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Lorendiac

I remember that a few years ago, when I started poking around in the "Lord of the Rings" fandom on this site, I was very surprised at the discovery that there was a thriving subgenre of LotR fanfics which were commonly called "Tenth Walker stories." Sometimes it would say "10th Walker" in the summary, so that any prospective readers would get the point right away.

The idea being that Tolkien's group of hardy adventurers, the Fellowship of the Ring, originally consisted of nine "Walkers" who set out from Rivendell, and in the fanfic, there's simply a tenth member tagging along with the major canonical figures. They still visit some or all of the same scenic spots along the way -- the mines of Moria, Lady Galadriel's home in Lorien, the big battle at Helm's Deep, etc.

I simply wouldn't have done it that way. For one thing, when a "fanfic" swipes huge chunks of the plot (if not of the actual text) from the original material, it gives me the impression that there's not going to be much in the way of "new and different material" here. If I wrote a lengthy serial along those lines, I'd expect it to be largely ignored by other fans on that basis.

But what do I know? I gather that some LotR fans greatly enjoy reading and reviewing such efforts by their peers.

So I'm just asking: Has anyone on this forum ever done something along "Tenth Walker" lines -- not necessarily in the LotR fandom -- by more-or-less "rewriting a canonical story" to insert one or more OCs as new ingredients in the old plot? If so, can you give me some insight into exactly why you felt that was the right way to develop the story you wanted to tell?

5/2/2012 #1
AbCarter

I've never actually done a 10th walker kind of thing. But I've seen them in other fandoms.

I once read a very good one where a new character was added to canon events. Or to be more specific: the first chapter was very good. In this story the events of Torchwood's first episode play out the same, but there is a new character behind the scenes. She only appears in scenes that likely took place between the scenes that were show on TV.

I thought that was a brilliant take on the "add new character to canon events" type of story. The way the author did it made her story mesh with canon very well. Sadly, the author wanted more of a lime light for ther character and started inserting her in scenes that made it to the screen in later chapters. And that just didn't work. You can't have the same scene with an extra person in it. Because as soon as (on of the) other characters acknowledges there is the extra character, it's a different scene. And if the other characters don't acknowledge the new character, it's just weird.

Anyway, that story's still running and by now has covered all of Torchwood and some Doctor Who episodes (I just checked the chapter titles). There are some dedicated followers to that story. But I stopped reading after chapter three or four.

To some up: I like the behind the scene sort of thing. It can mesh with canon very well. And you don't see it so often.

I don't like the blantant insertion. It's usually done badly.

As to your question why it is done at all: because the author wants their character to be close to the canon characters and share their important moments with them. I don't think much thought went into thinking about that plot. Or characterisation. Otherwise the authors would have realised that adding a character to a scene is going to change the dynamics, or at least, I hope that would be the realisation.

5/2/2012 #2
Lorendiac

I've never actually done a 10th walker kind of thing. But I've seen them in other fandoms.

Believe me, I've seen them in other fandoms too. For instance, when I later looked at the local fanfics based on the two "Fantastic Four" movies, I was startled to see HOW MANY stories were plotted on the basis of "My OC is a cute teenage girl who is up on that space station, alongside the major canonical figures, when they are exposed to Mysterious Cosmic Radiation which later causes them to start developing nifty superpowers!"

But I decided to keep my initial post simple by summarizing what "Tenth Walker" means to diehard LotR fanficcers -- since that was what first caught my attention in this area.

I once read a very good one where a new character was added to canon events. Or to be more specific: the first chapter was very good. In this story the events of Torchwood's first episode play out the same, but there is a new character behind the scenes. She only appears in scenes that likely took place between the scenes that were show on TV.

I thought that was a brilliant take on the "add new character to canon events" type of story. The way the author did it made her story mesh with canon very well. Well, I see "filling in gaps behind the (canonical) scenes" as a totally different animal from "rewriting canonical scenes to allow for the involvement of an extra participant."

In one approach, as you pointed out, the new material may not contradict any details of the old stories in any way, shape, or form. The reader may just nod and say, "Yeah, that fits pretty well with what we already know -- I can see that happening at moments when we weren't watching over those people's shoulders!"

In the other version, the contradictions are glaringly obvious.

