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Old Dec 15 2004, 04:49 PM   #1
edith
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Default Menolly: Dragonrider

Just been reading dragonsong and the bit where Menolly's in Benden weyr and they all think she could impress, and then Robinton whisks her off to the harperhall. I know that she was trying to get there but imagine if she'd've stayed instead.
She could still've been a weyrsinger, especially if she was a junior queen rider, or the 1st 9th pass green rider.
Perhaps her abbility has passed to one of her children?

Just curious (as always)
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Old Dec 15 2004, 10:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

The main reason everyone at Benden seems to think Menolly could Impress was her firelizards, and how well they'd been trained.

Personally, I don't think she would have, or even should have. Music was always her first love, and you can't very well be thinking up new songs in the middle of Threadfall.
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Old Dec 16 2004, 01:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

I feel that she could have made a decent dragonrider, but easily distracted from her duties by the lure of music. Thus threadfall wouldn't have been a problem, but basic day-to-day living would have been full of distractions, and the like.

She probably would have produced a decent body of songs about dragons, and being with dragons....
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Old Dec 16 2004, 05:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

she probably would've been good in an interval.
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Old Dec 16 2004, 09:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

She may have been a good dragonrider, but a Harper was much better suitted to her. After all, Music was her first love.
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Old Dec 16 2004, 09:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

She probably would have made a decent dragon rider. I can dimly picture her as a weyr singer but I don't see her really suited to weyr life. I think the harper hall and a life in music really does suite her to a tee.
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Old Dec 16 2004, 12:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

She might not have been perfectly happy, but it might have been interesting. (The book was young adult, so I don't think Anne could have deviated from the formula--overcoming bad parents and succeeding at what teenager said they'd succeed at in spite of it all--and gotten away with it.) It might have been especially interesting if her hand was permanently damaged and she couldn't play most instruments, though that would of course argue she might have some problems taking care of a dragon. I don't know that Menolly would have really suited as a gold rider--she's too self-effacing and more an observer type---but she might have made a decent green rider, and sort of an observer/recorder who's also in the midst of the history.

My usual semi- rant--I'd like to see a Pern book where someone who desperately wants to be something (a dragonrider or a harper are the two that are most prominent) be cut off from it completely, with no chance of a DK-style deus ex machina ending where everyone magically gets what they really wanted, and they have to learn to live with it, make adjustments, and maybe things work themselves out after all and even if they'll always regret what they lost a little, they discover they can be happy in another way. I don't think DS was in a flexible-enough subgenre to do that, but it would be nice to see it somewhere.
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Old Dec 16 2004, 02:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

Harper or Dragon Rider I think she could have done both but I like the story the way it is.

Well there might be another "Ruth" type dragon who knows what might happen
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Old Dec 16 2004, 03:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

There should only be one Ruth. He's unique.

And I think Menolly's better off being a harper...would be hard for her to make music second best, and she couldn't ignore a dragon in favor of music. Besides, she already has all those fire-lizards. A dragon would just be too much for one character. Menolly the harper is more interesting that Menolly the even bigger supercharacter than Robintion would be.



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Old Dec 16 2004, 04:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenrider Tresa
There should only be one Ruth. He's unique.

And I think Menolly's better off being a harper...would be hard for her to make music second best, and she couldn't ignore a dragon in favor of music. Besides, she already has all those fire-lizards. A dragon would just be too much for one character. Menolly the harper is more interesting that Menolly the even bigger supercharacter than Robintion would be.



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While I agree that Ruth is unique - and should stay that way - the conditions that produced Ruth still exist and could happen again, though I doube that Anne would want to or need to come up with another... And by now Menolly is too old to impress....
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Old Dec 16 2004, 06:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth
My usual semi- rant--I'd like to see a Pern book where someone who desperately wants to be something (a dragonrider or a harper are the two that are most prominent) be cut off from it completely, with no chance of a DK-style deus ex machina ending where everyone magically gets what they really wanted, and they have to learn to live with it, make adjustments, and maybe things work themselves out after all and even if they'll always regret what they lost a little, they discover they can be happy in another way. I don't think DS was in a flexible-enough subgenre to do that, but it would be nice to see it somewhere.

It has been done, if not with a "main" character. Lytol.
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Old Dec 16 2004, 06:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnMarie
It has been done, if not with a "main" character. Lytol.
Lytol IS a major character, hes definately important!
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Old Dec 17 2004, 06:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

Quote:
Originally Posted by edith
Lytol IS a major character, hes definately important!
I'd like to learn more about Lytol's backstory than we get in MHoP and the other 9th Pass books.
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Old Dec 17 2004, 10:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

Quote:
Originally Posted by granath
I'd like to learn more about Lytol's backstory than we get in MHoP and the other 9th Pass books.
Oooooh new book idea the... Lytol: The Missing Years!
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Old Dec 17 2004, 11:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

Sure, and learned how he and/or his fellow misjudged and mad a mess at the Sping Games? No thanks!

