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Old Aug 18 2007, 12:48 AM   #1
D. M. Domini
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Default Talents - expanding on canon for fanfic

I said in the original fic thread that I wanted to discuss with someone the finer points of writing canon characters in fanfic. I figured perhaps an open thread speculating about things would fill the urge.

The core characters I like to use are:

Afra Lyon
Jeff Raven
the Rowan
Isthia Raven
Damia Gwen-Raven-Lyon
Gollee Gren

...which is pretty much the cast of Damia, lol.

The principal traits I use for Afra are:
intense emotion paired with dismay that anyone might notice (how much dismay depends on how old he's being depicted as, he mellows with age, or rather, once he gets a Damia to spill his secrets to.)
extreme self-awareness
curiosity
patience
dry, subtle humor sometimes directed at himself

The principal traits I use for Jeff are:
wanting to have a good time
affability
manipulative charm when he thinks the situation calls for it
loyalty to family and friends
duty-bound to the FT&T
quick and decisive when he decides the time for joking is past

The principal traits I use for Gollee Gren are:
mischevious/trickster
slightly more of a partier than Jeff
good at organizing and making things happen
good buddy of both Jeff and Afra
worldly
likely ambitious; he was Reidinger's gopher at an early age, and he's pretty much got the plum role for a Talent of his strength short of being Earth Prime himself, which is impossible

The principal traits I use for Isthia are:
nurturer/healer
no-nonsense and to the point (unless being blunt interferes with healing)
probably as aware of what's going on with the folks around her as Afra is self-aware
likes to 'steady the ladder' at the bottom while others climb high
(she reminds me of a sterner, smarter Molly Weasley)

With Afra, I like to speculate on his curiosity when I write him. He purposely seeks out vids and entertainment he knows his parents won't approve of. The question is, where does he stop? I imagine him having like a huge stash of black death metal or something stored away, lol!

With Gollee Gren, what I find highly amusing is that he knowingly dragged a fresh-off-the-planet Cappellan to a brothel. Which means he's either highly mischievous, or slightly dumb, and I like to assume the former. I suspect he encouraged the above acquisitions of masses of black death metal. Or something.

Riffing on Afra again, I also like to speculate Capella has an underground counter culture going on that Afra unfortunately did not stumble across, probably because it's easier to fake being good by hiding illicit vids and stuff then having to explain where you were when your shirt smells like [insert drug of sub culture's choice here]. Of course, this is pretty wild speculation, but it amuses me all the same.

On the subject of Towers, I like to fill in the gaps regarding the day-to-day function of Towers as well. I have a little knowledge of trucking and warehouses and logistics, and I figure that Towers would be the ultimate port (pun intended). The main planetary ones would sit at the center of a network of mundane logistics including air travel, sea, the sledding equivalent of trucks, and mag-levs or the equivalent of railroads in their day and age. The actual Tower staff that does the porting is trim and slim, but the staff that handles cargo before it reaches the core staff of the Tower would be works of all types and Talents.

Although...hmmm...I guess depending on the Tower, some of it would change. I'd imagine that Earth Tower would have a lot of legacy systems that might still be in use, whereas a newer planetary Tower (ie, not Callisto which I think would be an abnormality in how it functions) might have a cargo system that's largely robotized. I mean, now days UPS uses a great computerized system for the sorting, and this is 2007.

Question - would the FT&T complete delivery of cargo/postal items to the ending recipient, or would they hand the shipment off to a local delivery agency a la the USA's UPS, FedEx, and DHL?

I think my gut is telling me they hand it off, once there are mundane delivery systems available, so they can focus their energies on things that can be done only with Talent. There might be a pricey custom courier system, though, for those willing to pay credits out the nose for instant delivery. Nothing says I Love You as a bouquet of flowers appearing instantly before your would-be paramour! With a little FT&T pegasus card and everything, lol.

There's a thought for a low-level Talent job...teenage T-something running around in a suit delivering special messages and boxes, sometimes in person, sometimes by just porting them to remote destinations. I bet Gollee did that!

Hm, this is a long post...any counter-speculation out there?
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Old Aug 19 2007, 06:42 AM   #2
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Question - would the FT&T complete delivery of cargo/postal items to the ending recipient, or would they hand the shipment off to a local delivery agency a la the USA's UPS, FedEx, and DHL?