Heck, I remember a time when I wrote a two-chapter short story that supposedly happened "between the scenes" of one episode of the "Justice League Unlimited" cartoon. One scene in that episode had ENDED with two superheroes, Huntress and Question, about to go on a date. (Huntress had used extortion tactics to get Question to "voluntarily" invite her to share dinner and a movie with him.) Then the focus shifted to other characters for a while. The next time we saw those two lovebirds onstage, it was stated to be DAYS later, so we literally knew NOTHING about what had happened on the actual date! (Strictly speaking, you could argue that we didn't even know if the date really happened, or if some sudden emergency might have forced them to cancel their plans.)

I simply "filled the gap." There was nothing in my story that contradicted any canonical detail of "what we definitely know" about the characters and events of the fictional universe in question ("the DCAU").

So you might say that my fanfic, although happening "simultaneously with" that canonical episode, was merely "supplementing" the source material -- as opposed to "competing" with it by trying to charm my target audience into saying that my version was "better" than the canonical version of how something had happened!

(Come to think of it, "supplementing without contradicting" is what MOST of my fanfic tries to do, in one way or another -- although most of my stories are not literally set "between the scenes" of a single episode.)

5/2/2012 . Edited 5/2/2012 #3
The Lauderdale

The idea being that Tolkien's group of hardy adventurers, the Fellowship of the Ring, originally consisted of nine "Walkers" who set out from Rivendell, and in the fanfic, there's simply a tenth member tagging along with the major canonical figures. They still visit some or all of the same scenic spots along the way -- the mines of Moria, Lady Galadriel's home in Lorien, the big battle at Helm's Deep, etc.

The response, of course, is "Not always." There is certainly a trend, because a lot of Tenth Walker writers are younger or newer writers. I think they probably don't want to deviate greatly from the events in the original story. After all, they enjoyed those events. Their Tenth Walker character becomes a proxy for personal participation. "Just along for the ride."

For those stories that visit "all of the same scenic spots" and just render scenes word for word as they were in the books (or more usually the movies), with the only change being the addition of the character who steals some or much of the canon characters' dialogue ("You shall not pass," "I am no man," "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future," etc.) - eh, I feel much as you do. For stories that visit "some" of the same scenic spots (and don't lift large glaring chunks of Tolkien's text), that makes sense to me. An AU isn't necessarily going to diverge immediately. After all, travel plans the characters made were made for a reason, and they wouldn't automatically change because there's a 10th Walker along. Or what if the Walker joins later, after some of the canonical sites have already been hit? Etc.

There's an author I enjoy, Zoop, who writes a lot of Tenth Walker stories (indeed, her latest involves an OC named Tanith Walker - I haven't read it yet, but I'm already laughing at the name). However, her protagonists inevitably say "Screw you" to the main cast and Tolkien's grand storyline, and go hang out with some Orkish OCs instead. In other words, she tends to sidestep the other paradigm in favor of one of her own making.

So, there are the stories you describe, and then there are all the other Tenth Walker stories.

I speak, never having written a Tenth Walker in my life. ;) The closest I came to doing something like what you describe, actually, was a fusion crossover that I wrote some years back. I think I've mentioned it here before. It was called "Red Duck," and it put characters from the Disney cartoon Darkwing Duck in scenarios from the British comedy/sci-fi Red Dwarf, specifically the first episode of the latter, which was called "The End.""

In short, I rewrote the story by replacing all of the characters from one show with characters from another.

I put a lot of effort into this story, and went to great lengths to find appropriate DW-style alternatives for many of the original gags. While I employed a fair amount of ingenuity in doing this, I was left wondering later about what it actually accomplished. Ultimately, all of the same notes were hit, the same pacing was followed, the same scenarios played out, the same character interactions were established. Everything was changed, and yet beneath the changes it was all exactly the same.

Interesting as a novelty. But kind of "meh."

5/2/2012 . Edited 5/2/2012 #4
pyrrhicvictoly

Their Tenth Walker character becomes a proxy for personal participation.

Yes, that's exactly the feeling I get! The Tenth Walker-type characters are inevitably some sort of self-insert or author avatar because they love the original storyline and wish they had been there.

I haven't read any actual LotR Tenth Walker fics, but I've come across lots of them in other fandoms. The "sixth pilot" was a staple in Gundam Wing fandom, and it always made me want to facepalm. Unlike in LotR where you could plausibly slip in another character on the journey, there is just... just no room for a sixth pilot. There are five space colonies because there are five Lagrange points around the Earth. To add a sixth colony wouldn't only destroy canon, but all of physics as well. That's not even getting into how the pilots are named after the numbers of the Lagrange points, or how a sixth pilot technically exists in canon. Someone was already named after the number six, and he totally did pilot a Gundam even though he was a bad guy at the time. To make matters worse, the sixth pilot in fanfic is usually a girl who ends up romantically involved with one of the canon team members. I would applaud their efforts to even out the gender ratio among the pilots, except that canon wasn't really sexist in the first place. There are plenty of strong women, soldiers and politicians alike. They just didn't happen to be in that particular team. I don't even want to think about the realistic consequences of putting in one teenage girl with five teenage boys, four of whom were messed up in the head from growing up as child soldiers, during wartime, when tensions are high and they could die at any moment, etc.

