Author has written 9 stories for Lord of the Rings, and Silmarillion.
Hello, and welcome to my Middle-earth fortress! Call me Gwed.
(It's still me, Gwedhiel0117. The numbers just started to bother me.)
Si l'anglais n'est pas une option, je peux communiquer dans le français.
Si el inglés no es opcional, puedo comunicar en español.
Email: Though FFN saw it fit to remove emails, I will provide mine to you if you ask for it. It's not the one I use for this website, but the one I have open to communicate with should the PMing system be down or any other reason PMing isn't an option (such as sending a picture, file, etc.). FFN has many great features, but it's not without its limitations. :)
LATEST MAY 2015 UPDATE: Hey guys. Sorry to say, but I have to back up the publishing date of "Hells of Iron" for one more week until June 4th. (I'm not promising this date, but I can't imagine it would be a wait any longer than 2 wks.) About a week ago I encountered a glaring error in the narrative I never noticed before (spanning over quite a few of the earlier chapters), and I was trying to rectify it all before this Thursday, which I did for the most part, but I want to comb it thoroughly at least once more to be satisfied. And I'm flying out of State on the 27th to visit my brother, so all that planning interfered with the time to fix the error by the 28th. I apologize, especially since I said this story was going to go up in May for months, but hey, it's only one more week (or two at most, though I will make no promises, as I admit to be tempted to wait for publishing it until after I return home), and I'm very eager to get this fic on the road, followed by weekly updates. For those who have no idea what this story is, here's a quick summary: Tolkien left a huge gap in the story right after Fëanor died. What happened to Maedhros in Angband and why did Morgoth order him to be taken captive in the first place? And what became of Maglor as the newly appointed leader of the Noldor or what of the remaining six brothers abandoning their eldest? "Hells of Iron" will be the missing tale. No one's filled in this gap, so I decided to do it myself. No regrets.
Random bargain: I will read a story (or a chapter, whatever) written by anyone who can tell me the biggest geographical mistake Jackson made in his final Hobbit film. Not exaggerating. It's a doozy.
About my writing: Well, as you can see I've only written stories for Tolkien affiliated works and, having been on FFN for several years now, it's safe to presume I will remain solely as a Tolkien writer. :) But for my stories and future stories, besides the fact that I try and will try to write them as realistically as possible, one thing I try to incorporate into them is a little bit of history. In the fandom LotR (and now certainly the Hobbit fandom), I think you'll agree with me when I say that the majority of writers/readers is a Tolkien-dead audience. So, I try to teach a little bit of the History of Middle-earth the way Tolkien wrote it. It doesn't detract from the purpose of the story, but is just sort of subtly introduced or hinted at. And I thrive on communicating emotions, so I can guarantee that it will be in most of my stories. And I do take story requests. So if you want a story from me after you read my profile, feel free to send me a message. And I love writing canonical gap-fillers, studying what Tolkien wrote, figuring out why he wrote it and filling in the blanks so that other people will understand it. Most of my stories are gap-fillers and I'm currently prepping more. I don't like unanswered questions, so I figure out how to answer them, which you will realize if you read those stories. :) Another thing I love to write are stories that bring to light the characters that are left in the dark, characters that Tolkien described in his notes as being great and powerful (don't misinterpret those words), characters that are always now ignored in these fandoms. And I will never write slash stories or anything pertaining the concept of slash. So if that's your cup of tea, sorry, but you're in the wrong place.
Canonical gap-fillers: Since this is probably the largest focus of my writing, I feel obliged to make it clear just what a gap-filler to me is. Aside from filling in a questionable gap in canon, of course, it means not using any shortcuts to make the writing of it easier. It means the story being as authentic and logical as it can be.
Reviews: All reviews are and will be answered (even if a little late), as well as any questions shot my way. I know this kind of thing goes unsaid (or at least I think it should), but I just want to make it clear that I'm not one of those silent writers. If something is reviewed, it will get a response.
FEEL FREE TO CHECK OUT MY NEW TOLKIEN BLOG: Meres of Kiryatan i Ennuman (listed below are the individual posts for those who wish for direct access to whichever topic. Yes, there's essentially nothing posted yet, but give it time.)
Repercussions of Extremism: There is a huge error the majority of people make when reading Tolkien, and most people don't even realize they make it. So watch out! You just might be one of those people making this mistake.