I think my gut is telling me they hand it off, once there are mundane delivery systems available, so they can focus their energies on things that can be done only with Talent. There might be a pricey custom courier system, though, for those willing to pay credits out the nose for instant delivery. Nothing says I Love You as a bouquet of flowers appearing instantly before your would-be paramour! With a little FT&T pegasus card and everything, lol.

There's a thought for a low-level Talent job...teenage T-something running around in a suit delivering special messages and boxes, sometimes in person, sometimes by just porting them to remote destinations. I bet Gollee did that!

Hm, this is a long post...any counter-speculation out there?
FT&T will and has made direct deliveries, but there is additional cost incurred and it must meet certain requirements, otherwise it's expedited by a courier. (talented or otherwise, and yes it would be a lovely job for a talented teen)

All in all I'd say your basic characterisations are accurate, if you need any advice on working with the Rowan or other characters that you feel you lack an intuitive sense about, perhaps I can shed some insight into those for you. I have dedicated quite a bit of time to researching and categorizing certain family lines related to the talent series and I am working on a Family Lineage that can be traced back to Darrow's day at least. Which can most likely be categorized as a sort of "fanfiction" of its own.

I'm very glad to see someone working along talented lines, its quite a fascinating universe to explore.
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Old Aug 21 2007, 11:31 AM   #3
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I don't want to be a killjoy, but does Anne allow those characters to appear in fanfic? I know that the main players from Pern aren't allowed (other than being mentioned) in Pernese fanfic. Does the same rule apply for other series'?
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Old Aug 21 2007, 01:26 PM   #4
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Those are old rules that are no longer in play for any of her worlds, including Pern. So if you want to, you could write a fanfic about Lessa set in the 9th pass in Benden Weyr. You can see the new rules here: http://annemccaffrey.net/index.php?page_id=20
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Old Aug 21 2007, 01:32 PM   #5
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Oh! I wasn't aware that her previous rules about characters had been lifted!! Thanks for that!!
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Old Aug 21 2007, 01:44 PM   #6
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No problemo, I believe it happened after her official message board went down, so it got lost in the shuffle of that chaos. I didn't realize the rules had changed myself for months later.
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Old Aug 21 2007, 02:26 PM   #7
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Yep, that's when it happened, and what the changes are.
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Old Aug 21 2007, 02:27 PM   #8
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LOL I am so behind .......
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Old Aug 21 2007, 03:47 PM   #9
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I have dedicated quite a bit of time to researching and categorizing certain family lines related to the talent series and I am working on a Family Lineage that can be traced back to Darrow's day at least. Which can most likely be categorized as a sort of "fanfiction" of its own.
Out of curiosity, what do you have so far? I admit I've never tried myself because the task is daunting, mainly because the Rowan says one set of parents in the Rowan, and then Afra and Damia name two of their kids after the "other" set, so I sort of gave it up.

I was thinking...although AMC's Talents seem to eschew gadgets and technology, I'm wondering how different technology-wise everything is 300ish years after the Pegasus books. Just because Talent gave an easy way to space doesn't mean there isn't some company out there doing R&R on FTL travel, and people eager for a piece of the pie funding them.

Now there's a thought...fast-forward another 300 years where the Talent monopoly on inter-planetary travel is broken by some mechanical gadget that can get people back and forth within an acceptable timeframe. Would Primes become obsolete?
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Old Aug 21 2007, 04:44 PM   #10
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I doubt it. They'd still be needed to send messages instantaneously back and forth.

The family lines are difficult, especially when it comes to the Ravens as well as the Gwyns. Especially as we don't know the names of all of Jeff's siblings. And there's that annoying comment on Isthia's insistence of "freshening every year" i. e. waiting a maximum of one year between a birth and getting pregnant again. Jeff wasn't the oldest of the siblings, and Ian was a baby when Jeff and the Rowan got together. It's been made clear in more references that Jeff's parents had twelve kids altogether, yet one of them is supposed to have had a child old enough to leave shoes for the admittedly petite Rowan to use! It just doesn't compute...
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Old Aug 21 2007, 05:06 PM   #11
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Even if you assume maybe Ishtia lost some babies, it still wouldn't... that has got to be one of Anne's biggest goofs. Cause I'm sure she didn't mean that there were twelve suriviving Ravens, either...
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Old Aug 21 2007, 05:15 PM   #12
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I doubt it. They'd still be needed to send messages instantaneously back and forth.
You don't think something like an ansible could arise in the same timeframe?