Anareth... one day maybe you'll read about the life of Elrhan As a young boy he did dream of becoming a dragonrider, every boy on pern does, the way terran boys say they want to be president, astronaut or fireman... But the thing he really wanted to be was harper. Did he want to be a top flight singer or a composer of reknown? No, he plays and sings passably but his heart lies in the relative darkness of the archives, the discovery of a record, a name, a person long forgotten and he can rejoice when he has found an archival missing link. That (and love) makes his heart beat faster.

Now, would that excite thousands of readers? I don't think so. I think that 13 year old girl in Sioux City, Orange County, Iowa would rather read about that sad boy who nearly lost his eyesite who Impressed his brown dragon against all odds and came to be a fine wingleader who saved his Weyr...

I have said so before and say so now: especially after meeting Anne in person I came to realise more and more that the writing is seen like pure business by some and by something for fans by a lot of others
People like Anne and Todd write what sells; they don't write because they must clear their soul and must let us know of their creative drive and the inner thoughts they have. You may call their, and many other's, writing art and literature but there are only a limited number of people on this world who write for writing, who write for themselves and virtually none of them are bestsellet authors
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Old Dec 17 2004, 01:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

I write to sell. (Writing fiction is only art if you're one of the hopelessly pretentious lit-er-a-choor crowd, thank you Elizabeth Peters for that lable, whose goal is not sales but being required reading for college classes and a full review in the New York Times.) I prefer readers who would rather have characters face a bit of unpleasantness and who aren't spoilt brats (not IC spoilt brats, spoiled by authors who can't bear to hurt their babies by having them be REALLY disappointed in something.) In other words, I aim for grown-ups-not necessarily PHYSICAL grown-ups, but people who aren't at the watered-down Brothers Grimm phase of NEEDING a happy ending to = White Hats rewarded, Black Hats punished, Gray does not exist.

There seems to be a perception among some that if characters don't get what they think they want, or don't get to have it all, it's not a good story. That Anne HAS to have Jaxom get to be Lord of Ruatha AND a dragonrider AND spend half his time down at Landing and it's all happy-shiney or *whimper* it just wouldn't be fair. Life is not fair, and an author who writes it that way isn't writing fiction, they're lying. If they do get to have it all, to always be right, it's a very bad story. If they get everything they want taken away from them and have to learn to deal, it can be very, very good, especially if there's no magic authorial intervention at the end to get them what they wanted back on page one. The closest we ever come to this is Lessa giving up Ruatha--and she does it for a promise of even more power. (I really enjoyed Elizabeth Moon's "Trading In Danger" for that reason--there is no out for Ky, she's never going to get the life she wanted, and she's sure not having an easy time dealing with the new one, but that's what makes it interesting and that's what forces her to grow.) By page 300 or so, they shouldn't BE who they were on page one. If they are, you're not doing a good job writing.

Characters should be wrong.

Characters should have to pay for mistakes--not just the so-called "Bad Guys", in fact less so them than the "Good Guys". We don't really care about the Bad Guys' growth. We SHOULD want to see change in the Good Guys, preferably in the direction of maturing.

Characters should not always get the happy ending they think they want.

Characters should SUFFER. Maybe not physically, or maybe not mentally, but they should have to deal with unhappiness and not have it magically go away because, after all, they're the heros! Even a unicorn learned to regret.

No character should be safe for sure, even POV characters.

And even if they're the ones who are going to save the world, they shouldn't be right about everything. If they are right about everything, they're not people, they're gods, and while you can write about gods, they are generally very boring subjects.

I could easily see making an interesting story out of the life of an Archivist, especially if he discovered something strange and/or important that a Harper who spent all their time singing and running around with the Weyrleaders would have overlooked. Or seeing the "heros" of some story through the eyes of the Archivist, who through his work as a records-keeper/historian has gained a different perspective on world-shattering events and how they turn out than the heros, who are busy being convinced of their rightness, can't see. Frankly, a brown rider who grew up to be a wingleader in despite of color prejudice would be a nice change, too, come to that, or a story in which the hero was a green rider who wasn't sleeping with the Weyrleaders' bronze-riding son.