Meh. I've never written those types of fics before, and my personal experience with them has been bad. Maybe if it was a series that was a little more loose in terms of who could join the canon team, I could see good fics being written with that kind of premise. I wouldn't want to write them myself, though.

5/2/2012 #5
Fisherella

I'm sort of dealing with this sort of thing (sort of), since I have been greatly inspired by a character who is a canon character of my fandom, but only for one episode. So far my fanfics have been one that continues that episode, and others that continue to play off of that idea, the one time character becoming regular. The tv show its based on is rather luxurious for fanfic since it is not big on continuity at all, and surreal, but even so, I like to slip the scenes I write in between events that may have happened in the show, not running them over. Though I have toyed with the idea of taking certain situations from the show, inserting the character, and playing with the idea and how it may turn out differently, but I haven't actually done that. As far as OCs in fanfic go, I prefer them to make sense and be necessitated by the story. When they're put in there for the author's own pleasure only, it's rather apparent. I Love LOTR but haven't ventured to read its fanfic (Mainly cause the series itself is so enormous and I have trouble enough keeping all the characters and events straight without throwing in other stories). Generally I prefer fanfic that takes those characters we adore so much and gives them another adventure that we can enjoy when we've drained all we can out of the book/movie/show/vaudeville performance, etc. I think if I read something that rehashed the author's work word for word, I'd lose interest pretty quick.

5/2/2012 #6
cathrl

My fandom has a "tenth walker" equivalent. They're G-6, the (insert cool bird codename here), in a team which canonically has G-1 the Eagle through G-5 the Owl.

And it really doesn't work, not where they're plugged into existing storylines. But that generally isn't what's done. People tend to add them to the team in new stories, normally set after canon ends. That's what I did, at least, though I never have six people in the team. I invalided one of the canons out and wrote about how the rest of the team dealt with having a newcomer. Badly, was the answer.

The thing with Tenth Walker stories is that they have to be in the existing storyline, because that's the only time that the Nine Walkers exist.

Edit:

I don't even want to think about the realistic consequences of putting in one teenage girl with five teenage boys, four of whom were messed up in the head from growing up as child soldiers, during wartime, when tensions are high and they could die at any moment, etc.

The fun thing is that my fandom has four teenage boys and one teenage girl in pretty much that situation as canon. It's one of the precursors of Gundam - it's the original five canons each with their own craft anime. Yes, making it remotely realistic is a challenge...

5/2/2012 . Edited 5/2/2012 #7
Lorendiac

There's an author I enjoy, Zoop, who writes a lot of Tenth Walker stories (indeed, her latest involves an OC named Tanith Walker - I haven't read it yet, but I'm already laughing at the name). However, her protagonists inevitably say "Screw you" to the main cast and Tolkien's grand storyline, and go hang out with some Orkish OCs instead. In other words, she tends to sidestep the other paradigm in favor of one of her own making.

Well, there's something of a difference between a "significantly divergent AU" and a story that still hits most of the major plot points of the previous version. I am also inclined to make allowances for something that is clearly meant as PARODY. (I, myself, have been known to write some scathing parodies of "classic stories" -- sometimes in the form of a script for a Mad Magazine-style treatment, similar to what Mad has spent decades doing to hit movies such as each installment of "Star Wars.")

In fact, you've reminded me of something else -- it might be called an LotR AU, but it wasn't a "Tenth Walker" story because no extra characters had been added to the mix.

A long time ago the comic book "Dork Tower" released a special edition collecting a bunch of humor strips the cartoonist had done over the years about his main characters (a group of roleplayers) and the Lord of the Rings. (The books, the movies, the attempts to roleplay the campaign from the books, etc.)

Been ages since I refreshed my memory of that issue, but one strip went something like this (right after the players had been assigned their canonical roles from the early chapters of the Lord of the Rings, and were supposed to meet at Rivendell soon):

KEN: So I'm playing Gandalf, right?

MATT (the GM): Right.

KEN: And a giant eagle has just carried me away from Isengard, headed north, right?

MATT: Right.