Quote:
yet one of them is supposed to have had a child old enough to leave shoes for the admittedly petite Rowan to use
Dunno if it helps, but if the Rowan is my size--and she probably is, I'm 4' 11" and wear a size 5 shoe (US)--a pre-teen girl could supply shoes for her. I was at size 4 girls when I was in middle school, so 12ish, and I know some girls two years younger than me, so age 10 or so, had feet bigger than mine. So you could easily have a 10 year old girl with feet the same size as the Rowan's, or an even younger girl if the girl had big feet, lol. I'd say 8-12 would be the age range of the girl to supply the shoes. Jeff is mid-to-late twenties I think in the book, and if he's not the eldest (I don't recall), and you assume the parent of the girl spawned at an early age like Damia, the math could work.
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Old Aug 21 2007, 05:18 PM   #13
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Was there any mention of multiple births? I'm thinking twins, not quintuplets or anything. But that might take care of a straggler *shrug*
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Old Aug 22 2007, 01:41 AM   #14
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No, the problem is that the kids were coming too often rather than too seldom. Having a kid every two years would mean the oldest was 22 when the youngest was born. Jeff certainly doesn't seem younger than the Rowan. I always got the feeling they were contemporary or Jeff maybe a little older. Assuming she had the sailor at Favor Bay at 18 and it took another ten years to find Jeff, she would've been 28. My guess is that Jeff would've been at least 26, or more probably in his early 30s, because Anne tends to pair off her women with men who're about the same age or a lot older, but never younger to my knowledge (except in Crystal Singer, where she wouldn't find people the same age unless they too were members of the Heptite Guild). At least his brother Rhodri was quite a bit older than Jeff.
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Old Aug 22 2007, 05:58 AM   #15
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Oh I see! Sorry. *shakes head* Don't know what I was on last night (possibly over-dosed on ginger buns and custard)

Back on the topic of the family tree of the Rowan et al, I also found it quite irritating about the changing of the parents' names in the series.

I'm not sure if I'm remembering this correctly, but despite there being the white streak in Rhyssa's hair that crops up again in the Rowan's family, Anne has stated that the Owens are not ancestors of the Gwynns. Is that correct? I have argued this in the past, saying that it seems strange that in a community who are encouraged to marry internally (Talent begets Talent and all) that that particular recessive trait has cropped up once again in a family that isn't related!
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Old Aug 22 2007, 09:57 AM   #16
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Well, recessive traits are recessive; they don't show up unless they're reinforced by the partner's genes. There's probably a spread of folks unrelated to Rhyssa who had the gene in its dormant form, it's not like she was the only one in the world to have it (although for storytelling purposes things do often happen that way).

Here's a thought; do you think the white streak would have "spread" as the Raven/Lyon kids grew older, until their hair is entirely white at a fairly early age? And/or do you think any of the kids/grandkids that were unnamed ended up with entirely white hair from birth?

Also--did Jeran and Cera's kids inherit the white streak too? The way things are written, it seems to be a trait of the Raven-Lyons, but Damia wasn't the only one to have the white streak in her family.
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Old Aug 22 2007, 10:04 AM   #17
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I think that Larak had the streak. Not sure about Jeran and Cera. But Damia's children all had it, I think.

Since it appears to be fairly dominant in Damia's children, I would assume that her nephews and nieces would have it too.

As for the premature whitening, didn't it say somewhere that the Rowan's father went grey quite early, as did her mother and that was somehow connected to her own hair?
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Old Aug 22 2007, 01:53 PM   #18
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Out of curiosity, what do you have so far? I admit I've never tried myself because the task is daunting, mainly because the Rowan says one set of parents in the Rowan, and then Afra and Damia name two of their kids after the "other" set, so I sort of gave it up.

Yes I understand your confusion, I too was confused about this point whilst reading through The Rowan, but due to Anne's penchant for misnomers and perhaps lapse in memory..I took the liberty of straightening out that little foible like this:

Dafyd Gwyn _ Marie Evans
\
Ewain Gwyn _Moraeg Medwik
Ian Gwyn
Angarhad Gwyn
Dafyd and Marie would then be Angarhad's grandparents.
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Old Aug 22 2007, 02:19 PM   #19
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I doubt it. They'd still be needed to send messages instantaneously back and forth.