Celeborn and Thranduil, Family?: Here the rather difficult subject is tackled on whether Celeborn and Thranduil might actually be related by blood. So many people wonder, yet so few endeavor to find out. And this was an astounding discovery.
My two cents on writing: The key to successful writing is successful characterization. Despite the very popular appearance of the importance of plot (and indeed, plot is of the upmost importance) it is ultimately the characters that drive a story. No matter how complex and jaw-dropping your plot is, it is the characters that keep the audience reading, though most readers don’t realize this. Without them, the story is dry and tedious, because face it; if your audience isn’t interested and hungry to learn about the characters, why would they care what happens to them, good or bad? They wouldn’t. Yes, plot is important, writing quality is important, suspension of disbelief is important, pacing is important, everything is important. But as much as the word of one avid reader counts, I can promise that the ultimate success to a story comes with the ultimate success of your characters’ development. Don’t ignore them. Let them grow. Let them tell the story for you. Let them become alive and vibrant to the point where you become as attached to them as your readers do. Have your plot planned out, but let your focus when writing be on those characters who are the actual ones carrying out the plot, and all else will flow from that.
Reading yours: I am one of those people who welcome requests for me to review your story or another’s. Many people have done it and I hope many more people will. I only ask two things before you do. 1.) Be certain you do not ask me blindly. Be cognizant of my caveats to reading others’ works, because if you request me to read a story with slash or smut, you’re going to be in for a lot more than just an honest review (if you even get that). Be aware of what I tolerate, and do not insult me by pretending otherwise (if I’m a stranger to you, reading this bio is all you have to do to know my likes/dislikes). And 2.) include some kind of reason as to why you want me to review your story. Believe me, I love being told about stories of which I am thoroughly unaware of their existence, particularly since I can’t browse for them as much as I used to. But I’d like to think that there is something valuable to my opinion that you would go so far as to ask for it, that I am not just seen as another number in your traffic tallies. Please do not ask me to review your story just because I offer to. Tell me, please, that there is some reason you want me, a stranger, to read your work, and it’s not just to win another review. Even if it’s simply that your respect my opinion and are curious about what I think of your story, then fine! Tell me that. I just don’t want to be treated like another number. And knowing helps stir the direction of my review, being aware of what you’re conscious of in your own story, whether a character, subplot, drama, etc. One person asked me because they were curious as to how canonically accurate their story was, so I knew to pay special extra attention to any canon used. One person asked me because their fic revolved around a character I love. Another included a theme I enjoy. One person wanted constructive criticism since no one else would give it. Any reason will suffice, just include one, even if it’s just, “I think you’ll enjoy this!” If you believe it will be worth my while to read your story because you think/know I will love/appreciate it, then I wholeheartedly welcome you telling me to read it for that alone. Seriously. And I know some people ask me to review because of the type of reviews I give. :) I’m not pointing a finger at them for that at all, but it brings me to my next point:
Reviewing: I am one of those people whose reviews are long. I’m talking paragraphs (just look at my reviews for “Outlast Novelization” in my Favorites as an example). I am a talker and I seldom give one or two-liners as a review. Call that a flaw, or me being very opinionated, but I love discussing stories. And I can probably count on one hand the stories where my review has been only one paragraph. I just can’t shut up. Even in PMs. But I am a reviewer, not a criticizer, which means that if I offer criticism on anything I think deserves it, I will also heap praise on anything equally deserving. Based on what I’ve observed, I think there is a stereotype against long reviews, that if it is greatly long, then obviously there is a great amount of criticism in it. And sometimes that is true, even for me. But I prefer reading for enjoyment and I do not go out of my way to find something to criticize. Trust me, if I find something I believe to be wrong, I will point it out and discuss it. And like I can sometimes go on and on about something I find great, I can sometimes go on and on about something I find wrong. And not even necessarily wrong, but something that confuses me, which can be as much as my fault as the fault of the story. But I review because I believe it is of a paramount importance and courtesy to review. To borrow from cairistiona7’s profile: “Fanfic writers are paid with the coin of feedback. Favoriting a story is nice, and subscribing to an author or story is also wonderful, but nothing beats getting a personal note from someone saying what they thought of the story. Short or long, it's simply the effort to make that personal connection that gives us fic-writers a warm fuzzy and the encouragement to keep at it. There's really no worse feeling in the world than putting a lot of work into a fic only to see it languish without comment.” I know the gratitude I feel when receiving reviews, whether of compliments, criticisms, analyses, etc. So I like to reciprocate the sentiment. Believe me, it’s a wonderful compliment on its own when seeing someone favorite/follow you or your story, and I can’t express my appreciation for all those who have done so with me. But it’s something else entirely to receive a review and to write one yourself.