KEN: Okay. All I have to do is ask the Eagle to stick close until I link up with Frodo and the ring. Then the Eagle FLIES us down to Mordor, we toss the ring into the volcano, and it's game over!

MATT: Uh . . . What?

KEN: Hey, let's face it: The Nazgul are still stuck on the ground at this point, riding black horses, and Mordor seems seriously LACKING in anti-aircraft defenses!

(A minute later, after Ken had made one or two successful rolls of dice to prove this was working out, I think Matt collapsed with a nervous breakdown as the cumulative results of all his months of work to prepare a detailed Middle-Earth campaign in the group's favorite RPG system were suddenly going down the drain after about five minutes of play time . . .)

5/3/2012 . Edited 5/3/2012 #8
BlueSunflower
The TV show Lost did this in its third season. Several key scenes from seasons one and two were reshown, only to reveal that off to the side, these two brand new season three characters had apparently been there as well - but just out of camera range. My favorite comment I saw about was "So it turns out that Nikki and Paolo basically Forest Gumped their way through the show". :)
5/3/2012 #9
Lorendiac

I never got into "Lost," but I'll play devil's advocate by defending its producers anyway!

As I understood it, there were supposed to be several dozen survivors from a plane crash -- not just, for instance, a hard-and-fast number of "seven stranded castways," as on "Gilligan's Island."

I always took it for granted that this was done to deliberately leave the producers with the OPTION of having a "new character" pop up at ANY time -- even though he hadn't gotten any dialogue in any previous episode.

5/3/2012 #10
cathrl

The TV show Lost did this in its third season. Several key scenes from seasons one and two were reshown, only to reveal that off to the side, these two brand new season three characters had apparently been there as well - but just out of camera range.

And then there's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which gave Buffy a previously unseen younger sister at the start of series five.

There turns out to be an explanation for it, but for many episodes it's presented as "yup, she's been there all along folks, what do you mean you didn't know?"

5/3/2012 #11
AbCarter
Ay, it made for a nice change from TV shows were siblings appear in one or two episodes and then disappear never to be seen or spoken of again.
5/3/2012 #12
The Lauderdale

Well, there's something of a difference between a "significantly divergent AU" and a story that still hits most of the major plot points of the previous version.

I think I pretty much agreed with this in my post. ;)

I am also inclined to make allowances for something that is clearly meant as PARODY. I make allowances for anything that works. Zoop's stories include some tongue-in-cheek elements, including parodic ones, but they're not strictly speaking parody. Sometimes they can be downright grim. She moves at a fairly even keel between the serious and the irreverent. Makes the BAMF conventions fun again, but does it with a straight face.

5/3/2012 #13
Lorendiac

And then there's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which gave Buffy a previously unseen younger sister at the start of series five.

There turns out to be an explanation for it, but for many episodes it's presented as "yup, she's been there all along folks, what do you mean you didn't know?"

I own thousands of superhero comic books. In them, variations of that approach happen all the time -- and it can get incredibly annoying. A writer spontaneously decides to introduce us to a well-established character's "long-lost and never previously mentioned" sibling, child, parent, ex-spouse, or whatever.

We're not just talking about cases where the canonical character himself was unaware of the existence of such a close relative, still alive and well, until he was, say, 25 or 30 years old -- although that's also been done to death! (As has the idea of "I'm your descendant coming from the future to meet you in your prime!") No, we're talking about cases where the canonical character allegedly has known all along, but NEVER got around to mentioning the person's very existence to his friends, teammates, current Significant Other, etc.! (Or sometimes it is retconned in that his friends had known "all along" that he had a daughter -- but nobody had ever mentioned it in our hearing before.)

To be fair, sometimes it's clear that the writer is deliberately mocking that cliche. There was a time in the 1960s when Matt Murdock (Marvel's superhero Daredevil) was painfully aware that his law partner (Foggy Nelson) and their cute blond secretary (Karen Page, on whom Matt had a crush) were both becoming suspicious about certain indications of a close connection between Matt and the mysterious Daredevil. Matt's primary protection was the well-known fact that he was blind, but if they kept thinking about it hard enough, they might eventually figure out he had superhuman senses which allowed him to compensate for that minor handicap.

That's when he finally said: "Hey, I never told you guys about my long-lost identical twin brother, MIKE Murdock, whose eyesight is still 20/20! Frankly, I think he's Daredevil! He's just the type!" [Or words to that effect.]

