Forum: Anglachel - Stories

Discussing: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

First chapter of On Merry Yuel (OMY) is posted. To begin with, I will be organizing comments by chapter. Other topics may spring up depending on how discussions go. Guests - No objectionable material in this chapter. In which a new friend with an old past shows up on the doorstep. Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Okay, Ang, speaking as your local Grammar Nazi and Comma Queen, d'you want feedback on those aspects at this point? And if so, how and where?

Cel

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Ah yes, there's more to Ang than coding ...

I enjoyed this - Dalin was great, really larger-than-life and very dwarvish. I especially liked the Crowns. I was intrigued by Frodo calling himself 'Rat' - referback to Buckland, perhaps? I hope you explain that later!

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Ooohhhhh! The Queen of Commas is back in action! :-)

Of course I want it taken apart, dearie. If you are going to nail grammar in a big way, email it direct. If there is some niddly little thing, leave it here.

General comments about story post here, of course.

Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

I'm also a damn good cook, but that's harder to demo on line. ;-)

The Crowns are a part of my "How do economics work along the Road?" speculations. I posit Dwarven Crowns as being the only standardized currency left in the North (more in Ch. 2, which I may get posted tonight). Then, I came up with the idea of the gold crown that shows the important events. Thus, the crowns become something more than payment or simple reward for a particular Hobbit, and the Dwarves know it.

The "Rat" reference will keep coming back, and I hope will become clear through context. It will not be explained directly anywhere.

Glad you like it!

Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Yes, dear. Will do. If I'm on top of things tomorrow I might have time to rip apart the first chapter or two - but I have a batch of research papers coming in tomorrow morning, so I'll have to see.

Will put comments here, send you mechanical fixes direct - copy and paste that into email or an .rtf attachment, depending.

Cel

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

The word rat brought up other images to me. It seems rat was the common epithat for Hobbits. I am sure orcs called them rats and I think others did too although I am having trouble remembering the exact place.

BTW Great opening chapter.

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Yes, I was consciously echoing that use of the term, as well as pulling on a few more positive connotations of a creature that is tough, wily, with a strong survival instinct.

The first time "Rat" is applied to Frodo is in the chapter "Harvest" in Legacy where Sara calls him "Rat" (not "a rat") while they fight over the pipe Bilbo gave to Frodo. I was re-reading that, and had an idea about naming spring to mind. You'll see how it unfolds in Ch. 3

Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Queen of Commas at work, here, but I ran across something that needs other comment.

When Frodo is remembering all the things he misses about Brandy Hall (paragraph beginning "But Bag End was not home.") it does seem rather surprising that he doesn't think of Esmie as one of the people he misses.

The suggestion that it might be rude to ask questions over coffee - interesting. It seems not to be so, of course, but the fact that Frodo speculates on it is nice. Rather calls to mind Japanese tea rituals, and such. Like the way that Frodo gradually learns to tolerate the coffee although from my own experience it might take more than one sitting!

The play on "enmity" vs. "amity" is fun.

Hang on a tick. This is something I didn't think of before. Aren't the Blue Mountains west of the Shire? So isn't Dalin having to retrace his steps if he goes to Buckland with Bilbo and Frodo? Or maybe it's not far enough to bother him.

Cel

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

I debated about Frodo missing Esmie - out of sight, out of mind - but that is right. OK, I'll go modify that. Heh-heh.

There will be a number of cultural "Oh Shit!" moments connected to Dalin. This is one of the fun parts of writing him up. It also struck me that a constant condition of diplomacy has to exist in the communities upon the Road if they are to get along - many elaborate gestures and apologies before the fact. As for drinking coffee, well, it is mostly sugar and cream, and he only manages a couple of sips.

Yes, the Blue Mountains are west, so Dalin is backtracking. The prospect of trade and an invitation/request from the Lord of Burglars is enough to make it worth Dalin's while.

Oh, as per your comments in the rtf file on why I use single quotes to indicate conversation - because Tolkien did, as well. Simple as that.


Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Ah, re: single quotes. That would be the British publisher thing, then. It doesn't really matter one way or the other as long as you're consistent.

