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Old Feb 5 2008, 04:20 PM   #1
Brenda
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Default Test Run: Robinton and F'lon

Okay, I'm intrigued! Just a few things:

First of all, the dragon's name is Simanith.

Why would they call lightning "Dragonfire" when they know that dragons' fire is very different? Unless it's because it looks the same from a distance, just flashes - but it DOESN'T look the same.

I don't think they use "Mum" or "Mom" on Pern. Robinton would call her Mother or Merelan.



The story itself I have a few logic problems with it - why are they flying in a thunderstorm? Were they on the way to something else? If not, why would Robinton have his gitar, sacks of wine, medical supplies? If so, why would they go into a thunderstorm on the way?

And I hope you plan to give a reason for Simanith to have come out of Between wherever they did - I presume the southern continent. Because F'lon was obviously not in good shape to visualize anything in particular.

Maybe they were heading to a Gather in South Boll, which is fairly tropical, and somehow overshot the mark?

I hope you'll keep going on this!
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Old Feb 6 2008, 12:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Test Run: Robinton and F'lon

I would say keep going with it.
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Old Feb 6 2008, 12:28 AM   #3
D. M. Domini
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Re: Test Run: Robinton and F'lon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
First of all, the dragon's name is Simanith.
Many thanks, I *knew* I had it wrong!

Quote:
Why would they call lightning "Dragonfire" when they know that dragons' fire is very different? Unless it's because it looks the same from a distance, just flashes - but it DOESN'T look the same.
I'm unsure; I've not started to drill down to the little details yet, and the word just popped into my mind, like "elf fire" or whatever one might call a strange aura of light in a thunderstorm that's not quite lightening. There's a lot of things in the world that have something in their name that's not literally what they are...

Quote:
I don't think they use "Mum" or "Mom" on Pern. Robinton would call her Mother or Merelan.
That's the downside of writing Pern/why I hate writing Pern despite doing it anyway (lol). The vocabulary is limited without enough new words to fill the gaps. I'll think about changing it. It's just that the formal "Mother" struck me as wrong. Then again, I suck at writing Robinton. He's just so elegant a speaker. ::sigh::

Quote:
The story itself I have a few logic problems with it - why are they flying in a thunderstorm?
Because F'lon's still really young and a dumb@ss and wants to show off to his boyhood friend. Robinton doesn't think it's all that smart, but he's young enough to keep his mouth mostly shut about it, thinking a dragonrider would know if it really was going to be an issue (although obviously that's not the case here!) If Robinton was older Robinton, as of The White Dragon or what have you, and he was riding with some young kid who did this, he'd probably have Words...he's not a dragonrider himself, but by that point he would have known enough to know what was happening was very stupid and he'd probably put his foot down, and damn any consequences if the kid whined to their Weyrleader about Robinton giving him a direct order. Common sense is common sense. But at the age I'm writing him now--late teens, early twenties--he doesn't have the knowledge or confidence yet to do more than make comments in F'lon's general direction...the same kind you'd make at your own best friend when they were into some harebrained scheme and determined to drag you along.

Quote:
Were they on the way to something else? If not, why would Robinton have his gitar, sacks of wine, medical supplies? If so, why would they go into a thunderstorm on the way?
Robinton has his gitar because they are going somewhere. I've not decided where. They do NOT have sacks of wine. Robinton was just wishing for some. And although it's never specifically mentioned in the books, that I'm aware of, I could easily see a dragonrider, or a Harper, or whoever, keep a small first-aid-like kit of medical supplies with them when traveling. It's not like a bit of numbweed in a tin or jar, a small bottle of felis, and bandages take up all that much space. I could put together a small pack the size of a paperback book with all three things. That is, if numbweed and felis existed. So that part is just me inventing things, but I don't think it's unreasonable.

Quote:
And I hope you plan to give a reason for Simanith to have come out of Between wherever they did - I presume the southern continent. Because F'lon was obviously not in good shape to visualize anything in particular.
I figured I'd play that by ear, lol. However--isn't shoddy visualization what causes things like this anyway? (assuming it doesn't kill you?) There'd be little point as an author to just kill them (OT: hahaha, I should do that just to be weird..."AU story! F'lon and Robinton ride a dragon into a thunderstorm! Lightening strikes! What will happen!" and then someone opens up the story. "They didn't visualize correctly and died between. The end." People would kill ME if I wrote that!)