This was initially greeted with the skepticism it richly deserved. Foggy Nelson (who had been Matt's college roommate for years, and had never before heard of Matt having ANY siblings) said: "You're a lawyer, Matt. You KNOW how flimsy this sounds!"

So Matt arranged for them to meet "Brother Mike," and went to great trouble to convince them that Mike had good eyesight, a much more brash and flirtatious manner, different taste in clothes (loud sports jackets, etc.) and was "obviously" a whole different person! I believe that awkward (but amusing) masquerade continued for a couple of years before Matt finally decided it was time to let "Brother Mike" die heroically in a terrible explosion or something . . . (he was thinking of giving up the entire "Daredevil" role at the time, but that part didn't pan out.)

5/3/2012 . Edited 11/10/2012 #14
The Lauderdale

Buffy's sister is a Cosmic Retcon. I say this based on what I've heard, since I haven't actually watched Season 5. (Yet. I'm in the middle of watching all of Buffy chronologically for the first time, and am just on the last disk of Season 4.)

5/3/2012 #15
J Linz

I'm new to the language of fanfics so I'm assuming that you're talking about simply putting an extra character in a fav fandom. I'm thinking I've done that hence the reason why I'm not getting any reviews! :( But, yes: my story is majorly based off of Justice League Unlimited episodes. There are a couple of scenes that I have deleted as well as not use ALL of the episodes (just a few of my favorites) but my OC has been inserted as an extra character in all of the scenes (for those familiar with Justice League Unlimited, I wrote about The Once and Future Thing episodes and the only differences was that my OC was the extra person, I skipped a lot of dialogue and that I added another slight OC- I don't like doing spoilers so I'll leave it at that)!

The reason why I felt that this was the way to develop the story was... well, it's because I am a huge fan of Justice League! When I created my character, I had no idea that I would simply plug her into Justice League and Marvel scenes: I really wanted it to be an original story. But the idea of her working with the likes of Spider-Man, Batman and Justice League as a whole was something that I didn't want to pass up. The one thing that I didn't want to do was to make her one of the founding members of Justice League; just another Justice League member.

5/3/2012 #16
The Lauderdale

I'm new to the language of fanfics so I'm assuming that you're talking about simply putting an extra character in a fav fandom.

A little more specific, actually: more than just putting an original character in a favorite fandom, Lorendiac is talking about adding an original character in a redo of a canonical scenario. He gives the example of "Tenth Walker" stories, which are common in Tolkien fandom. In the books, and the movies, the Fellowship was made up of nine ("Nine Walkers for the Nine Riders.") Many fanfiction authors create a Tenth Walker (usually female), effectively writing an AU. However, Lorendiac points out that in many of these AU stories, creating the Tenth Walker doesn't actually make an appreciable difference in the story: they still go the same places and do the same stuff, and events mostly play out the same way.

For an example - looking at your profile, I saw a Pokemon reference, so I'm guessing you know Pokemon. Say that a fanfiction author creates a little brother for Ash named Bob, who goes with Ash on his travels. The author writes a fanfiction version of the first episode, in which Bob actually leaves home with Ash at the same time. He's there when Ash first meets Pikachu, and when Ash meets Misty. Ash and Bob go to Viridian City together to take care of Pikachu, where they have their first encounter with Team Rocket. Misty joins Ash, Bob and Pikachu as they continue on their journey. Soon after, Ash catches a caterpie and then a pidgeotto, but Jesse and James show up...

And so forth: I think you get it. Here's this new character added to the storyline - and yet the storyline is continuing as it would have if Bob had never been there at all.

5/3/2012 #17
J Linz

I understand, now; thanks! I guess then... yeah, I am guilty of doing that! LOL

5/3/2012 #18
Lorendiac

When I started this thread about "rewriting canonical stories" (and inserting new characters at the same time), I wasn't even thinking of an unfinished story I worked on a long time ago and then never got around to finishing and posting. But now that I've remembered it, I'm going to mention it! Mainly so I can clarify just where I "draw the line."

In the spirit of full disclosure . . . it so happens that, saved on my hard drive and on a flash drive, I have an old rough draft of an "alternate ending" for a canonical episode of a TV show. After I watched that episode on DVD, I was sufficiently upset to make me start taking notes on where a defense lawyer had (as I saw it) abandoned her ethical duty to her client by backing down on an important point when an angry prosecutor claimed doom and gloom would befall the entire state if she didn't back down on that and her client got acquitted on all charges by the jury as a result!

