Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tropes & ...

Now, in my experience (not necessarily that broad, but there you go), the word "trope" is usually thrown about in a supercilious manner by folks who have themselves never dared to bare their own soul in story to an often unkind world to show how superior they are. In this example, however, over at TV Tropes, the use of the term in so thorough and gleeful a manner has been a revelation, and very helpful to boot! I had no real notion - for example - that MBT was a "world of no grandparents"; this was certainly not intentional but probably reflective of my own real life experience. It is funny how hard it is to fit such things as a granny and/or grandpa into an adventure story - I shall be on the look out for such omissions in future...
That said, neither do I want to include things just because. Either way, thank you TV Tropes, a/ for liking MBT, b/ for helping me see my tale in so succinct a fashion - a great aid to learning this whole writing game.

Speaking of which, I have begun what will , Lord willing, be the next Half-Continent story, and this in turn raises an interesting dilemma:

...Along with the change of the series name in the US from Monster-Blood Tattoo to Tales from the Half-Continent and the (Oh, I surely hope so!) creation of more H-c tales, what on earth do I change the name of this blog to?

Oh, and cheers very much for your comments last post - has anyone got their hands on a copy of Corsers' Hinge (as found in The Legends of Australian Fantasy) yet?

... and happy new financial year.


Bryan said...

D.M. Cornish has posted about TV Tropes.
The universe has come full circle.

noelle said...

TV Tropes is one of my favorite places to waste an afternoon. I'm glad there's a page for MBT, there wasn't the last time I was there. Tropes are not bad! And they're not the same thing as clichés. Anyway, who needs grandparents after all :)

smudgeon said...

Planet No-Grans?

I Can't Get No Sectifaction?

Cornish Tales?

Sorry, I have nothing constructive to add. Does it necessarily need a change of name/address? As long as the keywords are there & you keep canvassing the address in your books & social media sites, you could call it whatever you like.

Good to hear you're embarking on a new ½ Continent story. Keep em coming, Mr C...

Chana said...

Ahh tropes! I wrote some of the MBT tropes, and I am very glad you appreciate them :)

Brandy said...

I believe the name of the blog is still more than applicable. Monster Blood Tattoos will exist in the H-c regardless of future story titles. It's inevitable that there will always be some reference, large or small, as it is such a big part of H-c culture. I wouldn't worry about the blog's name.

Wolf Blood (Will) said...

I don't think the name should change. Keep it as a reminder of the olden days when there was nothing but MBT. I found the tropes satisfying, but I'm not sure about the "Nightmare Fuel" one.

I would also like to know how many people have visited my attempt at a fansite and what could make it better.

Anonymous said...

Gagh! TV Tropes! Don't you know that that site is dangerous? It's worse than Wikipedia for consuming your life!

Alyosha said...

So "The Foundling's Tale" is the US name for the first MBT trilogy, but now the US also has another new name, "Tales from the Half Continent," intended to cover all of your future tales set in the MBT world? Do I have that right?
Anyway, regarding your question of how to name the blog, I'd follow the advice of the philosopher-conqueror Alexander who, when asked on his deathbed which of his generals would inherit his kingdom, answered "the strongest." In other words, for now stay as-is, but in the longer term base your choice on whichever version of the stories sells the most copies. But that's just a suggestion; I'll be an MBT blog-fan regardless.

Ben Bryddia said...

I say leave the name the same! Who cares if it isn't politically correct? Besides, then you would have to remove that lovely crourpunxis on the top banner.

But I do agree that you ought to get some parents and grandparents in a later story, if only as a writing excercise. (As if full-length novels were anything but a workout.) I'm thinking it would be really interesting to explore the dynamics of a clan of Skolds or Scourges. What would it be like if you had a family reunion and, instead of swapping recipies, the aunts swapped scripts? Rather than bragging about the deer they bagged, the men would brag about bagged boggles. Talk about big game hunting!

Also, I'm glad to hear of another Half-Continent story. THe biggest drawback is how long I'll have to wait for it. Will this one have all of MB-T's delicious extras (Explicarium, character portraits, diagrams, etc.)? Are you going to try netting some new readers?


Unknown said...

I've always considered the character of the Lamplighter-marshall to easily fill a grandfatherly roll, but that's just the image I got from him. Perhaps he doesn't have any children or grandchildren, but he has the sense of being the sort of wise elderly gentleman.

noelle said...

Has anyone seen How To Train Your Dragon? I saw it today and it reminded me a bit of Monster Blood Tattoo, with the warring humans/monsters and the boy who bridges the gap by befriending the monsters. I almost expected the word "sedorner" to be used at times. It's a good movie, I enjoyed it a lot.

smudgeon said...

I agree with Brian - I figure that people like the Lamplighter Marshall, Sgt Grindrod, Mama Lieger, Fransittart, Crampaulin, etc. are all "grandparents" of a kind...and you can even extend that further in Rossamund's case to include a whole family (Europe, Fouracres, etc). Family is more than just blood...