Critiquing: I wholeheartedly welcome constructive criticism, but let me explain. Some people say that they welcome constructive criticism, but then prove that they are full of talk and no walk when they can’t handle it. Some people say that they want and listen to constructive criticism, but then prove to be full of it when, in the end, they argue with you to the point where it’s their way or the highway, that no matter what you say, no matter how thoroughly you explain it or how valid your argument is, you are wrong and they are right. I am not one of those people, but just to make it clear: If I debate with you over something you criticized, it does not mean I am calling you a liar or saying that, “no matter what you say, you are wrong”. If I argue with you, it is because I do not understand why what I did was wrong. I’ll admit it; sometimes things need to be explained to me as though I’m a 2-yr-old. Like everyone, I can be that stupid sometimes. No joke. Errors in the mechanics of writing aside and speaking of the narration, you can’t simply say “this is wrong” and expect that to be good enough. I can’t read your mind, so you can’t just tell me something is wrong and expect me to go, “Ahh, I get it. Thanks!” Trust me, if something as simple as that is all it takes, that “mistake” would never have been in the story in the first place. I am asking you to show me what I did wrong so I can learn from it; to make it right and also to not make the same mistake twice. I sincerely welcome constructive criticism. As a serious writer, I am always looking for ways to improve, but improving means recognizing your flaws and the places where you erred. Writers can’t afford to have egos, and while I may be disappointed in myself for making mistakes, I do want to learn how to make it better. And while I may not like being proven wrong (who does?), I will still bounce at the opportunity to learn. Something, at least. But I have three more points to make:
1.) Just because I say I welcome constructive criticism, it does not give you the right to be a *bleep* during your critique. Need I say more? Because I will not respond to flamers, and I sure as heck will not grant you the satisfaction of taking you seriously if you resort to the attitude of a 5-yr-old.
2.) Just because I say that I welcome constructive criticism, it doesn’t mean you have to give it. If you find nothing to criticize in my fic(s), that is okay. Why? Because it doesn’t mean my fic is flawless. Any silence of yours on the matter doesn’t make me think that you believe my fic is flawless. One thing that drives me crazy with reviewers is how some of them will clearly go out of their way to nitpick a story, sometimes criticizing a “problem” obviously created in their own heads, that is not found anywhere in the story. What I’m trying to say is, don’t make up an “error” that I “made” but in reality didn’t make, simply because I ask for criticism. It’s not helpful. It’s annoying.
3.) Corrections on canon. If I am notorious for anything, it is for being canon-crazy, and anyone who knows me will say this. :) If you can call me obsessed with canonical accuracy for any story I read, then you can only imagine how much more so I am in my own stories. But, like everyone, I can, and have made mistakes. I don't pretend to be a know-it-all, and I certainly cannot remember everything of Tolkien's legendarium off the top of my head, as one can forget things once in a while (do people even realize how much stuff is in Tolkien’s work?). Ergo, if I make a mistake in canon, please do not bite off my head or call me a hypocrite all the while bouncing up and down excitedly boasting how wrong I was. I love the canon, and to make it the meat of my stories. And to any errors in it I make, I welcome (polite) correction and thank you kindly.
One to ask: Though I believe it's already been made evident, if ever you have a question about Tolkien's legendarium, I'm one of those strange, nerdy folk you are able to ask. I've been appraised as a Tolkien scholar (though I will never claim that title) and have all his works at my disposal. So, if you need something to be looked up or something concerning his lore to be explained, feel free to ask. I love discussing Tolkien's legendarium, so I will never be disgruntled should you PM me for info. I'm certainly no Tolkien expert and will never claim to be, as my learning experience never ends with his world. But I can promise that I'm one of those people who actually think about the material instead of taking it to the extreme.
