in my other fandom I am used to giving feedback on each individual chapter of a story and, at least personally, I prefer receiving feedback on each individual chapter as it comes to chaptered stories. Ang, if you'd prefer me to review the story as a whole, please let me know and I'll do so.

Anyway, this was a great first chapter. The writing was of a high standard and precise, and I liked the use of minor characters (who were well delineated and brought to life) - but the best bit was the family politics among hobbits. Like you, I think that obsession with "respectability" and constant discussion and gossip of family matters is inevitable in hobbit society and I think that makes them more credible and interesting than the benign pastoral creatures we see in canon. Also, I come from a family whose (former) aristocratic position made the personal political (and economical, etc) more often than not, so I appreciated seeing these issues handled in a deft and accurate manner.

A promising start for the story!

Off to chapter 2,




Re: Legacy - Chapter 1 Review

Thank you for the comments!

I'm a political scientist by training (that and 2.35 + tax will get me a cup of coffee at Starbuck's) so I like developing political themes. Reputation is a very valuable social commodity in a society like the Shire's. I don't think these hobbits are so much at odds with the benign picture of the canon as they are demonstrating the social distortions that had to have been growing in order for the reign of Lotho, then Sharkey, to have occured in one short year. They *want* to be the people depicted by JRRT, and they mostly are, but there are other things at work on them. (Cue brooding music) ;-)

I have not chaptered Legacy as, by the time the forums started, it was a completed story. Please post as you prefer to this thread.

Hope you enjoy the rest,




Legacy - Chapter 2 Review

Ang, let me kick off this review by saying I love your Bilbo. He's in character, he's intelligent, he's understanding, he's intelectually curious, he reminds me of those "scholar detectives" I enjoy so much. Other Bilbos step back, this is one Bilbo to rule them all! ^_^

With that said, I continue to greatly enjoy this story. The plot thickens, and I love the hintage of mystery and revelations to come in subsequent chapters (if my instinct does not fail me). The family relationships are very well drawn, and I particularly liked the interactions between Frodo and Bilbo (and the referrences to the events in The Hobbit!) - some delightfully crafted dialogue.

You have created a wonderful gap-filler that believably creates the Shire society with its ties, taboos, habits, politics and mythologies, and you do so in a manner that is both literate and dovetails perfectly with canon. Well done.

Off to chapter 3,




Legacy - Chapter 3 Review

And another great chapter!

I am loving this story more and more with each chapter - it's well-written, intelligent, complex and full of vivid and credible characters. You have achieved the purpose all good fanfic should strive for: to make us look at canon with a whole new perspective. The fact that you achieved this by drawing on a few "minor" events in canon marks you as a greatly acomplished writer.

In this chapter, although I loved it as a whole, I have to single out for compliments the poignancy of the final scene between Bilbo and Rory (wonderfully understated and realised) and the whole theme of change and its inevitability.

Oh, and did I say I love your Bilbo? :-)




Re: Legacy - Chapter 3 Review

Thank you ever so much for giving your time to read this story - I am always grateful when readers pick my stories.

This was an interesting chapter to write because it made me think about Hobbit politics, which is something that is missing from just about everywhere. JRRT only alludes to it. Rachel Stonebreaker's Pub Series 1 has an interesting presentation of Frodo drumming up interest in a public works project, but really it is not touched on very much. Yet, it has to happen. So how? Who conducts things? How does news and information travel? And so on. I'm *still* working these things out in my later stories.

Rory wrote himself. I started him a much more generic character and he tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'Mistress Ang, I don't mean to be interfering in your business, but there's a few points missing here." All four of the main secondary characters (Rory, Gilda, Esmie & Sara) all started life much more differently than they ended up. Gilda ended up so much different that she forced me to rewrite the last chapter completely, put herself square in the middle of On Merry Yule, and has demanded her own story, The Mistress.

Rory & Bilbo continue to discuss change in "Exchange", which looks more at the world outside the Shire.

Again, thank you for taking time to read my story, and even more for writing down some comments. I hope the rest continues to meet with your approval. :-)




Up to Ch. 6 - Belongings...

Hey Ang, Ahhh... nothing like replying to a forum that hasn't been touched in over a year. But I just wanted to say that I've been reading Legacy - I'm up to Ch. 6 now - and I am greatly enjoying the story. Though, of all the aspects of the story, I absolutely adore your characterizations! The writing is so intelligent in some passages, even when faced with somewhat 'stock' characters (the eccentric old uncle that is Bilbo, the noble pater familias that is Rory, the belligerant/alcoholic/stupid son that is Saradoc, the stern and unyielding Paladin Took, and on and on). Just perfect! And you've also captured such an intriguing view of Frodo as a youth - already displaying that graceful, distant quality he has in later years (and here was one positive point of Elijah Wood's portrayal; that sort of ethereal quality Frodo has was well-done). I must say, I've grown very fond of all the characters (even Sara!), and the set-up for Frodo's moving in with Bilbo is very well done - a nice, complex web of appearances vs. realities vs. possibilities vs. aspirations. Am I making sense? Probably not, ha! In fact, the political intrigue is very well done as well - it's a brilliant portrayal of a society, with its own norms and attitudes and pressures. There's something very rural and English about it, in some senses, but also - and here I believe I saw it mentioned in the forum - pre-Freudian and thus with a very distinct set of social doctrines than the usual pastoral English setting. Ok, LOL, I've maxed out the gushing. It's all just great! And I'll admit that the thing that spurred me to post, though, was the first line in Ch. 6. I had browsed through the forum and threads here a while back, when I had started Legacy but then lost it, and so I already had an idea of the 'slashy' aspects of the fic. So the first line definitely earned some gigglesnorts. Aeneid



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