Oh dear...I just realized that's similar to something I did with my Talent fic. Huh. Not the horrible story-stub thing, but the teleportation-goes-wrong. Of course, the Talent fic has canon to back it up. ::muses to herself::

I'll try to figure something out but...yeah, the premise is cracktastic anyway. And I just realized that the snippet so far doesn't make that evident, it only shows some of the plot-bunny-on-drugs. Maybe I should have mentioned the forthcoming Robinton/Menolly shipping. But then people might try to assassinate me before the fic gets done. ::hides with H. S. Shore and her LOVELY Robinton/Menolly fics:: Man, I should review that again in case it makes her write more...

ANYWAY...

Anyway, anyway, anyway...Heh, I hope I don't come off as too negative...I appreciate all comments. I just have this wild-mustang-with-a-new-bridle feeling with Pern; I know I'm a good enough writer to do a nice enough story and interesting characters, but the weight of the fandom sits invisibly on my shoulders and that makes me want to rear and toss my head! I'm trying to work on not doing that!

I think it's inevitable that I'm going to run counter to fandom on small things; considering AMC's own continuity isn't the best, I don't see what harm there is if I bend a few things myself, as long as the story itself as a whole is a good end product. I'm not sure if this is hubris or practicality or me just being contrary.

So I guess what I'm really saying is this--is the characterization off? That's what I really really dread the most...I want the characters to largely act like themselves, to be large and vibrant, and real. IS that Robinton and F'lon on the page, or just some horridly pale imitation? I want to know that, and also if there's something that would totally turn you off of the story. I want to get names and histories of characters right (well, where I'm not running AU in the first place at least).

Here's where my reply gets more general on the topic of writing in Pern fandom...you could almost call it off-topic...

But if I make up some flower or something that AMC hasn't specifically mentioned...yeah, I don't care. Because Pern is real enough that I-the-reader believe that there are things she has never mentioned about the world because they don't matter, but on an individual level, such as making a scene or wording come alive, they can mean a lot. If that makes sense? Maybe there's a little local carnival in Nerat where the locals dress up in a very mardi gras or halloween fashion - why? Because a lot of human cultures like and have events like that, and Pern has 2000 years of history. It's probable that cultural events like that spring up. Heck, here on Earth we have things like Gay Pride Parades, and you KNOW that would TOTALLY be alien 50, 100 years ago. So, why would a writer not want to put that in a Pern fic? Well, wouldn't AMC have mentioned something like that if it were true? A big masquarade party would warrant mentioning, like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or in Italy with Carnivele (sp?). But, switching back to the other standpoint again, wouldn't it be fun to describe the Pernese version of something like that? Surely gathers aren't the only party times on Pern. Human nature isn't like that.

So it's...technically that's not canon at all. Like, so totally not that I realize it as a Pern-fan, instantly. Pern doesn't have Halloween or Mardi Gras! Nothing at all like it! And it's not something that AMC would ever write, judging from her body of work. But *I* might write it, and it might be a good story too. But a lot depends on the execution...have a fanficcer without the writing chops write it, and they totally would be lambasted that that type of celebration doesn't exist on Pern. But the real reason they'd get poor reviews over that is because the Pern-savvy reader was broken out of their suspension of disbelief by poor writing. Keep a reader believing, and they'll go along with ideas like that, and they'll think it's great. (I know I do!).

Of course that's so nebulous, like much of writing is. "Is this a good idea?" "Weeeeelll...if you can pull it off." "How do you know if you can pull it off?"

Might as well ask the ever-favorite, "How do you become a good writer?" Has an author *ever* given a really nice and pat good answer to that? If they have, I'd suspect they're lying.

I had a point here, but managed to veer off into general writing discussion, which I think tells you how long it's been since I've really gotten into a technical writing discussion...lol.

::hunts for the missing point::

Ah-ha!

Ok. My point is, in regards to canon, I'm sometimes going to veer into left field, because I think the potential benefit of expanding *upon* the world of Pern is more beneficial to making a good story than coloring in the lines 99% of the time.

Case in point, which might be arrogant because I'm pimping my work yet again, but it's the only facts I have to work with. I have two Talent fanfictions. Well, two majors--the one-shot and the other one don't count yet. Sackcloth and Ashes, and Boxed: A Story of Talent. Sackcloth is 38038 words long, with 3072 total hits as of this moment. It has 29 reviews. Boxed: A Story of Talent is 14947 words long, with 2853 hits and 21 reviews. Do you see my point yet? If you look closely at the numbers, Sackcloth is more than twice the length of Boxed, but is only 200 hits ahead. It took it a long time to surpass Boxed.

That's curious, I said to myself. Why is that?

Boxed is about an original character who is a Prime. Not only is she original, she's Cappellan. Not only that, but none other than Afra and Damia pretty much adopt her. Afra and Damia. Adopt. This original character. Who is a PRIME. And from Capella. Oh my, that's a very Sue-ish premise! Pernese equivalent is Robinton rescuing another poor abused Harper girl who turns out to be an excellent musician. Or F'lar finding another HAD in a horrible situation while flying on his dragon somewhere, and Lessa liking the girl. And the girl actually Impressing, unlike Aramina.

