|Reviews for The Continuing Adventures of Martin the Turd|
| allthingsbright chapter 1 . 8/28/2011
Martin sounds a bit like me. I would never fit in Redwall, sadly. :(
It's a good story. I love it! :D
| Highwing chapter 5 . 6/12/2011
To address a couple of your points, Sam:
In the original version, Cyril was hardly introduced from out of nowhere; he was in it from the beginning, and many of his scenes translated into the final version practically word for word, since he had little interaction with the canon characters other than Tim (who became Geoff) and Auma (who became Maura).
And no, Cyril never made it to Salamandastron. Remember the scene where Rafter joins the marchers and strolls with them for awhile? In the original version, he was dispatched to alert Urthblood that a runaway Cyril was with the troops, so I'm not sure Cyril even made it as far as Ninian's before his discovery. (I think Alex and Mina were part of Cyril's retrieval as well, having raced through the treetops to overtake Urthblood's army, but it's been so many years since I last read that ... )
So, to answer one of your final comments, there really ARE no other outtakes from the first draft of "TCB"; this is pretty much it. Nearly every other scene made it into the final version, although naturally a number had to be altered to accommodate the new characters.
Thanks for the comments!
| Samadhir chapter 5 . 6/12/2011
And for the final chapter of the ”Martin the Turd” outtakes, we start with the Winokur/Cyril scene from chapter 22, except with Martin instead of Winokur. I’m a little puzzled by how suddenly Cyril seems to have been introduced in the story; did you already have him in mind for when you wrote the early chapters, or was he mainly introduced after Martin started to fade from importance, as a kind of substitute? I read the scene side by side with the finished version and I liked the bellringer mouse’s opposite appraisal of Martin’s and Winks knowledge of the matter, with Martin being locked into his room and Winokur having been right there when things went down with Hanchett. Very interesting angle with Martin, the son of Mattimeo who everyone expected would take up the sword of his namesake, has absolutely no interest in becoming a warrior while Cyril, the bellringer whom no-one thinks will ever be anything else, desperately wishes for that occupation. It’s a fun angle that’s completely absent from the finished version.
I understand why you might have felt less enthusiastic about Martin after his introduction in the official Redwall books, since they’re direct opposites, but I still don’t think you should have felt it impossible to continue writing it as you did, or to have Martin shrink in importance. Like I said, even though it’s based on characters from the BJ novels, it’s still your story, and you don’t have to be chained to their portrayal in canon, especially not since you wrote this before the Martin’s appearance in The Pearls Of Lutra. That and I really like Martin as he appears here, so it’s kinda sad that he had to be cut from the finished version. But I still think it was a good idea to not base the story on existing characters from the books, so maybe it was just as well.
Also, from the scene between Auma and Martin in the belltower, it appears that Cyril actually managed to follow Jans and Broggen to Salamandastron in this version! Man, that would’ve awesome to see!
And Martin is the only one to have a lock on his door? Great way to illustrate his anti-social nature. And I must admit that I actually loved him when he gave his open opinion on hares because, to be honest, I do share a bit of that sentiment, at least in regard to the Long Patrol ones.
Although he apparently becomes a little more social and friendly toward the end, he basically remains the same lonely, sullen little brat we’ve come to know and love over these five chapters. I do appreciate that you didn’t go the obvious route of having him “discover” his warrior nature later in the novel. I like how he sticks with his anti-war mentality until the end.
It has been lovely to read these outtakes, Wing. I really appreciate you taking the time to compile and publish them. To be honest, some of scenes hinted at other major differences between this and the finished version that I would love to see. I hope that you might some day post some of the other chapters or outtakes from the early version of The Crimson Badger. I really liked the character of Martin and it would’ve been fun to have someone like him in TCB, though it probably have more than enough characters already.
