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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

IVIaedhros - 14 Dec 06 - 8:22 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Alright, I'll air the dirty laundry first: I think this chapter could have been dramatically shortened or altered to include more "pressing" events (journey of the ring, actually getting ready to fight, etc)...there I said it.  I am all about scenes like this and it's both one of my strengths and weaknesses that I can write 10+ pages of nothing, but minor characters going about their daily lives with no crises at all, however, I don't think this chapter served your story very well.  Yes, you need some sort of breath and emotional release after Pellenor Fields, but while this might work for a novel or a separate, companion piece, I don't think it works here.  I'm mainly concerned with momentum as you need to build and maintain excitement for that inevitable climax.  A chapter like this, although great for post-reading imagination, merely lets the reader get bogged down when you should be relentlessly driving them forward.  If you simply wanted to play catch-up with the characters, I think a better device might have been to switch between several or all of the Fellowship's POVs.  Otherwise, some dwelling and sitting, but more moving into Mordor.

It's a moot point for this chapter since it would be stupid to take it down and I have to admit it's also partly personal oppinion...the best I can say is to consider it for the rest of the story.  Once again I sympathize much: I hate leaving stuff out for the sake of energy and momentum, but it's often better to simply offer it as an aside later on. 

Moving on...technically the thing's superb, as usual.  I can't spot any grammatical errors or bad choices in narration.  Some more congrats are in order: 1) I like the idea of Pippin rehashing Frodo's adventures with Farmer Maggot, heck I like the 'shroom idea in general.  2) Pippin being tortured by guilt is always a good thread to follow.  3) Even better, I think, was your decision to have Legolas be pissed at Eowyn for supporting Merry's decision to ride off.  It might be the beginning of a real, lasting anger (assuming he survives) or it could just be the natural workings of grief, but either way, I think it's worth at least one good confrontation between the two when you wrap things up.  And finally,

 
Thank you for writing another chapter.  It's like an early Xmas, especially since the day you posted it is the day I ace'd my last final exam. 

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 14 Dec 06 - 8:52 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hi IVIaedhros,

Dear Lord, this just went up! You must be a speed reader!

But anyhow, I see your point, although I'm amused at the idea that this is not yet a novel. The reason I did go with along set of character interactions was partly for the reason you identified--I need a breather, I think the reader needs a breather, and I needed to deal with the third character I just killed, who was closer to Legolas and Aragorn than either Faramir or Eomer were. To say nothing of Pippin, of course.

It's possible this could come in for trimming at some point, but I'm not going to be dramatically altering it until/unless I discover a way around repeating the "Last Debate" that wouldn't bore me stiff. That's really the only planning part that I have access to right now, since I'm not going back over to Mordor with Frodo quite yet. That is the other reason why I can't just go into someone else's head--I've done Aragorn, I've done Pippin, and while Legolas remains, I am trying, for the sake of my sanity, to avoid hanging around between his ears unless I have no other choice.

The other thing I was trying to do with this chapter was push around the theme of fellowship a little more by showing how L and A deal with Merry's death versus how Pippin deals with it, but without me having to explicitly mention the word "fellowship." So for that purpose, it was necessary to show all three of them dealing with the issue. It's not simply catch-up with the characters, though I can appreciate that between the way I set it up and the length of the chapter, the pont may simply be lost.

But again, I do see your point. Should I find a good way of redoing the last debate that is not merely repetitive and doesn't simply up the frustration level, then I'll try writing and swapping.

For the rest--I'm glad you liked Legolas getting pissed about Éowyn's role in Merry's death. At this point in his development, it's an inevitable reaction. And I'm glad the mushroom episode worked well--occasionally, the hobbits do give me something to work with.

Thank you for your lengthy, thoughtful comments, and congratulations on the acing of your final! Right on!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

RS - 17 Dec 06 - 3:34 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hello.

Frankly I think this chapter was much deserved as we readers (particularly this one) need a little reprieve from all the death and sorrow.  I personally wanted to see how our characters deal yet with another blow of losing a loved one.

I loved the moment with Pippin and Greta and how they dealt with their loss of Merry.  Pippin with his mushroom and Shire stories was definitely a comfort for all the wounded soldiers. What a wonderful scene this would have made!

I am quite irritated about the bitter and angry Legolas.  His anger is felt by this reader.  I just want to shake him and say, "there might be hope yet!"  

