Archive through June 10, 2006

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 3: Alliance of Light: Stormed Fortress: Status: Archive through June 10, 2006
   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 - 09:53 am: Edit Post

Derek - everything, from every angle, every wind, tide, and bottom type. It's a comprehensive book. Astonishing. Even differentiates between how it was done in various country's navies, and also, how the merchant ships handled the same, from multiple experts of the times, all compiled. Helps if you have sail experience, interpreting what's on the pages, though the diagrams and line drawings are very good.

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, June 03, 2006 - 02:05 pm: Edit Post

Update: 12 set is in full draft - and I haven't looked back for the page count, just yet....this is IT - into final sequence as of now.

Hope everybody's having a nice weekend. This makes it, for me!

   By neil on Saturday, June 03, 2006 - 02:44 pm: Edit Post

Wow...SF nearly done...not that I'm excited about this book or anything :-)

I get the feeling we'll a see bit more sailing in this book.

   By Miranda Bertram on Thursday, June 08, 2006 - 07:00 pm: Edit Post

Thrilled about Stormed Fortress. Ought to be out just about the time I finish my MA. Well...probably a bit later. Anyway, just a thought on Shakespeare: I don't think he should be taught to school kids - except in short extracts in the context of a drama class - until the second year of A-Levels. The language is a huge barrier to begin with and to have to struggle with that AND attempt to carry out a decent literary criticism is too much to expect of many GCSE students. It would be far better if the literary critical skills of the students were already fairly mature, so that they could focus more on getting to grips with the poetry whilst interpreting the themes and plot lines would come more easily. Having Shakespeare shoved down your throat too early can really ruin what ought to be a great experience. And I say that as someone who hated Shakespeare at school but now, after three years at university, worship him (like most english literature graduates). Many of my acquaintances who, under the English system, also studied Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet or similar at the tender age of 14, but who did not then go on to do literature degrees and therefore haven't rediscovered him flinch with disgust whenever I mention him. This insistence on children reading Shakespeare at GCSE is absurdly old-fashioned. Give them Ford if they have to have something from the Renaissance. And when they do read Shakespeare, for God's sake, don't make it The Tempest or King Lear or Hamlet. No one anywhere ever has understood these plays completely except Will himself. Give them Richard III - it's a riot - or King John - again, very funny, quite short and unusually readable - even Macbeth I'll accept, though it's one of my least favourites.

Anyway, I'll stop. This is not what the board's about. Sorrrryyyyy.

Janny, I'm uber excited about SF. Drooling with anticipation and praying nightly for dozens of scenes involving Arithon-Davien discussions.

   By Maurice Peter Vialle on Thursday, June 08, 2006 - 07:20 pm: Edit Post

Have to be careful to get your facts right when criticising the mistakes, or otherwise, of others.

Tolkien knew the "correct" plural, but chose the spelling "dwarves" with a clear (and explicitly stated) intention. Read the Appendices if you want an insight into that intention.

   By Nathan on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 07:19 am: Edit Post

Hi Janny, I haven't seen a post in this thread from you in nearly a week and just wanted to make sure that you are OK and wondered if there is anything us fans can do to help you through this final phase?

I'm so excited about the prospect of getting my hands on this volume. I know it's a way off publication but just the thought that it's nearly ready to be turned in and on it's way to the printers in the foreseable future gives me the goose bumps.

Oh please mighty world leaders, just hold off blowing us all up until I've had the chance to read 'Stormed Fortress' PLEASE! :-)

   By Trys on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 11:18 am: Edit Post

The world leaders better hold off until after the last volume of Arc 5 and beyond or they'll have one angry gryphon ghost chasing their spectral arses through the dank mists of whatever forgotten corner of whatever misbefotten hell they get sent to. ;)


   By Blue on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 11:22 am: Edit Post

The world leaders better hold off until after the last volume of Arc 5 and beyond or they'll have one angry gryphon ghost chasing their spectral arses through the dank mists of whatever forgotten corner of whatever misbefotten hell they get sent to. ;)

:-O :-O :-O :-O

Good one, Trys!

Of course, I would be dressed up as Anne Bonney, swinging a cutlass and charging alongside you, probably arguing as to who would get the first bite/slash in.

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 11:34 am: Edit Post

Hi Nathan - thanks for your most personal note of concern.

I am all well and fine - and at work FOCUSED on getting the ending of this volume exactly right. Yes, it's giving me Fits, at this stage. Why?

Cause Each Time a scene plays or a character you know so very well appears, it MUST SURPRISE - as well as be logical and in line and tie in and work with the have to see a new angle, an new twist, learn a new depth - there must be that "ah hah!" to each stage.