Guarantees about my writing:
I can guarantee my readers at least two things. One, I will always finish a story. And two, that story's factual information will be as accurate as possible (I am a huge purist, but a lenient one when I read). There is nothing I hate more when I'm reading an excellent story and then the author just decides to cut you off and never finish it. It's a pet peeve of mine and drives me up the wall. In my eyes, it's very disrespectful to the reader, so I'll try not to be disrespectful to you. It is not my goal to put up a story with the intention of never finishing it. I'll fight tooth and nail to do so. It's what you deserve. If I don't ever finish it, it either means I'm dead, lying on a hospital bed, living in a third-world country, in jail (though I pray that's never the case), or that the Rapture has happened, which at that point I will no longer care, and neither should you. My profile will also be updated at least once a month so that any will know I'm still on FFN, even if I seem to have gone silent (if I don't, then there's a problem). Now the second point; accurate information. As I said, I'm an avid reader and I hate reading stories where their information is wrong. I like to keep the integrity of the book(s). I read the books and study the the concerning content to the core before I publish a story. I make sure to confirm what I can to make it as real as possible. Though this is mainly in reference to canon accuracy, it doesn't mean that I don't apply it to outside facts, because I do. But this is more so in reference to canon, but not only for canon. There may be a few points I'm wrong about (I don't know everything), but it's what I draw from other facts. Tolkien's work can be vague in many areas so that all we can do is draw our own conclusions. The synopsis, of course, is my own, but everything else I try to make it as the author stated it. I have many presumptions, but I have reasons for those presumptions. If anything is altered for my purposes you'll be informed before hand. Otherwise, enjoy!
Alternative or debatable factors and characterizations that will be in all my LotR stories (a hint of what I might prefer in reading FF):
-Tauriel does not exist. She never would exist. Get over it. Never will I write stories with her even in passing, nor will I read them (such a character is too much of a disgrace to Tolkien's world to even try).
-For Legolas' age, for me, he is always at least 700 years old by LotR, and that low age is still pushing it. And there is no evidence that Thranduil has a lot of children so for me he has just the one, Legolas. For now. I'm not against reading about him having elder brothers.
-Thranduil comes from Doriath. It's a fact. Take that as you will, but I won't change it by excuse of creative license for any of my stories.
-Confirmed by Tolkien in the Silmarillion, the Moriquendi (or Dark-elves) does not mean they're bad Elves (partial pet peeve of mine). For example, both Celeborn and Círdan are confirmed to be of the Moriquendi.
-King Thranduil is a member of the White Council. Despite it not being an iron-clad fact, circumstantial evidence suggests this is so, and I am not one to dismiss hard evidence without proper reason.
-You'll never see me write an out-of-place character death unless it's stated to be a 'what if?' story.
-You'll never see me write a story with blatant AU or disregard of canon outside of any ignorance I hopefully won't have.
-Names: I know that, for Elves, names are very unique and personal, and that each has a specific meaning to it. For example, Círdan means "Shipwright", Elrond means "Star-dome" in reference to Menegroth, Elu-Thingol means "grey-cloak/mantle", etc. I know each name has a meaning, but I'm not all that particular if you create a name for your story for an Elf that has no legit meaning at all. It's not too big a deal to me. Though I prefer legitimate names for Elves (even in my own writings), I won't bite off your head if you make one up instead, so long as it sounds - and I mean sounds so that I don't question it even in the slighest - so long as it sounds Elvish, I'm content. The same kind of goes for the usage of Elfling or Dwarflet. No where in any place in Tolkien's books are those two terms used, by my knowledge (if so, PM me please!). However, I'm not particular about their usage either, despite what a canon-nazi I am. It differentiates the types of children (and they're kind of cute), so I won't complain. However, in the perspectives of Elves or Dwarves, I'll use Elfling or Dwarflet respectively, but if it's among another race I'll use and prefer the customary Elf-child/Dwarf-child.
-Elladan&Elrohir: there is no evidence in Tolkien's writings that the twins are mischievous. I think that everybody's just automatically warping the HP Weasley twins into any twins they now see. Even though it's probably not true (especially since they hunted Orcs since their mother was attacked) I don't mind reading it or writing it. It provides some comic relief and gives some diversity to the characters, whether it be true or not. I'm more picky on others (such as Thranduil being a tyrant) but on this I truly don't mind. If it makes me laugh, I'm satisfied (as I love to laugh). However, I personally do not believe in the slightest that they are troublemakers or pranksters. So that possible "characterization" will never be the center of my writing(s). But since I can't dismiss the image that's been created by them through the years of fanfiction, I settle for them simply having a good sense of humor. That's it.