Cel, whose mind has been contaminated by Dwarves this afternoon

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

I like the opening scene at the door. I never quite realized how big and impressive a dwarf must look like from the point of view of a hobbit.

I wonder why Frodo is so death sure that Bilbo will leave him behind if he goes off for another adventure.
Bilbo has surely kept him close by his side this last three months and never spoken of leaving Frodo. And he promised him to visit the elves together one day, if I recall right from "Legacy".
And yet Frodo never even thinks of asking Bilbo.
Is this just because he still does not dare trust his uncle?

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

That will (I hope) become clear as the story unfolds. Frodo is a smart, tough, inquisitive youngster who has lost his parents, has not been treated well by certain close relatives, has had his ears filled with conflicting stories about Bilbo, and has been rather rudely yanked out of the only home he has ever known.

Yes, the tyke has some trust issues, to say the least.

He has also heard (In chapter 6, Belongings, Legacy) that Bilbo does not think him old enough to go on adventures out of the Shire yet. I presume Bilbo has been saying things to Frodo like "When you're a bit bigger, lad, then we'll go on thus and such adventure!" Travel beyond the Shire is in the future for Frodo, so he is worried when he thinks Bilbo wants to go now. Remember, also, his self reference in the above chapter - "Frodo Baggage" - he's used to being handed around.

I liked trying to figure out how much bigger a Dwarf would be than a Hobbit. What struck me was not just the height, but also the bulk. A Dwarf is massive compared to a Hobbit. One of the topics through the entire story is how the Hobbits become comfortable around Dalin (and vice-versa), and how familiarity can get shaken up very suddenly when cultural difference makes itself known.

I am putting together a VISIO chart, which I will save out to a PDF when finished, that puts the different peoples on a graph, showing the size range within Hobbits, and then comparing them to Dwarves, Humans and Elves. Celandine asked for Orcs, Trolls and Ents - no promises, but I'll see what I can do.

Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that I've just started reading this story and I'm intrigued! I'll try to send detailed feedback after each chapter. What would you like me to focus on (if anything?) I did notice the discussions up top about the sexuality of Bilbo and Frodo, but I want to save commenting on that until I've finished all the chapters so far.

peace...adrienne

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Each chapter has a thread, so if there is something striking, irksome, odd, confusing, pleasing, etc., post to the appropriate chapter.

Celandine (Queen of Commas) and Dagmar (Tyro of typos) have been doing great typo catching, so don't worry about those.

If you have something that pertains to a character across chapters (Gilda, Sara, Dalin, etc.) feel free to start another thread. I'm holding off on those a bit as I don't want to color how other people see the characters - but I'd be glad to know what they're seeing.

Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Finished chapter one. The thing that struck me most about this chapter was how skillfully you interwove Bilbo and Dalin's conversation with Frodo's internal musings. The POV is also very tightly focused, remaining with Frodo throughout. I also noticed a lot of attention to detail in your descriptions of the meal, the taste of the coffee, the chair Frodo like to sit in, etc. All those details really made the scene come to life. Dalin looks to be an engaging OC.

I wish I'd started this story sooner! More comments to come...

peace...adrienne

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Anglachel-

First let me say good story, what I've read so far (I'm currently about half way through chapter four). I know I'm jumping in late on this, and I hope you don't mind the belated comments.

About a quarter of the way through this chapter you have:

'You're Dwalin's boy? Oh, how splendid!' Bilbo exclaimed. 'Did you hear that, Frodo? This is Dwalin's son! Come here and say hello properly, my lad.' Frodo did as he was told and quickly found his hand enveloped in Dalin's huge paw. Bilbo beamed at the two of them. 'You should know, Frodo, that Dalin's father, Dwalin, was the first Dwarf I ever met! He was the first to show up that fateful day.' Frodo found himself wondering how he would extricate his hand from the grasp Dalin had on it. Dwalin gave it a firm squeeze, then winked, and let go. 'Finish laying the table, my boy, and let us get supper ready for our guest.'

