Monday, December 06, 2010

Revelations from the Forum Roleplay

Been reading the roleplay going on over at the Forum and was delighted to find Wolf Blood's out-of-character comment as the story being told unfolded:

"(My mistake has turned into a plot element :D)"

I had to laugh in happy sympathy here, Welcome to my world! I could not help but thinking.

Such accidents are the stuff of writing.

Oh, and yes, I have a new poll - rather pertinent as momentum slowly gathers in me to begin a new text in the new year.

40 comments:

Anna said...

The poll,,,hmmm,,, well I´m torn between answer 2 and 3. The ending in book 3 is a bit heartbreaking in a way and it would be fun to follow europe and Rossamund more. But if there isn´t to be a bok 4 it´s ok too.
It would have nice to explore Threnody´s adventures or any other character, to learn more about the world from a different angle , too.

BrandenRose said...

haha it's interesting (and, admittedly, a little embarrassing) to know that everything I'm writing is being read by the far superior author who inspired it....

D.M. Cornish said...

It's good practice for you, for the times ahead when you have an editor combing through your error-riddled blood and sweat...;)

BrandenRose said...

Oh I already have that in a sort of way with my own stories...but it's friends and family reading it...though I'm always my toughest critic :)

Zakk said...

In regards to the poll:
I'd love to see the character Fouracres explored more.

BrandenRose said...

On the matter of the series (and I will try to stay away from spoilers, but some are inevitable) one lingering question I have on your writing style is your presentation of his dual nature. A certain monster lord said that he was equally human and monster...so why does he think living among people is more of a contradiction than living among monsters? Neither group really represents the fullness of who he is, yet he always seems to feel that he's more monster than human by his presented actions and a lot of his thoughts.

Alyosha said...

That's an interesting question. So, though I may well miss the mark, I'll give a fellow-outside-observer shot at answering. The same monster lord you reference also says "I was there to watch men arrive - born of the mud as we." So I'd guess that men were, at the first, just another variant of monster. Thus, while not all monsters are men, all men are yet monsters. That may be why even pure-blood humans can "eek" a life among the monsters, but monsters have trouble living among humans.

BrandenRose said...

That's an interesting perspective. Mi padre also put in that perhaps it was simply accentuated because of the whole newness of his condition to him...both excellent answers.

Darter Brown said...

He has lived all his life as an everyman and that world has rejected him.

He therefore naturally defines himself as what he is not and thus is left to clasp on to what remains, the monster life that may yet to be.

For our current view of his history, Rossamund is yet to test whether or not he truely belongs in the monster world either, so he may yet need to redefine himeself.

Alyosha said...

Too many good answers to know which is the right one! In any case, I agree with Darter that, if a fourth novel follows Rossamund's further adventures, life among monsters won't turn out to be all grins and giggles. And, Master Cornish (addressing you directly now, sir) that's a theme that might be fun to explore even if you don't continue writing about Rossamund. I'm very curious about what life is like in the "Sedorner" kingdoms. The top vote getter in a long ago post was making the next story a sailing adventure, so the hero or heroine would have a good excuse to get around. And I admit, that really is an attractive idea. But I think that an in-depth look at life in a Sedorner kingdom - with Rossamund or without - sounds even more interesting.

monday said...

poll: short stories! twould be a wonderful way to explore the smaller corners of the H-c further---without making you churn out novel after novel without relief until you are a hundred and four years old [though I am sure everyone here admits that they wouldn't mind that too much.]

Greg Mitchell said...

Poll: Book of Monsters!! I see that option is falling behind in the votes, but seeing this--fully illustrated, sir--would be fantastic!!

me said...

I originally picked the short stories option, but that graphic novel idea is really growing on me. I don't think there's any of us here who wouldn't like to see what you could do with a story, a few pens & a large quantity of ink.

Happy Christmas & New Year, Cap'n Cornish.

Ben Bryddia said...

SPOILERS AHEAD
Just finished reading Factotum last night. To think all this happened because Rossamund got on the wrong boat and later decided to go see a ram launched. My my, ironic fate at her best.

The sheer scale and variety of the setting and characters exceeded my expectations, just as Lamplighter did before it. It’s proof of the sheer scope of your world-building. I was especially pleased to see bits and pieces of all our conversations from the past two years made their way into the book. I noticed things like monster music, obsequines, belchpots, attitudes toward lazhars, and the folly of attacking a fulgar with a metal weapon.

