Poll: People have been writing fantasy for centuries. Who doesn't like tales of great knights and beautiful damsels? or epic battles and monstrous beings? We've all read about the Sword in the Stone and the Siege of Troy, yet some of these tales have their roots in reality. Which semi-mythological heroes do you like best? Vote Now!
Author has written 44 stories for Swallows and Amazons series, Chronicles of Narnia, Sherlock, Hobbit, and Zorro.
The ability to write is a gift; some of you have that gift. It’s all yours, but no matter how long you have it, or how you use it, it is still a gift and it has a little piece of the giver in it. If talents could be bought, you could save up the money for a long time and buy the same thing...yet, it will never be the same. It will never be like a gift. A gift is between two people. A gift cannot be wasted without wasting the Giver.
Hullo! We are Rose and Psyche. We are sisters: Rose is the eldest, but Psyche is the wisest. Rose is really Orual, but would rather go by her nickname.
If you've read C. S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces, then you will understand the reference. If you haven't, do read it. Till We Have Faces may not be Lewis' most well known work, but it is certainly one of his very best and in our opinion, his masterpiece.
Most of these stories are a joint effort, Psyche does the writing and Rose does all the odd jobs...like managing this account and being a technical and historical advisor. We both specialize in wild imaginations.
PM doesn't mean post mortem. Please, if you should have any questions, comments or thoughts to share with us, send them along! (Unicorn Postal Service is preferred, but if you can only hire a griffon, we'll settle for that.)
Our Blog: It is about things that interest us, like writing, reading, history and building boat models...Anyway, if you're interested you can find it here!
Our Deviant Art Account: If you're interested in traditional pencil drawings, some paintings and maybe a few photographs, please swing by here!
‘Virtue’ came from the word ‘Vir’, meaning ‘man’ in Latin. In our late great age of post moderness, very few men and women show true virtue; the qualities of wisdom, honor, courage and resolution. We have great respect for the men and women of old fashioned days, men who were courageous and strong and women who were gentle, yet as breakable as steel. Herein, you may find those few stories on this site of manly men and womanly women. You may think this strange, or even a little silly, but we assure you, it is deadly serious.
In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill. - Winston Churchill
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. - Joshua 1:9
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. - Proverbs 31:10
Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be. - 1 Maccabees 3:58–60
By King Caspian the Seafarer
Tired of Suspian and the Imposter who plays a dark-haired, too old, Spanish Caspian? Ready for some blond, British, youthful Caspian fics? This community is the place to find them. For your story to be added, Caspian must be bookverse and in character (not to mention blond, unless he's old, in which gray or white hair is acceptable). Join the rebellion: write a Blond Caspian fic today.
This Hobbit-based community shall be a safe haven for all those who want to read a family story about the members of the company, without any of them being romantically involved with each other.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. - 1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV)
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For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. - 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV)
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'...we're too young to realize that certian things are impossible.' - William Pitt, Amazing Grace
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She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child. - Barbara Alpert on sisters
Some People have had the kindness to ask us for tips on writing and while writing is something that comes from inside and once out, has a life of its own, there are a few things that we've found helpful:
Don't take yourself seriously: we're serious, here; learn to laugh at yourself. There's nothing more important than remembering that you might not be the most wonderful writer in the world... because, you're not. As King Peter pointed out in Prince Caspian (and he ought to know), "The best swordsman in the world may be disarmed by a trick that's new to him."
Avoid self inserts: Not self inserts, per se, if they really are you, there isn't anything wrong with that; we mean you should avoid inserting what you think you're like. If you can laugh at yourself, your characters will have a better chance of coming alive (see above). As Shakespeare so eloquently put it, "God has given you one face, and you make yourself another." Because, no matter how hard you try, your characters will always have a dash of you in them.
Be careful with word usage: Take a little time to check your spelling and find out word meanings. Let's get this straight once and for all: 'hanged' is a form of capital punishment, 'hung' is what you do with the laundry.