(emphasis mine)

Do you perhaps mean Dalin here?

Also, per the physical description of dwarves, I quote from the Prologue of The Lord of the Rings:

For they [hobbits] are a little people, smaller than Dwarves: less tout and stocky, that is, even when they are not actually much shorter.

It's my interpretation of this passage that some hobbits would be about the height of some dwarves. It seems you're overstating this a bit. If Dalin's supposed to be a particularly tall dwarf maybe you could make mention of this in chap 2 when he's with a crowd of dwarves?

Hope this helps.

Marta

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Oops, good catch! Yes, it should be "Dalin" not "Dwalin".

The entire story is in the process of being rewritten, so I'll have to make sure that gets corrected. I meant to have the rewrite done by now...

As per the sizes, I took that to mean even if you found a short Dwarf, you would never confuse him for a Hobbit. Bilbo is substantially smaller than his traveling companions in The Hobbit, though the difference in height between him and the Dwarves is less than between the Dwarves and Elves or Men. The passage is also ambiguous as to when Tolkien is talking about height among Hobbits, because he also immedaitely speaks of how they have dwindled in size. So I assume *on average* a difference of about 3/4 of a foot in height between Hobbits and Dwarves, and a difference of about the same between ordinary men and Dwarves. Much bigger difference between Dunedain and Elves, of course. If an ordinary Hobbit is just over 3.5, an ordinary Dwarf is hovering around 5 feet, an ordinary human is 5.75 and Dunedain and Elves are 6+. There's a discussion around here somewhere with more detail about relative heights.

The biggest difference is in bulk. A Dwarf would be reasonably tall compared to a Hobbit (barely fitting into doorways and hallways) but mostly he would seem physically enormous, much broader and heavily built. They would also seem much bigger if inside a smial, because they would not fit comfortably. The *perspective* would add size to the imagination of the viewer. Dalin is "bigger" inside the smials where his head brushes the ceiling and where his girth takes up a substantial amount of the hall. Even so, I do think of him as being on the tall end of Dwarves, being of the royal line of Durin.

Finally, one of my points is to show how isolated Hobbits have been for several centuries. A Hobbit who lives off the main roads east-west and north-south may live their entire lives without seeing people besides Hobbits. Unless they have a reason to interact with outsiders, they quietly avoid them. However, sicne Hobbits are also mostly friendly and kind-hearted, once they get to know a particular person (be that person a human, a Dwarf, or a wizard) their wariness vanishes and they treat the outsider with great affection. So there is the psychological impact of this tall, wide, red-cloaked, heavily bearded, loud-voiced person suddenly looming over you in a tunnel. Those unused to outsiders are scared at first, but quickly get over it.

Glad you like the story!

Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Sorry it's taken me a few days to respond, Ang.

The entire story is in the process of being rewritten, so I'll have to make sure that gets corrected. I meant to have the rewrite done by now...

How soon are you talking about? I'm going to keep reading (for the entirely selfish reason that I want to get my own piece started before the current age is over), but if you like I can hold my comments until I get a chance to look at your rewritten version?

Regarding Hobbits' Size

All right, I see where you're coming from with this. Thanks for clarifying. I can see where you're coming from with the heights now. I definitely agree that, whatever their heights might be, Dwarves arecertainly bulkier than a hobbit. I love some of the stuff you do with his size in later chapters (sort of reminds me of Hagrid from Harry Potter in a lot of ways), so even if it's not the size difference I originally envisioned I can live with that.

Regarding isolation of hobbits

This point is very well taken. I'd think, though, that hobbits are becoming less isolated, at least the men, because of trade with outsiders. I guess it depends on how they're handling the trade -- if it's local hobbits selling to one or two who deal with the Big People, then most hobbits might still not be used to seeing them about.

But I do agree with what you're saying atout them being isolated abut basically good-hearted. And yes, I like the story. Let me know if you want me to go ahead and give ou my comments on ch. 2, or if you'd prefer me to wait.