It is as I have said since Rohan—all is decided. You and the others have but to follow, and follow you shall the path already set, however you go upon it  --  yikes!

I think if Aragorn and Legolas have a shouting match it might lessen the tension between them?.....Naahh. I didn't think so.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 18 Dec 06 - 7:12 AM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hi RS,

we readers (particularly this one) need a little reprieve from all the death and sorrow. I personally wanted to see how our characters deal yet with another blow of losing a loved one.

That was my thought as well--aftermath needs to be dealth with. And there's just not a lot to be done in terms of planning, etc., when it's late in the night after a battle. Everyone's just too exhausted--gotta sleep sometime! And if not sleep, there's other processing to be done.

I loved the moment with Pippin and Greta and how they dealt with their loss of Merry. Pippin with his mushroom and Shire stories was definitely a comfort for all the wounded soldiers.

Thank you, I'm glad that worked well for you. The nice thing about hobbits is that they're so wonderfully immediate at times and don't get hung up on what's going to happen or what has happened more than they need to.

I am quite irritated about the bitter and angry Legolas.

To be fair to Legolas, he is having a bit of a power freak-out, and has been since Gimli's death and his epiphany about the source of the Darkness. He probably would've been ok, except for Merry. That undid much of what happened between him and Aragorn earlier.

Re: shouting match: yeah, I doubt it would help. (Ya hear that, PJ? They don't argue in the middle of the armory at the top of their voices!)

*ahem*

They'll just have to be tense for awhile.

Thanks for your comments!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Darklis - 23 Dec 06 - 3:00 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Thank you for this beautiful chapter.

I'm rather relieved that the pace is slowing down a bit after the action - filled battle scenes. Great character interaction.  

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 23 Dec 06 - 4:24 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

You're welcome, Darklis!

I needed the slow-down as much as you did, I think--there's a need for a pause and some private reckonings.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

docmon - 11 Jan 07 - 6:12 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Haven't gotten to commenting on this one and you've already posted another one! (yeah, I've read that one too)

The slower pace did serve as a sort of breather, for me, after all the death and mayhem. And being inside Pippin's head, it seemed an appropriate pace.

As frightening as it seems, I am getting more curious about what is going on b/w those elf ears. Some helluva storm comin'? No, don't answer that, I'm almost afraid to know. I'm starting to wonder if this story won't finish until you've managed to kill off the whole Fellowship! ouch... Cry

Regarding Legolas's response to the question of the next course of action, I particularly liked Aragorn's response to his response!

"Go not to the Elves, indeed!"  ROTFLMAO

well done!

docmon

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 12 Jan 07 - 1:37 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hi docmon,

Thank you for your comments! I confess, I was wondering if I'd scared you off.

As frightening as it seems, I am getting more curious about what is going on b/w those elf ears. Some helluva storm comin'? No, don't answer that, I'm almost afraid to know.

Well, the next chapter should help in that respect, I think.

Regarding Legolas's response to the question of the next course of action, I particularly liked Aragorn's response to his response!

Heh. I couldn't resist the idea of using that line in this context--it was too much fun! I'm glad you liked it here, too.

[paste from comments on "Accounting for East and West"]

I'll add my vote to the totally surprised crew on Pippin's decision. I thought he would have gone, from what comments and thoughts we were shown.

Good to know! It was a balancing act--I didn't want to give too much away, but at the same time, there had to be some hesitation there to counterbalance the trend of what he explicitly thinks.

Pippin would be the one to set Legolas straight - well, point him in the right direction. I'm not at all convinced he'll follow.

Yes, well, the old saying about horses and water works for Elves and human beings, too, I guess. All that's for future chapters.

Thanks again for commenting, and have a great year 2007!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Skeeve - 15 Mar 10 - 1:54 AM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hello Dwim,

Just wondering how the AU is going. It's been more than a year, and I'm a little antsy. I don't mind waiting for new chapters, but when it has been this long I start wondering if a fanfic project is dead...

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 23 Dec 11 - 8:20 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Glad that Greta lived.  I like him, and I appreciated the depiction of him and Pippin together.  Pippin continues to be more useful than he can possibly imagine, and his - I won't call it acceptance, per se, but his "continuance" in the face of person tragedy is the leavening we need in the face of Aragorn's mounting burden and Legolas' implacable anger.

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