I must say I was very pleased with the building momentum from chapter twenty-two to the end. It was delightful watching Europe scheme, doing so many things she would not do unless she was plotting some extreme action. These chapters neatly tied up the unresolved subplots in Book Two. I was still rather sad not to see the Book Two characters show up to help Rossamund win the day. Still, their appearances would be improbable and ultimately unnecessary; the lad can take care of himself now.

Looking at how Book Three ended, I don’t imagine a sequel is necessary or desirable. We would all like to know how the characters lived the rest of their lives, but such information must be pulled unnaturally from this natural ending place. In response to the pole, I’d advocate short stories or novels about other characters. Well done, sir. I’ll be watching to see where the Half-continent goes from here.

-Ben Bryddia

Anonymous said...

Quick question; does Europe have a last name?

Ben Bryddia said...

Another question:

What would a swordist do if, by some inclement twist of Providence, his sword broke?

-Ben

Brad Jackson said...

*Spoilers ahead*

I disagree with Ben Bryddia on whether or not there should be another book. As shown in the fall of the lamplighter's stronghold in book 3, some force seems to be collecting the malicious bogles and nickers for a more organized fight against everymen. The Sparrow Lord seems to be leading the resistance against this new force as Doctor Crispus seemed to indicate. Since Rossamund is now residing with the Sparrow Lord he would be at the forefront of this new conflict.

Aphrodine said...

As much as I want to hear about other stories set in the H-c, I'm just not ready to say goodbye to Rossamund yet.

...Then again, I might not be ready to say goodbye if there was a book four either!

[rumsibol - A substance made from steeping spices, herbs, or fruits in an alcoholic sugar byproduct. What we, in our world, would call extracts.]

Anonymous said...

I think it would be interesting to hear about what Rossamund would be like fully grown to adulthood. Would his monster side evolve or would he still be the same as he is now?

monday said...

I don't know if a fourth book about specifically Rossamund would be a good idea, actually...
Mr Cornish's characters are the kind that become unbelievably real in the reader's mind, and as such they feel ALIVE and therefore their stories are never really over until they die. [and even then there is still hope, probably...] Still, stories have to end somewhere. It's really hard when they are so good that you can just disappear into them, but it's the truth. Rossamund's tale, one feels, continues on for a very long time. However, this may be the right place for us to leave him.
*cries into handkerchief*

Carlita said...

I just finished Factotum and though I too cried at the end, saying good-bye to the characters for a last time, I agree that there maybe shouldn't be a fourth book. There are so many series that I read, some of which don't seem to end and wind up going from one of my favorite series to my least favorite.

For example, there's a series I'd read for about 10 years (roughly half my life) and finished 20 of the 22 books. I used to love the books, but now I'm feeling obligated to read them since I've already devoted so many years to reading them. This year, I had a lot of trouble deciding whether I should read the two newest books or read other books I'm interested in because I have precious little time for reading as it is. I just don't want that to happen with Rossamund and his stories and thought I'd throw out this disadvantage of a fourth (or more) book.

That said, I voted for the folio because I cannot get enough of the illustrations. I want to make them into huge posters and hang them all around my living space, wherever that may be.

monday said...

hahaaa I just now noticed in the What To Read Whilst Waiting goodreads sidebar thing way down there that Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell takes pride of place. I approve most wholeheartedly :D

also, varificon word is ancharim. I like it.

Who is this Writer? said...

Ok let's cut the crap and get right to the point: this series is NOT over! You can't create Europe and just be done with her after three books. She is a once-in-a-lifetime character. I mean it; you'll never create a better one. To put it bluntly: you just finished writing your "Hobbit." Now it is time to accept the fact that the whole process so far was to make you ready to write your "Lord of the Rings." Every character you introduced must choose a side as all Hell breaks loose in an epic struggle that will change the face of the H-c forever.
Sorry...I know you'd like to doodle and write an amusing little side-tale about a monster lord or something, but it's too late, man. Anything other than a sweeping epic resolving the relationships YOU CREATED is avoidance. Don't cheat us! Cities must burn, characters must die, and Rossamund must decide who he loves more: Threnody or Europe! I never write reviews and I never (ok, rarely) bug people on their blogs, but I know GREAT stuff when I read it. You'd be a fool to let these characters simply walk out of the accounts of men. Forget about writing a YOUNG ADULT tale (Book 3 already shrugged that off, anyway) and pull out the stops on the story. Trust me, every one of us is with you...

Alyosha said...

A lot of passionate and worthy suggestions about what should come next. And, as I've already posted, I have my own hopes about that. But truth is, I would probably buy and read whatever you write next, even if it's a Harlequin Romance set in the outback of Australia.

Zakk said...