Marta

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

The rewrite is going to be a while, probably late February/early March, and it is not going to be super dramatic. Most of the changes are simply cleaning up my idiosyncratic punctuation (I'm a comma junkie), which Celandine is doing. The two big changes are the presentation of Merry's character and the presentation of a character named Maude Grubb near the very, very end of the story. Of course, I thought I would have the rewite on OMY done *last* Feb/Mar, too. ;-)

Merry is behaving too young for his actual age, so I have to make him more mature. All of the events will be more or less the same. With the other character, she is not distinct enough, so I'm going to change a few aspects, but not the encounter.

And there's a few small details here and there, just tiny things that do not change any of the events of OMY but which will make it interlock with the Denethor story, Hands of the King, that I'm writing. You're safe to read, as long as you know that the characterization of Merry is going to change significantly.

Isolation - they are becoming less isolated, and they aren't really happy about it, is my take. It is a major and suden change to their culture, taking place within a single generation. Outsiders are coming in, there is money to throw around, there is a market economy in development in a society that was more barter/exchange - stuff is just happening. Hence the importance of Aragorn's edict that people can't just go into the Shire. It is a way of restricting the pace of change, as well as keeping humans from trying to seize lands and goods.

Along with telling a story about Bilbo and Frodo, I'm trying to capture some of the sense of being in a culture facing great changes, and the ways in which it handles these new and exciting -yet-frightening developments. Living in interesting times, and all that...

Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

---The biggest difference is in bulk. A Dwarf would be reasonably tall compared to a Hobbit (barely fitting into doorways and hallways) but mostly he would seem physically enormous, much broader and heavily built. They would also seem much bigger if inside a smial, because they would not fit comfortably. The *perspective* would add size to the imagination of the viewer. Dalin is "bigger" inside the smials where his head brushes the ceiling and where his girth takes up a substantial amount of the hall. Even so, I do think of him as being on the tall end of Dwarves, being of the royal line of Durin.---

remember 'The Hobbit'? thirteen(!) dwarves plus gandalf were fitting rather comfortably into bilbo's parlour - even when they got their substantial musical instruments out (thorin had a harp(!), no less), and there was no mention whatsoever of anybody brushing the ceiling or get stuck in a doorway.

is there any hope of this getting finished in time for the 2004 Mithril Awards?

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

Hmm, I have been busy - how did I miss this post?

I have to admit I have always found it difficult to image 13 dwarves, a Hobbit and a wizard all crammed into a single room in Bag End - not to mention the furniture and the musical instruments. Even so, Dalin has no problem fitting into Bag End. Where he has troubles is in much older smials and homes, where quarters are tighter, as I made clear throughout the story. Newer homes (Bag End), inns along the Road where different kinds of people seek lodging, etc., are not like this. Dalin himself is not disconcerted by close quarters underground, of course, as a Big Person might be. He's quite happy to be inside the earth.

Another way in which Dwarves and Hobbits get along.

I don't think it's appropriate to comment on the awards in relation to my stories. All I can say is that I am *finally* getting revisions done and posted. I am not allowing myself to work on new stuff until I get this beast finished. I posted revised chapters 1 & 2 last night, and hope to have 3 & 4 posted this weekend. Changes to 1 & 2 are quite minor, just typos and grammar. Changes to 3 & 4 will be more substantial.

And I've started making notes on the next story in the series...

Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

And I've started making notes on the next story in the series...

i cannot tell you how pleased i am to hear this!

your shire stories are the only ones that stand the test of time and i come back to them again and again. i love and hate your characters, i'm fascinated by your rich in detail shire. and i'm oh, so happy! that there is a faint chance of more of it all.


 

 

Re: OMY Ch. 1 - Guests

I'll second that. I love your stories of Bilbo and Frodo. They are terrific ripping good stories in their own right, and they are also pretty much the only hobbic-centric stories, except for Tolkien's, that are not oo-look-at-the-cute-little-hobbits fluff.

 

 

In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

This forum is open to all HASA members. It is read-only for the general public.

Membership on HASA is free and it takes only a few minutes to join. If you would like to participate, please click here.

If you are already a member, please log in to participate.

« Back to Anglachel - Stories