Great job, Wing, as always. Looking forward to The Shrew War with great anticipation.
| Samadhir chapter 4 . 6/12/2011
I guess it must be an unusual occurrence for Mattimeo to stand watch over his son without it degenerating into the slinging of chastisements and insults between them. Kind of refreshing in a way; maybe Martin should get prophetic bouts of epilepsy more often. Not that there’s much “prophetic” power from his fainting spell, since he doesn’t remember anything of it.
That’s a very interesting conversation there between Mattimeo and Matthias. From what I can gather, this is where the whole “a seer clouds the sight of past seers” issue was originally brought up, much earlier than in the finished version, and not in the form of a verse but simply through the speculations of the two mice. I also get the vibe that Urthblood was originally meant to be more clearly “dark” and threatening, and the signs of him being a villain were more obvious, rather than the ambiguity surrounding him in TCB. That’s what I like about this series (besides Martin Cobain himself, of course); all the glimpses of the creative process and different interpretations of the various characters.
It’s nice to see that Sister May and Martin are able to form some kind of bond at least. Really bad manners by Auma as she leads the children away, though of course Martin himself has acted like a bastard for quite some time.
And damn! Martin must be REALLY unpopular if the otters are actually CELEBRATING that he’ll have to stay in bed! I would’ve paid good money to see Abellon getting to meet Redwall’s “Third Warrior”; he would have been so disappointed…
The most important scene is of course the meeting between Martin and his father where they discuss their impressions of Urthblood. Lovely to see that they’re able to get along with each other. It’s another sign that the badger was supposed to be more ominous in the earlier version. In TCB, most of the Redwaller’s suspicion and anxiety around him was due to their prejudice of vermin. Here however, Martin gives a much more level-headed account of why Urthblood might spell trouble for the abbey, and actively try to pervert their peaceful ways in order to serve him in battle. In the finished version, the only ones who seriously put forth this fear was Urthfist and his Long Patrols, and they were hardly a very reliable bunch.
This is a truly great insight into the making of TCB, Wing. Next up is the last chapter; I hope it will be as enjoyable as the previous ones.
| Samadhir chapter 3 . 6/11/2011
Ah, I see what you did here! This is an earlier version of the conversation between, eh… Geoff and Aurelia in chapter 7 of TCB (had to look that one up). I haven’t really commented much on the different versions of the scenes of the finished novel and MTT; guess I’ll get that opportunity now.
Neither have I commented much on Urthblood’s character and his interactions with Martin. Again, I have to give the mouse some respect for not bowing down and get intimidated by the badger. Especially considering how he blatantly states that he’s supposed to be a warrior, just because his father and grandfather happened to be one. Let me lead my own life, you badger bastard!
I assume that there was a scene in between Urthblood leaving Martin’s room and the mouse appearing at the Cavern Hole meeting. I can’t imagine we were to be told of the badger’s amazing revelation second-hand. I think things moved a little to fast here; with Martin being introduced into the council so late and having been informed of Urthblood’s plans to put his vermin under arms, he should have been more visibly surprised and contrary. It was indeed beneficial to the scene’s pace and mood the way it was rewritten.
I kinda hate Urthblood simply commenting on that only a “non-warrior” would say such a thing to Martin’s completely valid concerns. So a “true warrior” would just stand by and accept such a monumental proposal without protest or doubt? It almost came across as “Well… you’re stupid, Mr Poopy-Pants!”-statement!
And I’m kinda puzzled by why Urthblood would want Martin to be on the council. Just because he’s the descendant of two famous warriors? In that case he must have really made a bad impression on Urthblood to convince him, who was all “You have the blood of warriors in your veins, and destiny must never be denied!”, to just deadpan suggest that no, he will probably never be a fighting beast.
But the mood suddenly changes when the mouse gets a prophetic seizure when grasping the badgerlord’s sword! “Destroyer”, eh? What can that mean? (Probably nothing, as this is a discarded earlier version.) I rather hope that it DOESN’T mean that Martin Cobain is going to be a warrior after all; it feels a bit clichéd, and since I like his dislike of fighting and warriors, it would feel something of a letdown for the bloodlust to suddenly arise in him after all. Though again, this doesn’t matter now since he was cut from the finished version of TCB.