I disagree with Who is This Writer?. I'm sure that likening Tolkein's work to MBT is a massive compliment to Mr. Cornish, but the Foundling-Lamplighter-Factotum trilogy is just that... a trilogy. There are entire chunks of the Half-Continent that haven't been written about, so he could write about a different character, in a different part of the H-c... 'The Hobbit' is about Bilbo Baggins, 'the Lord of the Rings' is about entirely different characters, in the same place at a different time. So, Who is This Writer, if this trilogy is Cornish's 'Hobbit', his 'Lord of the Rings' would have to be about other characters... it's time to let Rossamund go.

Snooze said...

I couldn't help but add my own point on the matter her. (Sorry for the terribly long post, but fear I have a lot to say)
once again, a spoiler alert. Just in case.

Okay, firstly, as Carlita said, a series that goes on and on, despite how great it is, is very annoying. This happened to me in a certain series (best not put names down) where the first three books were fantastic. But, the author refused to end the story, and kept on dragging out the plot as far as he could. Because of this he lost a very devoted reader (moi). If this were to happen to MBT I think I might die - hypothetically.

Okay so, in Factotum we see Rossamund go on his way to the monster world, and yes we do not know how he fits in here, we are not finished with the growing turmoil amongst monsters, or do we find out how Europe fares. But, to continue this story would be pointless. I personally don't think a monster's life would be as... complicated or interesting, as an everyman's. It is true that a lot could be told, but there would be so much 'filling' needed that the plot would get lost along the way. (just look at any movie that got good ratings, and then at how badly written the sequel is).

Furthermore, would it not be better to time-lapse. Rossamund is still a boy, and personally, being the fan girl that I am, I would love to see a superbly stronger, 18 year old Rossamund busting up some [naughty word] (please excuse my childish desires). Regardless though, I believe that to see Rossamund in the future, and be amazed by his growth from living (or not living) amongst monsters would be far more appetizing than going through the endless rigmarole of growing up.

But alas, I have a final thing to consider: Like what was originally theorized, Introduce a new (or reintroduce a) character, perhaps five, ten years in the future. By doing this, the character could be faced with the devastating changes to the H-C (or Brandenbrass region). By skipping the progression, we'll be thrown right into the middle of the turmoil and our eyes will be opened with awe at what we see.

Furthermore, through this character we might meet Europe, and most importantly meet a now grown up Rossamund - be him with the monsters, or by himself once more. (c'mon, just imagine Fouracres meeting a grown up Rossamund and instantly recognizing him. That would be an epic, emotional, bumblingly self conscious scene :3) And by working with this character, the new character's own problems create the 'filling' whilst the H-C's demise (or whatever else) is the bigger plot device. Using this method we still get to see Rossamund's development, but we don't have to be bored with the ever recurring problems that we know Rossamund already has.

Once again sorry for the lengthiness, I suck at speaking my horribly complicated mind. But either way, that is my two cents, and I really hope it makes sense (no intention at rhyming), and is full of wisdom. (also, I believe that a portfolio of monsters, or rather any pretend book that is mentioned in the series is a must. Whether it be worked on now, during, or after the next set of installments.)
Thanks for reading ^_^

Who is this Writer? said...

Whether or not you agree with the Tolkien comparison (and I realize I was treading on hallowed ground there), it is clear that no fan of MBT wishes to see the H-c fade away after 3 books. And I doubt it is Mr. Cornish's intention to let it do so. But how marvelous would it be to have Ross~ stride out of the wildlands as a grown man, ready to take part in the struggle now raging in the H-c? Especially if that struggle has swept up Threnody and Europe (thanks, Snooze, for the "flash-forward" idea). New characters would join the old ones, just as Gandalf and Gollum were joined by, well, you know who...
I do feel the MBT trilogy is complete. I am merely calling for another trilogy, an adult trilogy.
My understanding is that the other Inklings groaned every time J.R.R. broke out a new chapter of his hobbity epic to read. Might almost have been easier than wordy fans clamoring for more, eh?

Tommy said...

Hi! Just finished Factotum and my heart feels ripped. So many relationships, and I hate tragic endings... If there's ANY hope to see ANY of these people together again at ALL, I would want every crumb. SO a suggestion...

A possible idea is to approach another book, at least one, with a series of short stories that deal with many different things in the H-c, like some have suggested... but in these stories you could have Rossam[dotted u]nd coming in either periodically or regularly, making the story episodic. It could be a series of short stories that are all related by a greater story, that would still allow you to explore greater perspectives and illustrate SO MUCH of different parts of this world... especially with Who is this Writer?'s suggestion of a grand-sweeping epic. It would be a format that would allow you to go wild with a plot and still come back to focus on key characters... perhaps? Rossam[.u.]nd's story was only from his eyes; why not make another story from many others?