However, that fanfic -- meant to be posted as a quick little one-shot, if I ever get it whipped into shape -- won't be rehashing the entire plot of the first 40 minutes or so of the original version of the story. It will skip right over that material, on the theory that my target audience (diehard fans of that show) is already quite familiar with what was happening in that particular trial!

I merely have an Author's Note at the top that alerts the reader: "This material is what I think should have happened in the last few minutes of such-and-such an episode."

If they don't remember ever seeing that particular episode, they are free to stop reading at that point! (The episode title will also be mentioned in the summary that they saw before they clicked on my story, of course.)

Then, in the actual text of the story, I repeat maybe two or three sentences of canonical dialogue to get the ball rolling, after which I have the conversation between two CCs (the prosecutor and the public defender) go off in a very different direction from what happened in the actual episode. So virtually everything in my actual story is "original dialogue" and "an original plot" -- as opposed to what it would be if I wrote a blow-by-blow "retelling" of the entire episode, from start to finish, with minor changes along the way, and only made drastic changes to the course of events in the last couple of scenes!

5/3/2012 . Edited 5/3/2012 #19
pyrrhicvictoly

The fun thing is that my fandom has four teenage boys and one teenage girl in pretty much that situationas canon. It's one of the precursors of Gundam - it's the original five canons each with their own craft anime. Yes, making it remotely realistic is a challenge...

If that's canon, I guess we're supposed to assume that it works somehow. Lots of canon 'verses are cheesy and/or unrealistic when it comes to stuff like that. Or just all-around cheesy... Even if writing their dynamics turns out unrealistic, it's still faithful to the canon interpretation which probably glosses over all of that. I don't think I would notice anything weird if that were the case. Unfortunately for Gundam Wing, apart from people wearing cheesy outfits and having weird eyebrows, the character interactions are mostly true to real life. The canon team is seriously psychologically traumatized. They suck at forming any sort of healthy emotional bonds even with each other since they were trained to work solo and were only later forced into a team situation. They would accept an OC female as a fellow soldier or civilian ally, but I can't see any of them becoming comfortable enough with a girl to want to pursue a relationship with her during canon.

the one time character becoming regular

these two brand new season three characters had apparently been there as well - but just out of camera range

I've seen some fics combine these two things, and it can work. If there's a background character who doesn't have much more than a name and a face, fans can come in and flesh that person out. It turns out that this very very very minor CC was actually behind a lot of unexplained canon events, or maybe the other CCs are good friends with them but it's just never come up before. In Final Fantasy 8 for example, there's Nida who graduates alongside some of the main characters but is never a playable character. We're never told what weapon he uses or what his personality is like except that he "doesn't stand out". He's there to play chauffeur for the rest of the cast, but presumably stays behind while the heroes go off adventuring. It's not impossible for him to have tagged along sometimes, and that's where fanfic comes in. Canon events could look very different from the perspective of the guy who keeps getting ignored. :D

5/3/2012 #20
Ragnelle

Tenth Walker-stories I usually try to stay clear of, and the main reason I don't like GiME-stories much. (GiME= Girl in Middle-earth: a modern OC dropped into the story of LotR, usually a girl who ends up as a tenth walker.) And it is because I find it very tedious to read them. Tolkien wrote much better than these authors do, and if I want to read the story of LotR, I want to either read something that gives a new perspective, like a behind-the-scenes story or written from a POV that makes the story a different one, or I will read the original story. I own the book; it is not hard to pick it up.

I did, however, in my youth, fantasize about such stories. I just did not use a proxy, though ;) and I never though it would be anything worth writing down, or of interest to anyone but myself. And even I lost interest after a point. Usually I got derailed by long, pointless conversations and explanations. None in the Fellowship would just accept a strange girl tagging along just like that... I think I even then saw the faults.

But there is obviously a marked-- so to speak-- for such stories: there are a lot of them, and quite a lot of them have gushing reviews. I just don't get why.

I do, however, see the point of rewriting a canonical event, if the rewrite brings something different. I have one such story, and while it is not one of my more popular stories, it is nevertheless one of those I am most happy with. I re-arranged some of the events in that I put some of the elements together in a different way, and the story is clearly an interpretation of the canon-material. But I did not invent any OCs for it, and while some elements are not in the canon-telling, I have not really changed anything. I have simply retold and restructured an episode from one character's life into a story that could stand alone.

I have heard of, but not read, a tenth walker story that worked very well: The tenth walker in question (it was a LotR-story) was Bill the Pony. Which is a canonical character who went with the Fellowship, but the poor pony was never counted among the walkers. Speciesist, I say.

5/6/2012 #21
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