Don't initially 'write' chapters: This works for some, but not others. We've found that we think better if we write the story through, adding asterisks at a change of scene. After the story is complete and we make all the changes we want we take a day to put chapters in. That leads into the next thing we like to do.
Complete your story before you try posting it: A story grows all the way through and when it's done you might want to go back and overhaul it in places. Sometimes finishing it and leaving for a few months is helpful too, because when you've gone and forgotten what you were thinking when you were writing it, you realize that you are your own best critic. Writing one chapter at a time and posting it (for me at least) would be like handing over the ingredients of a cake and never getting around to baking it.
Be yourself: There are literally tons of writers in the world and the best became the best because they weren't trying to copy anyone else's style or ideas. Give us yourself, tell us a story and be sincere about it and there's a good chance that you'll become one of the best, also. We don't want to hear what everyone else has to say, we want to hear you.
On that note, take some advice from Doctor Suess, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go."
What is a Mary-Sue (or male counterpart: Gary-Stu)?
We’ve seen many definitions of ‘Mary-Sue’ over the years and we think, in general, most people miss the point. Mary-Sues aren’t just supernatural warrior women with unbelievable good looks, skills and the ability to Save the Story…in fact, we think some perfectly decent characters, if written correctly, could have all those qualities.
No, more specifically (in our humble opinions) the quality of ‘Mary-Sue’ has absolutely nothing to do with the character herself, but has everything to do with how other characters react to her. You can tell a Mary-Sue exists in your story if other characters react in an idiotic, insulting, obsessive, irrational, primal, or otherwise out-of-character manner in her presence. A common cliché is the love/hate relationship between the Hero of the Story and Mary-Sue; the Hero behaves in a rational and gentlemanly manner with other members of his company, but is constantly antagonizing Mary-Sue (until they suddenly fall in love, of course).
There is more than one kind of Mary-Sue. We all know about Tough, Swashbuckling, Skilled Sues who know how to use two swords and shoot people full of arrows, but there are Sues at the other end of the spectrum, as well. Some people, when attempting to write a non-Mary Sue manage to create the Gentle, Perfect, Sweet and Innocent Sue. I've even run into Ugly Sues, Blind Sues and Flat-footed Sues (that last one I just made up). Keep in mind, It really doesn't matter how your character looks, it only matters how other characters react to her.
There are a lot of people out there who like to bash Mary-Sue (us included); in some ways, it is unkind of us to vent our frustration at the expense of authors whose characters (in our opinions) fall into this fateful category, but we also (since we are not emotionally involved) have a more objective view of your story. Take a step back, look at your Original Character critically. If you met her (or him) suddenly while you were out walking, how well do you think you’d get along? Would you be able to stand her superhuman beauty, special set of skills and sparkling intellect? Would you fall head-over heels in love at first sight? Or would you wave and say, “Have a nice morning!” and continue on your way?
"No [woman] can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved." - Caroline Bingly, Pride and Prejudice
We are not Beta readers and do not have any intention of becoming anything of the sort because of lack of time, however, if you should have a story idea that you are not sure of... or would like an opinion on, we would be happy to act as sounding boards.
For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? - Esther 1:14
The Reality of Fantasy:
‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ have become cliché. In fact, if somebody were to coin new words that describe the concepts of Good and Bad we might find that life has a whole new look.
One thing I like so much about Fantasy is that Good and Bad can be illustrated without naming them and People never doubt what they really are. I don’t think there’s much debate over whether Aslan is Good or the White Witch is Bad and most People don’t come at the Lord of the Rings from the angle that Sauron is being maltreated by a pack of Evil Hobbits who stole his ring.
This is what is so elegant about Fantasy; there is a fine line between reality and allegory.