And being that inventive Every Day, this many tomes in - ending of third arc is both a rush and a trial on the imagination!

How can you hellp? You have, just by posting - caring - being excited. How can you Really Help? Let your needs, hopes loves and desires be known. Let what you feel out of the box.

Now - let's be clear - I do not "write to my audience" - I write as the story dictates BUT - sometimes something somebody wants sets off a little spark. And sometimes it jives right in to what needs to happen on the page. Sometimes there is a blessed little synchronicity to what you want and what I want too!

Example: once somebody on this board wishfully wondered what happened to Felirin the bard.....well, when it came time to "split" Fugitive Prince, and I needed to ratchet the action to give that book an impetus to climactic event that was "not really scheduled" for this stage of the story - what happened to Felirin became the scenes you know so well when Arithon sang down the Light's crown examiner.....that little wish just stuck there like a notecard, and there it was, waiting to explode.

I know these books backwards, forwrards, sideways. But manytimes discussions here (even wrongheaded ones!!! Especially them --) show me where readers didn't get the subtle take in the early progression - and often guide where I need to exposee the deeper landscape with more precision. So often the "was this so" that wasn't triggers a response scene where I can demonstrate the actual with better clarity.

How can you speed these books? By doing what you do best, with enthusiasm! And if you don't, no matter - the books happen anyhow.

I will post a page count when I think of it....midscene in ch 13 main had two false starts, and today, has hit massive stride. So I have the kick off, and am now digesting the bits of the false starts and weaving them into the take....standard fare, an author's day in a nutshell. It doesn't all flow like gangbusters....the trick is, knowing what's wrong when it doesn't, staying the course, and NEVER EVER letting second best stand without punching on it till it genuinely flies.

Oh - and this board is a fine place for literary discussion - I happen to agree that Shakespeare, and in fact, half the "high school reading list" is sheer idiocy - for engaging the mind at that age, alot of the "literary classics" are foolish choices that turn away more readers than anything else.

Realize: I was ALMOST A NON READER!!! due to the school curriculum....yup. Almost gave it up as a complete waste and total have Walter Farley and his Black Stallion series to thank for showing me a story could be fun enough to BOTHER learning letters....and the librarian nearly didn't let me take those books out (in second and third grade) because....."they are shelved in the teen section and you are too young!" I had to walk a mile to the public library AFTER SCHOOL and use my brothers' card to get the books....having first swiped one from my brother's bedroom to discover what the horse on the back was all about.

Go figure, schools. I'd have kids reading comic books just to GET THEM READING. Worry about content way way later.

   By HJ on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 12:39 pm: Edit Post

We've got a campaign going at the moment at our school. Every class has made a big feature of their "Reading Corner", everyone drawing the kids' attention to it and inviting them to bring in material from home (mags and comics) - we've also got a load of posters of sports stars (Rio Ferdinand at al) clutching books/mags/newspapers with the caption "Champions Read". This is in large part aimed at the lads who tend to be less enthusiastic about reading. The kids in my class are 10 and I've had some great chats with them recently about the merits of the Harry Potter/Narnia books versus the films; which they enjoyed more, why some bits of storyline were changed/added/dropped etc etc. My seven-year-old now takes a book to bed with her every night.

Reading has helped to make me who I am, has influenced me and taught me in ways nothing else could have done. I had a very modest upbringing at ordinary STATE schools smack bang in the middle of the second biggest conurbation in Britain. I owe pretty much everything I am to my love of reading - along with millions of others around the world, I'm sure.

So, I'll second that Janny! :-) x x

(Watership Down and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe were my earliest favourites. Although they came after The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Where The Wild Things Are!)

   By Robert on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 03:21 pm: Edit Post

My 3rd and 4th grade teachers were instrumental in introducing reading as something...dare I say it?? Fun! What a concept! Even if it was choose your own adventure books. We were rewarded if we got up in class and talked about it. My reading really took off when I found the Hardy Boys. I agree with the chronicles of Narnia! Great stuff, I also read the Cycle of Fire when I was pretty young, that was the reason that I picked up the Curse of the Mistwraith in the first place. Because of my literary appreciation and my vocabulary I actually sound educated!! Who would have thought?

   By JohnS on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 04:27 pm: Edit Post

Just thought you would like to know that the thousands of years ago when I was in high school, we had an option for one semester of "Science Fiction as Literature".

Along with the classics (i.e., H.G. Wells) the worlds of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke were opened.