My two cents. First post on a site like this! Haha Forgive any mistaken appellations...

Anonymous said...

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Snooze said...

Hmm... Mr Anonymous, I don't think teeth whitening has much to do with the Half Continent at all.
Just saying.
And, just to relate this back to MBT - I didn't mention it in my far too big comment before but, I thoroughly enjoyed Factotum and the entire trilogy. So I must simply say thank you for writing so awesomely, and inspiring me every time I pick up your book Mr Cornish.

monday said...

'Investition' is my new word of the day. Thank you, anonymous spammer.

Carlita said...

I thought that the spammer wasn't smiling anymore and ready to die because MBT was done. Whoops! :D

Frogalogthe1st said...

I think "lumineers" should be the fan-club for the lamplighters. Although...

Wolf Blood said...

I feel truly honored that you would write about me in your blog, Cap'n. As for the poll, I would like to see the HC continue on in anyway you seem fit. What I would love, however, is a graphic encyclopedia. Or maybe a HC manga that's less serious than the books. Anyway, I'll continue reading almost anything you write.

BrandenRose said...

I must say, i love the idea of flashing forward, because there would be new material ripe for the finding out. Perhaps the current story is getting too tiresome, and we should move forward. One thing I do have to say, though, is that even the best things can be overused. Too many times an author will create this magical world, and I will love it, but whne a character's story is well and truly over, they will move on to their child or someone and keep writing and writing and writing until original brilliance is lost. However, in this case, I truly do think you could write a whole nother series a few years later and then there would be oh so much action to be had, in the great war between monster and everyman, that could e consuming the whole of the Empire's realm. Oh wow, now I really am hopeful for a new book (or maybe even dare I even allow myself to hope, series)
And so my very likely lacking in any sense or orderliness-y thoughts come to an end.

Dutchess of Butterflies said...

I am nearly killing myself deciding about the poll! D=
A part of me dearly wants to know what happens to Rossamund and another doesn't due to a great ending. Does Rossamund enter back into human life but not recoreded as Rossamund but someone else or does he sit on his back side drinking moster tea or does go on hunts. I want to know! and I don't!

Going Forward a generation or two and doing short stories from all sorts of points of views e.g Monster/human/ and so on.
Go where your heart takes you. :)

Saranzac said...

I suppose I have a word or two to say about this or that, but in the end, the only important thing ended up being where we, as a house hold, would wish the series to go. What a delicious assortment set on the table of directions and when asking around, the response was unanimous: A somewhat glazed look over the eyes that prefaces some drool and is quickly followed by a whine of, "But... why not all of them?"

Therefore, I (or we, I should say) agree with Duchess. Whatever is written, there is a definite fan base which will follow (in the manner of those who follow Pratchett and Wynne Jones, Miyazaki and Besson) no matter where the manufacturer leads. We can hardly, yet do not wish to, wait for the next adventure, whether it is H-c or some fully new direction to go. There is no doubt it will be a marvel and a fantastic journey. :)

Biting our nails and squirming in our seats until then,

The Household (Bob, Zach, Nuna, Molina, Kisa, and assorted)

Dragonea said...

Dear Mr. D.M.Cornish,

Thrilling, pragmatic, beguiling, and imaginative, your books are more than enchanting, they plunge me onto a breathless voyage in a whole new world, complete with a detailed background, developed characters with realistic personalities and hidden intents, as well as subtle yet evocative and poignant way of writing. It is clear the passion you posses for the Half Continent you’ve created. As well as your words, I also greatly enjoyed the illustrations, seeping a fascinating and diverse light onto the story. It is definitely a beauty.


Yet, I still wish to look further on Rossamund’s story. Why? When a reader sets out on an adventure in opening a book’s cover, they are soon attached with the main character, and as the story cultivates a relationship begins to form from the reader to that person. From MBT’s first novel to Factotum, barely a year has passed, and Rossamund’s story surely goes farther than a year? And how about Europe? What of their relationship together? In fact you developed Rossamund’s character so well, that I don’t believe he would discard the human world just because of danger, even if it were dire and forget about his human friends. Thus the story must continue!


Along with it, you may possibly consider expanding on Rossamund’s history. Yes, the readers understand that he is a rossamanderling, but who was he before that? And why does the Duke of Sparrows take such an intent interest in him? These are perplexing questions that can be developed into something greater. I thank you for reading this, and please consider my comments on your series.


I will be waiting for the fourth book with anticipation.

P.S. Introducing us to more of the Monster Lords would be captivating!

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