Yet when we come to real life and real history, People are often at a loss as to who is Good and who is Bad and there is even some question as to what is real and what isn't. History has been rewritten in scores of ways with scores of different viewpoints. Was Hitler an Evil villain who murdered 10 million People in cold blood, or was that a lie spread to cover the fact that he was a great hero who tried to save his country’s honor? Some People are still not sure.
And there are deeper questions where Goods and Bads can’t be explored without treading on other People’s feelings or gravely insulting other countries. The simple facts are: the Cold War may have thawed out, but the roots are still ignored and the American Civil War is still being waged through the United States even though it has been over for 150 years.
Those few who dare to question Why suddenly find themselves facing an overpowering flood like a stick caught in the surge of a river. So, People have gotten in the habit of believing the latest thing they hear (the comfortable thing, that is) and trying to reconcile everything.
Yet, lurking in that same compliant mind there is no doubt that the dragon in the Hobbit had to be finished off and that Bard was a great hero for going off to do it. If someone tried to argue that it was the other way around, this same man would call what the second said, nonsense. And he’d be right to do so. In Middle Earth, Good and Bad cannot be melded, yet for some strange reason in our world they can… or can they?
In reality Good and Bad are in our world as surely as they are in Middle Earth, we just can’t always recognize them when we see them. We, through long training, have learned to see in shades of grey instead of in black and white. Fantasy tricks this out of us and we don’t even realize it.
-thoughts from Psyche
The Touch of the Master's Hand
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin,
-Myra 'Brooks' Welch
Things We Really Don't Like:
Incest (Would'ya honestly marry your brother?)
Suspian (Isn't she just a wee bit old for him?)
Lucian (Don't even get me started...)
Sues and Stus ("How things look on the outside of us depends on how things look on the inside of us." - Anonymous)
Black-haired Caspian!! (He was blond in the book...?)
Pretty-boy-Peters (Don't try to convince us that High King Peter the Magnificent with a voice as calm as the summer sea looked like... a girl...?)
Angsty Edmunds (Honestly Edmund, don't go around feeling sorry for yourself when it was Aslan that did all the paying!)
Narnia 1&2 (2 mostly [See Black-haired Caspian, 1 is all right in a way, but it started the downward trend [See Pretty-boy-Peters and Angsty Edmunds])
Twilight (All we need to do is see the word 'Vampire' and we'll run away...fast)
Harry Potter (top-heavy writing; couldn't get beyond the first page)
Braveheart (Speaking of historical inaccuracy...)
Titanic (Sank like a stone)
Pearl Harbor (How is a twisted slaughtering of events a tribute to the brave men and women who died that day?)
2005 Pride & Prejudice (Mathew Macfadyen looked like he was on a starvation diet and consequently near death)
(the 2007 Persuasion was so awful it doesn't even make it onto this list)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. - Philippians 4:8
Swallows and Amazons:
1932-The Golden Road
1935-Hope Springs Eternal
1936-Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread
1937-The Wind on the Sea
1938- The Iron Door
1940-Sea of Thunder
1941-But Joy Comes in the Morning
1942-War Torn Skies
1945-Paid In Full
AU Narnia stories:
The Once and Future King
The Enchanted Isle
The Horse that Stole the Boy
Crossing the Bar
Flowers o' the Forest
A Pop in Time
East of the Sun and West of the Moon
The Fish with the Golden Scales
The Way of the Soul
What Fools These Mortals Be
The Thread that Runs so True
Our Policy on Reviews:
We have to admit to some puzzlement as to the way reviews are handed about on this site...we sometimes write long, time-consuming reviews after reading stories and...get nothing in reply. We would think you could at least say thank-you.
There is another odd idea hanging around that in order for one person to review another person, the other person has to review back. We think this is silly. We will continue to review your stories if we like them; you don't have to review us. On the flip side, if you review us, we will reply to let you know that we got it and appreciate it, however, we will not bounce immediately over to your profile and review your story. We don't 'sell' reviews, because we believe reviews are supposed to be objective and critical.
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God bless you,
- Rose and Psyche