   By Miranda Bertram on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 04:39 pm: Edit Post

Watership, I loved that book. Anyone else ever see the excellent animated film? Bigwig was definitely my favourite bunny. Oddly, really. Bigwig...Davien...nope, no similarities there! Anyone else ever read East of Midnight by Tanith Lee? I had a great English teacher. She got me reading things like Diana Wynne Jones - Howl's Moving Castle is still one of my favourite works of literature...mind you, it gets pushed down a peg every time a WoLaS volume comes out!

   By HJ on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 06:16 pm: Edit Post fave bunny too. He reminded me of my uncle. Fabulous characterisation with a bunch of bunnies.

Asimov, I will never forget the way I felt when I got to the end of all the "Foundation" books - I mean "Foundation and Earth" - I hadn't seen it coming and it was one of the most exciting experiences in my reading life. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?


   By Trys on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 06:32 pm: Edit Post


I'm afraid that's been too many decades for me to truly remember but something about a circle, maybe?


   By Marie on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 07:23 pm: Edit Post

I must put in my quick 2 cents on the Shakespeare topic. I know that when schools force students to read stories that are seemingly beyond them, not interesting, or whatever else, reading gets a bad rep. Students get frustrated with reading and might not realize that there are great stories out there that they would enjoy. So I can see why you had the idea to cut Shakespeare until later years. HOWEVER that frustration does not apply to all students--especially when a great teacher is involved. Shakespeare's works were the ones I enjoyed the most throughout high school. It is so well written with so many intriguing levels (and pricelss insults and comedy along with the pain of tragedies that could have been prevented but for fate) that I greatly enjoyed throwing myself into them while having one of those great teachers to help me out if I needed it. I learned a lot from his works. Shakespeare is arguably the greatest writer of all time and it would be a shame to take his works away from students. I was allowed to balance Shakespeare with a modern science fiction class which helped give me different views.

My "quick" 2 cents hasn't turned out to be so quick, but what I'm trying to say is that it might be a mistake to just completely throw out the likes of Shakespeare until a higher grade. I guess if I were in a position to control these things I'd do what was done for me by offering a variety of classes and let the students choose which ones would best suit their interests. That way we wouldn't be lowering the bar and taking away from the students yet those that weren't interested in Shakespeare wouldn't have their love of reading ruined. :-)

   By juliana on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 09:15 pm: Edit Post

In this time of short attention span plug in living I think school reading needs to be fun, appropriate, and relevant, otherwise the kids just turn to CLiff notes for their assignments and do not bother to read or think. Shakespeare is hard to read, instead of doing away with it have students read excerpts and show them the movies(or live theater if available). I agree a variety of choice should exist for electives.

My daughter's 10th grade class (15 year olds) were assigned The Stranger(Camus)because it was on "the list" and would presumably demonstrate that the local public high school has high standards. She found the story easy to read as far as beginning, middle, end but did not like it. The object of reading that book was to introduce the students to existentialism!!!!!!! Needless to say they didn't get it. As far as my daughter was concerned the best book that year was The Catcher in the Rye- kids still relate to Holden Caufield. It would have been a better tool to explore existentialism.

   By Ben on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 11:09 pm: Edit Post

As a student in the last year of highschool in Australia(grade 12, 17yrs), I'd have to say my opinion is rather mixed on this one. I think that the alternative reading courses would be a great way to go, but nothing like that is available at my school. But that said, I have been given books to read for assignments that I would never have come across any other way, such as Aldous Huxley's "A Brave New World", which I quite enjoyed. That, combined with a knowledgeable teacher led me to read George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and "1984", both of which are now favourites. However, friends of mine who were 'forced' to read Huxley to complete an assignment found it confusing and because of this, boring. The same happened with "Romeo and Juliet" which we studied in Year 10 (15yrs).

I guess its a matter of your prior experiences and who you are though. I've been fortunate to grow up with my mum who is an avid reader, so I've been encouraged to read from an early age, a and now a day doesn't go by when I don't read something. (at the moment its a re-read of FP), while my younger brother would die of boredom before reading for enjoyment.

   By Timothy on Friday, June 09, 2006 - 11:52 pm: Edit Post

I was homeschooled, so I was never required to read, but it didn't matter, since reading was my favorite past time. I think I read the Lord of the Rings when I was seven? I don't know how I did it, but I think a lot of the story went over my head at the time.

Janny's comment about how somebody's question about Felirin helped open up the possibilities for Fujitive Prince reminded me of a character that I always wondered about. What ever happened to Commander Harradene? I always wondered if he would go to the Ath's adepts... I thought we would see him in Traitor's knot when Arithon went to Etarra, but I guess I was wrong.

Keep up the good work Janny! I can't wait to see what happens.

   By HJ on Saturday, June 10, 2006 - 11:56 am: Edit Post

Trys, no it's the search for Earth thing and what the guys find at the end of the road.