D.M. Cornish said...

That's what I reckon, me, yet I concede the point. Having said that, is a "bad thing" to not have grandparents in a tale?

I am not sure, Allyosha, I suppose "Tales from the Half Continent" will be the over-arching title - presuming my US publisher remains my US publisher - no guarantees there, I fear. Good advice from you and Ben B. regarding the blog title (I am impressed we actually managed to get a reference to/from Alexander in), will keep as is for now.

As to "netting" new readers, I have no idea how that works. So instead I will just write what is in my heart/head to write and let the readers find as they will (presuming it will actually find a publisher, of course...)

... and no, noelle, I have not seen How To Train Your Dragon yet, might try to see it this week if it is out on dvd here.

noelle said...

Are grandparents really that important? It's like saying "Why are there no babies in this story?" Sure you see babies a lot in real life, but that doesn't mean that they're going to have a place in EVERY story. It doesn't mean they're not there...they just aren't really important to the story.

I'm not sure that trope is even applicable to MBT, since we don't even know about most of the characters' backstories or family situations. Chances are at least some of them have grandparents back home, but why would we need to have that explained to us?

Anyway, I guess all I'm saying is, if there's an opportunity where a grandparently figure could be used to further the story, then go for it, but otherwise don't worry about it :)

Anna said...

Aren´t elderly people grandparent-like, filled with wisdom? Sure you need them but as the writers above say: they do not have to be blood-related.

Mr C: As for the question about The Legends.. book. No luck. I´ve searched every book-store in town, one of them having an connection to bookstores in UK, the book doesn´t exist in Europe, is the answer. The swe internet bookstores are just as bad. So I have to just wait and see. And I hate waiting. At least when there isn´t anything else to read.

Anonymous said...

First post here:
I live in the Chicago area and my brother ordered Legends from a small bookstore in Australia and had it shipped to me as a gift.

I just finished Corsers' Hinge this morning. I will not give any spoilers, but would like to read spoilers if there is a place to go to read them. It's a great story that I very much like which most certainly makes me hungry for that third MBT book.

I did notice that the English vocabulary was stepped up a couple notches and was wondering how that happened. Is this due to editing, did you step up the vocabulary, or is my brain slowing down?

Regardless, I'm very happy with the story and do plan to read other stories in the book.


curiousmoth said...

i think it's alright that there are no grandparents per se. there are still older characters in the series.

mr cornish, i was wondering whether you've read the edge chronicles by paul stewart & chris riddell. they're based off 18th century societ--interestingly, both yours and this series are listed as being Nightmare Fuel on TVtropes. you might enjoy them.

portals said...

'hipsters not allowed'
i'm extremely glad that you're working on more half continent stories.

Wolf Blood, Will said...

curiousmoth, I have read the Edge Chronicles and, Mr. Cornish, If you have not read them I highly suggest them. It would be a dream come true for you to read them, as they are my favorite books, next to yours.

BrandenRose said...

I can't wait for more of these stories! I love them so much, and they're absolutely my favorite series. I'll be praying for all things to go smoothly so they'll come out as soon as possible :)
The edge chronicles were very good, i thought, thought the later books fell short for me. the story got a little weird for my tastes...but still worth trying out i believe
and what is this corsers' hinge book everyone is talking about?

Unknown said...

Firstly, "tropes" what are they? What am I missing here? And why is everyone talking about it here? I have never heard the term used before reading it in this blog.
Secondly, grandparents, I didn't notice the lack as I always saw the old guys Fransittart and Crampaulin as being grandfatherly to Rossamund. But I did notice the lack of happy families (the only families I remember was the family of the bully from the orphanage and Threnody and her mother). This lack did not detract me from the story instead it drew me in. I wondered at why all these people seem to be so alone, mostly orphaned. It is refreshing for a kids story coz I reckon it reflects what a lot of kids experience these days the sense of loneliness, desertion and alienation that comes with splitting families, plus this new territory is so exciting and different.
Have I read the new story? No not yet but I am eying off the book at my favourite bookshop :)
On another topic, illustration, have you been doing any more drawing? Since illustration has brought you to this point I was wondering if you were doing any other work? Being an illustrator myself I wondered if you have any advice for getting work with publishers you can see some of my work here
Thanks again for all the wonderful work you do!

Anonymous said...

I bought the aussie legends publication. Liked it.

DOn't change the name of the blog >=(

Anonymous said...

My belated opinion... I love the title of the series. I feel it gives the whole series a frame and tone, and that it would be different and less 'unified' without.

Grandparents... I believe that there were many grandparent figures in the text. There would perhaps be room for one that would 'top' a powerful mother figure... bring them down a peg and provide a way for some of the female figures to feel part of their family again. But I agree with 'me' that family is not reliant on blood.

But then... I don't know what's in the next book yet!!!

Also - does anyone have an actual MBT?