Writing to sell does not mean writing cookie-cutter superheros who are Always Right and who always get precisely the happy ending the characters want. 90% of the authors on the bestseller lists wouldn't be there if that's what they wrote. Even Lackey, who usually manages to scrape a happy ending out of a situation, no matter how messy, isn't afraid to make her characters REALLY work for it: there are Heralds who screw up royally, who die unfair, undeserved, painfully bloody deaths even though they're major and even POV characters, who lose the loves of their lives, who CHOSE to give up happiness out of duty and a higher love of country, or who chose True Love and it's kinda a dumb decision and there is no way for them to have it all. Being a protagonist should not be a ticket to easy street.
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Old Dec 17 2004, 01:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

but its hard to make a favourite character suffer...
i write for fun and i hated killing a character off- in the end i killed alot of characters off
but he had to die for the story. i try to give my favourites a happy ending and some of them do. ok, one IS horribly maimed-but shes alive...
if she hadnt been a favourite she might've had a horrible death in a burning building. i've got a minor villain that always appears to win in my head though...
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Old Dec 17 2004, 02:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

I seem to recall F'nor and Brekke suffering quite a bit. They were not bad guys getting what they deserved.
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Old Dec 17 2004, 02:50 PM   #19
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

It's hard to make a favorite suffer--but you get over that and do it anyway. Every writer has the urge to spoil their characters, but usually you outgrow that tendency. With some writers, the more they like a character, the more they torture them (though even Lackey admits she went just a tad overboard with the torture scene for Talia in "Arrow's Fall.") For me it's hard to kill them (well, most of them) outright, but hurting? Not a problem.

As for Brekke--suffering? Please. She gets what she wanted in the end--an easy out of a job she never really wanted and 'her man.' She isn't forced to grow, she's allowed to retreat. I find nothing in her portrayal later to suggest the degree of long-term damage Lytol seems to suffer from. As for F'nor, the only suffering he undergoes is physical, and it almost might have been better to kill him off--he's never really used again in any major way and it would have been a more dramatic clincher, not to mention a body blow for F'lar. Instead it's a rather selfish centerpiece for Brekke ("Don't leave me alone.") In fact it's ideal for her, as now she gets to play nurse again for him. It would also have made sense as DQ seems to be pointing to defeating Thread at the Red Star NOT being the solution, and that would have driven matters home completely. If we take F'lar as the overarcing male protagonist, killing off his right-hand man would have been a good strategic move. Only reason not to do it would be if it's just a romance novel requiring a happy ending for the couple (and some romance novels require just the opposite). Again, I'd love to see the original draft of DQ and see what was so different.

Actually now I'm thinking that would have been really cool--a sucker-punch for Brekke, who THOUGHT she was getting what she wanted, to be F'nor's little helpmeet, suddenly forced to stand on her own. F'lar, meanwhile, loses probably the most important person to him after Lessa, doing something F'lar had thought he should do himself. On the one hand, F'nor getting killed would have shown absolutely that F'lar shouldn't go and that F'lar was right, the Red Star was not the answer. On the other, there's survivor's guilt to deal with ("I should have been the one to go, risk or no risk"), the obvious down side that the Red Star ISN'T the answer, now what, and possible residual anger at Lessa and Brekke if he finds out they pushed F'nor into going.
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Old Dec 17 2004, 08:16 PM   #20
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

I agre that the characters do get a little bit too much of evrything... anything that is ahrd soon leaves, and i completely understand your criticism of it. And I also agree with most of it... at least SOME characters hsould be made to suffer, just because it is what life involves!
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Old Dec 20 2004, 08:23 PM   #21
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

Hmm, Anareth - do you read Katherine Kurtz. She's good at making her characters work for their happiness.

Back to topic....
I don't think Menolly would have been happy as a dragonrider or made an especially good one; she'd probably have been scored while thinking up a tune... I see her personality as like Nerilka who commented on not being sure she could take that intense, personal bond with another creature.

As to whether or not she could have impressed... I don't think I agree that having nine firelizards shows potential, considereing how she impressed them. Now if her situation had been like Mirrim's, one of many trying to impress a nest on an open beach, and she attached nine, then I'd say she had potential!
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Old Dec 21 2004, 08:05 PM   #22
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

Anareth, I think you'll find Dragonsblood of great interest and possibly the closest Pern story so far to what you're looking for Not so much the desperately wanting to be X scenario, but definitely the "no deus ex-machina to put it all to rights" one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth
My usual semi- rant--I'd like to see a Pern book where someone who desperately wants to be something (a dragonrider or a harper are the two that are most prominent) be cut off from it completely, with no chance of a DK-style deus ex machina ending where everyone magically gets what they really wanted, and they have to learn to live with it, make adjustments, and maybe things work themselves out after all and even if they'll always regret what they lost a little, they discover they can be happy in another way.
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Old Dec 29 2004, 01:27 AM   #23
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Default Re: Menolly: Dragonrider

I suppose we are all forgetting C'gan, who was both a harper and a rider in Dragonflight.
Needless to say, fiction is made of painful choices, no matter how much the authour would like to make it different. Without crises, fiction would be boring. If Menolly had been able to have it both ways, there would have been an anticlimax on the part of the readers. Thank-you for making her have it one way or the other, not both!
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