And… “Wunner wot 'ee see'd?" Cripes, the mole accent was apparently even more annoying in this old version. I guess it was a time to make it unclear, to write off lines that don’t make a sense…
| Samadhir chapter 2 . 6/10/2011
Martin Cobain heads out for a bit solitary grousing in the forests. Understandable of course, since even the children mock him. And meanwhile, overhead, a bird of prey is circulating across the skies, as if waiting for some kind of signal. Will it be important…?
Probably not, as this is just an outtake of an old draft.
Very interesting tidbit that Winokur’s mother was originally in the script, and was a character from the official novels to boot. And “Waronkur”, eh? Since it appears six times, all spelled the same, I assume that was his original name. Glad you switched the n and the o; a small change that makes it sound so much better.
And poor Matthias, remembering his Cornflower. I do have to ask though; Cornflower apparently passed away peacefully in her sleep, and that was at least a couple of seasons. While Matthias is indeed old, he’s not “ancient” (whatever that would be in Redwall terms), and Cornflower was the same age as him, so she can’t have died of old age. I guess it was some kind of heart condition or other complications that come from entering your elder years.
After an entire night outside in the storm, Mattimeo is indeed justified in felling concern for his son, despite his earlier behaviour. Curious detail about Sam’s “fishskin” raincoat; I don’t think we ever see that in the finished Urthblood stories. And again, wearing the skin of CERTAIN creatures is apparently completely okay. Ah well; It’s okay to eat fish, ‘Cause they don’t have any feelings…
Luckily, they don’t have to go far since Martin has been sleeping outside the gate with it being locked. And he immediately has to act like his titular nickname by complaining about his father not keeping the gate open; you know, you could show some appreciation for them organizing a search party for you!
After having been outside all night in the storm, he must be dowsed in mud. Probably needs to be soaked in bleach as well. And I think we can share a bit of the Redwallers delight at all the nasty medicines Sister May will have to force on him, hehe.
And who locked the gate? Was it Urthblood? Droge? Vengeful hair metal bands? Some things will truly have to remain a mystery…
| Samadhir chapter 1 . 6/10/2011
Okay, so we’ll see each other before The Shrew War; so sue me. Well, I did state that I was going to review your other stories in the build-up to TSW, and this is one of them. I love the idea of showing “outtakes” from how the story was originally written; I’d like to see more of that in the future, both from you and other great fanfic writers. Since this is basically a disjointed excerpt from the TCB original draft that focuses on the character of Martin, I will focus on the character himself rather than the actual events of the story, though those will of course also be mentioned.
I love Martin! I really do. It might seem strange considering how moody, sullen and anti-social he’s portrayed as, but I really like him. You did a great job here writing him, and I’m actually rather disappointed that he, or some character based on him, didn’t make the cut into the final version of TCB. I do think I detect a little bit of Cyril in him, the main difference being that Cyril is eager to become a warrior while Martin despise the prospect of war. That and being an enormous asshole.
But yeah, I think he’s very well-written. You both love him and want to kill him, just like Mattimeo does. He’s basically a very moody and contrary teenager, sort of like a Nineties Generation X, except furry and pseudo-medieval. If there was a Redwall universe equivalent to Kurt Cobain, I think Martin would’ve been a fan. Or maybe he’d actually BE the Cobain equivalent; rather than becoming a warrior, he’ll create his own grunge band with a clinically depressed rat as bassist and a pot-smoking mole as drummer, hehe! (Though I hope he doesn’t shoot himself with a crossbow in young adulthood, though!)