The family lines are difficult, especially when it comes to the Ravens as well as the Gwyns. Especially as we don't know the names of all of Jeff's siblings. And there's that annoying comment on Isthia's insistence of "freshening every year" i. e. waiting a maximum of one year between a birth and getting pregnant again. Jeff wasn't the oldest of the siblings, and Ian was a baby when Jeff and the Rowan got together. It's been made clear in more references that Jeff's parents had twelve kids altogether, yet one of them is supposed to have had a child old enough to leave shoes for the admittedly petite Rowan to use! It just doesn't compute...
You must keep in mind the colonial spirit of the Denebian mindset. Their entire society structure is designed around propagation and continuation of their colony in order to be self sustaining.

So while having children at a young age in the current society is discouraged.....in their timeframe moral and archaic rules reguarding age and sex are more advanced and matured on Deneb....so having a child by the time you are 17 or 18 wasn't frowned upon, it was encouraged more often than not.

Capellans of course would cringe at such notions.

As for a lack of knowledge of the Raven clan, don't worry, I'm working on it. It's not as complicated as it seems.
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Old Aug 22 2007, 03:37 PM   #20
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Yeah, it's not that they have children young, Larak's wife was pregnant with her second child when Larak died. At the time Damia was 18, perhaps nearly 19, meaning that Larak was 15 or 16 at the time of his death, 15 more likely if we accept that Damia was 3 when she was sent to Deneb. Even if his wife/girlfriend had been a few years older, pregnant at 17 or so with a second child must surely be unusual. I think she must've miscarried, since in TTATH Larak's son Grayhan is mentioned, but no other children.
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Old Aug 22 2007, 07:40 PM   #21
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Yeah, it's not that they have children young, Larak's wife was pregnant with her second child when Larak died. At the time Damia was 18, perhaps nearly 19, meaning that Larak was 15 or 16 at the time of his death, 15 more likely if we accept that Damia was 3 when she was sent to Deneb. Even if his wife/girlfriend had been a few years older, pregnant at 17 or so with a second child must surely be unusual. I think she must've miscarried, since in TTATH Larak's son Grayhan is mentioned, but no other children.
That would be a correct assumption.

At least until Anne writes another talent story and the second child pops up seeminly out of nowhere as a Tower Prime

Even though TTATH was the last, supposedly.

I think of these as Anne's Paradoxes. Little anomalies in the time/space continuum.
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Old Aug 24 2007, 04:11 AM   #22
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Anne-omalies indeed.

They can be fun, but also frustrating when you can't decide which to go with and which to ignore.
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Old Aug 24 2007, 06:31 AM   #23
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Anne-omalies indeed.
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Old Aug 25 2007, 05:49 AM   #24
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Where did you get Medwik, Maximillian? I can't remember seeing that name before.
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Old Aug 27 2007, 10:00 AM   #25
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Where did you get Medwik, Maximillian? I can't remember seeing that name before.
I was wondering when someone would ask this. It's quite amusing, to me anyway.

It all started one day as I was pondering the Rowan's particularly obvious hair, and it made me remember a favourite movie and book of mine.....the book was titled The Midwich Cuckoos by English author John Wyndham.

The book was made into a movie several times, once in 1960 and once in 1995 both called Village of the damned.

The children of Midwich had that peculiar white hair.....(as well as some very definate "talents" of sorts)

In lieu of a supplied name for Rowan's mother, I used Medwik which is an alternate celtic spelling, it may also be spelled Medwick.

So there you have it, the mystery is solved. Her maternal mother's name was never given in the books, and as such is wholly fan created. With many of the gaps and lack of information, unfortunately there will have to be "filler" or an estimation of reasonable account for continuity sake.

All of which will be taken in context of the story and within reasonable confines.

I hope this clears up any confusion now and in the future.
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Old Aug 27 2007, 10:05 AM   #26
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LOL Fantastic reason to choose Medwik! I don't think anyone could refute you there!
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Old Aug 28 2007, 03:24 PM   #27
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Oh, indeed. Great explanation!
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