Sackcloth on the other hand is an AU that's very firmly tied into the events of the book Damia. I get to play with Afra (...um, I don't mean it to sound that wrong...), but, up to date, my original characters don't even come close to the original character I made in Boxed. Very low Sue-age danger levels! This fic is so totally canon, even while being an AU, that the reason it's so long is because I can zip through chapters because AMC has already done most of the hard work of pounding out a plot!

So, at this point, I suspect that despite the high Sue-age danger levels on Boxed, the original storyline and elaborations I've made on the Talent wold must be having some sort of appeal that's stronger than the more familiar Sackcloth and Ashes.

So...I'm wondering how that equation will work with Pern. And I'm tempted to try, but fearful of (as I said in another thread) this big, looming fanfiction tradition hanging over my head like a guillotine! But, being the wild mustang again, I suspect I'll just rebel and flail all over the place and then do it anyway.

...

Of course, things like this can also fail. And, little hypocrite that I am, this potential of failure is why I've not read Todd's books yet, and may never, given the scuttlebutt is that he isn't pulling it off. Yet I dare to write Pern fanfic with the intent to commit new ideas. ::laughs at self::

I feel as if I should break this into its own topic. But I'm also afraid that nobody will come to join me in such luuuuvely technical writing discussion!

Have a bouncy day.

Edit: mawra posted while I was writing this doctoral thesis here...lol. So that's two votes for going forward... ::peers thoughtfully over the edge of the cliff::
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Old Feb 6 2008, 04:48 PM   #4
Brenda
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Default Re: Test Run: Robinton and F'lon

There's messing with canon as in adding new characters or side adventures, and there's messing with canon as in making major changes to what we picture for Pern - like what your image of Mardi Gras did to my brain. Or like seeing "Mum" because people just don't seem to talk that way on Pern. A little thing like that goes a long way - I think that may have been the thing that bothered me most in that whole "test run" post! That and the fact that I wanted to know WHY they were doing what they were doing!



Shoddy visualization is one thing - I was trying to come up with a reason to pop out somewhere they've NEVER BEEN. Usually when the visualization is THAT poor, they just don't come back out. That's why I threw out Southern Boll, because they might have been aiming for that jungly type of area.


Oh - and I'm not sure what you're talking about regarding lights in a storm that aren't lightning... You'd think weyrlings would be talked to pretty sternly about not flying in a lightning storm!

And I can accept F'lon being reckless, and even dragging Robinton along - but why would he do this on the way to a Gather? Even if they weren't injured, they'd be soaked! So why isn't Robinton protesting that? Particularly if he's got his gitar to worry about?



These are all just points to consider clarifying - I hope you write more of the story once you figure it out! Although I don't know how much I'll be able to read it once you get to the 'shipping' (What does that even stand for? I know what it means, but why that word?)
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Old Feb 10 2008, 09:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: Test Run: Robinton and F'lon

Well - I haven't read the story in question yet, but I am going to butt in here anyway because of the Mum/Mom thing.

I don't see why that wouldn't be used in Pern. After all, the words have been around for generations already. I find it harder to believe that all Pernese would call their parents Mother and Father. As babies and young children it might be Mama and Papa, or Mommy and Daddy. So why not shorten them to Mam, Mom, Mum, Pap (Pop), Dad. That is just the thing a teen would do, and is probably how the words came about in the first place.

Or is it more likely that the children would call their parents by their given name? Thus Robinton wouldn't call his parents Mum and Dad, Pop, or whatever but would go with Merilan (sp) and Petiron.

We really don't see a whole lot of child interaction with their parents on Pern. So it's kind of difficult to figure this one out.
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Old Feb 10 2008, 03:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Test Run: Robinton and F'lon

Well, he calls Petiron by his name once he's grown up. I think he calls Merelan "Mother." Menolly called her parents by their given names, and she was only fifteen.

I think they do have "mama" and "papa" as young children but that they don't keep doing it once they're older. Just my take on it.
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Old Feb 11 2008, 12:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Test Run: Robinton and F'lon

I would think it reminds them of seeing the dragons in the air - small specks barely visible that make themselves known by spouts of flame. Thus it would seem to them that a hidden 'dragon' spouts lightning fire looking for all the world as dragons fighting thread but thread would drown . . .
See?
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Old Feb 11 2008, 03:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Test Run: Robinton and F'lon

Yes, but what are lights in a storm that aren't lightning?
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