Even though he does choose a very rude and disrespectful way of showing it, I truly understand his frustration and anger both with being given the name of Redwall’s founder and all the expectations that follow with them, and why he would hate having the season named the Summer of Three Warriors, implying that he’s the third warrior. I’m sure Mattimeo meant well and only wanted to make his son proud of being the centre of attention, but to saddle him with other beasts hope that he will become a warrior when that’s the last thing he wants is rather unwise.
I do notice that we never actually see the Nameday celebration; that would have been very interesting. Was it never shown in the original draft, or was it cut from these outtakes?
The best part of this chapter was the one where he confronts his father and mother in the abbess’ study. Very good description of how he’s gotten so used to being upbraided and scolded that he doesn’t really care anymore. I feel both for Martin, being expected to become something he never wants to be, and for Mattimeo who’s been trying all his life to raise him into a decent, kind and happy son, only for him to be so antagonistic and sullen.
But what really caught my interest was Martin’s comment that his father wants other beasts to suffer and die in a war just so that he can prove himself. This is a very interesting thing to say, and despite his rudeness, I actually felt a bit of respect for him when he said that. You see, often, both in the Redwall books and in fantasy literature in general, people talk about going to war as a way to build character, and the vocation of warrior as the noblest occupation that you can strive for. But in doing so, they seem to forget that war isn’t some grand adventure or innocent, honest effort of toiling and working to learn new skills and grow as a person; war is a terrible, bloody thing where countless people suffer and lose their lives or that of friends and loved ones. Martin understands this. He doesn’t want to become a warrior because he’s unsure of himself or convinced that he will only remain a lowly bellringer; he truly hates the prospect of war and doesn’t want other creatures to die, whether friends and enemies, just so that he will “develop” himself. That earns a lot of admiration from me, regardless of his other characteristics. Respect, my little Generation X;er transferred into the body of a mouse in a pseudo-medieval fantasy world, respect!
Tess is kind and wise in encouraging Martin to find his own path and not demanding that he should live up to a name he didn’t choose or to follow a vocation he finds distasteful. And here is probably where I dislike Martin the most, where he just sits emotionless as he watches his mother’s tears and then leaves the room as if he’s just had a discussion of the gardening duties he’s supposed to attend to that morning. I really hope he’s more emotionally affected on the inside than he appears on the outside.
Very good chapter, Wing, and great idea to show us these outtakes. I really look forward to reading and reviewing more.
| Killy-S chapter 5 . 6/2/2011
Again, thank you for posting this.
I kinda wished you have written TCB post Mattimeo.
In this last segment I really liked that bit with Martin and Cyril conversing.
| Sgt. Sporky chapter 5 . 6/2/2011
Aye, if only. He's so... Emo. To the point of ridiculousness.
It's been a helluva time reading these. Best of luck, ol' chap.
| Killy-S chapter 4 . 6/2/2011
I enjoyed this chapter.
You really do start to feel for Martin. Sure, he's a bit of a pain in the rear end but the Abbey folk are really not helping the situation.
thank you for sharing.
| Sgt. Sporky chapter 4 . 6/1/2011
Martin, you're a clever little bugger. Angsty, selfish, disrespectful, antisocial little bugger, but clever. Even I wouldn't be comfortable around Urthblood for long, truth be told. I don't even think Martin would...
| RiversOtter chapter 3 . 5/31/2011
Aye, I 'wunner wot 'ee see'd' too... Interesting.
| Killy-S chapter 3 . 5/31/2011
I really enjoyed Sister May in this bit. I love how obnoxious Martin can be at times. And I enjoy how harelike you developed Cheek to be. Urthblood at the door was a neat little sequence too.
| Sgt. Sporky chapter 3 . 5/31/2011
Yes, what did he see, Comrade? What did he see? Update soon, Wing.
| Sgt. Sporky chapter 2 . 5/30/2011
Right as rain? "Bad pun is bad"- Cormag. (Actually, I'm not sure if that counts as a pun)
Ahem. Most excellent, yes... Update soon! Ah, who am I kidding? You update daily.