Glorfindel: Wow; he is a *huge* debate topic. For a start, no birthdate is given of Glorfindel, but I believe he was born in Valinor, maybe half way through YT after the Elves arrived there (there is one story of mine that is the exception of this factor - my first one, but all other stories have Glorfindel being born in Aman). A lot of people believe that the infamous Balrog-slayer is of the Noldor, for various reasons. Or at least part Noldo. For me, I believe that he's part of the Vanyar, and so it will be in my stories. I'm not adverse to reading stories as him of the Noldor (because I truly do understand why people believe that and they have valid reasoning). However, he does have Vanyarin blood in him; that much is proven by his golden hair. I also believe Glorfindel to be one of the greatest Elves remaining in Middle-earth, particularly when Tolkien described him as "equivalent to a Maia" after his rebirth. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Círdan: to me, he is the greatest Elf in Middle-earth. Yes, "greatest" is very vague, I know. But if I had to choose, I would choose him. Want to know why, feel free to PM! Want to debate, feel free to PM! I am personally astounded by what I've read about Círdan and am even more astounded by how many people think he's lame. I think he's one of the most interesting characters out there. And if you want to know practically all there is to know that Tolkien wrote about him, read my story "A Crucial Decision". I spent over 6 hours of research on Círdan alone for that one, (and, again, was astounded by what I found) and my sources are listed. (Though please keep the debating at a mature level with sophisticated arguments; I detest the exchange of childish words over petty issues.)
Celeborn: said Elf-lord is a jerk, right? If you think Celeborn is a useless character or a not-so-great Elf or is flimpsy in comparison to Galadriel, read this. Or if you simply want to see the magnificent Elf-lord defended with a great argument and incontrovertible evidence, read this article! I would write a similar bit about Celeborn as I did Thranduil below, but this essay is so much better (even though I don't agree with everything in it). But through intensive studies, I am firmly convinced that Lothlórien would be weak without Celeborn.
Galadriel: Sorry, but I am not a big fan. After everything I have read written on her, I was just not impressed. At. All. And she became my least favorite character. For one thing, how can I trust her to see the speck in someone's eye when she can't even see the log in her own? And a lot of you may hate me for this, but I make sure to tone down that overrated worship Galadriel has to where it deserves to be, where Tolkien meant it to be. And bringing out the flaws that Tolkien repeatedly stated she had. I don't exactly hate Galadriel when she's in-character. But it's the OOC Galadriel that I can't stand one iota of (i.e. Movie!Galadriel). Hate me if you must, but I'm all for honoring Tolkien, not Jackson's movies (though I still loved them, all the same. Well, the LotR Trilogy, that is).
Thranduil: I do not believe that Thranduil was a tyrant or in any way an Evil!Thranduil that much fanfic portrays him to be. In The Hobbit, Tolkien stated that "If the Elf-king has a weakness it was for treasure, especially for silver and white gems….All this was well known to every Dwarf….” This statement isn’t clear evidence of Thranduil’s greed as it appears to be. Aside from that peculiar usage of the world "If", the last line of the quote indicates that this was what was said about the Elvenking among *Dwarves*. That doesn’t mean the quote is accurate or that it was said about the Elvenking among the other Races and Peoples. The song the Dwarves sing in Ch. XV alludes to their involvement of killing Smaug, of which they had no part in. Based on such propaganda, it can be believed that not all the Dwarves say is 100% truth. Furthermore, there was a long history of tension between Elves and Dwarves; they would have few to none kind words to say of the Elf-king or any Wood-elf.
It says that Thranduil had a weakness for treasure, not that he was greedy. If he were greedy, Thranduil would have hoarded all the treasure that came into his realm. And yet, in Ch. VIII, it’s revealed that Thranduil shared the wealth of his realm with his people, for "Green and white gems glinted on their collars and their belts." (And on a side note, how could you even call that "greedy" or a "weakness" when Tolkien described Ecthelion of the Noldor having a shield studded with a thousand beads of crystal? Thranduil is probably only a 1.5 on the Richter Scale in comparison to the Noldor.) Even when the Wood-elves marched to the Lonely Mountain, the desire of gold did not rule Thranduil’s heart. In Ch. XIV, “the king, when he received the prayers of Bard, had pity” and readily turned his march toward Lake-town and succored them and gave them great aid, even though the Men “had no claim but friendship on him.” (Ch. XV) Thranduil also demanded no share of the gold and was the only leader amongst all present in the Bo5A that did not believe the gold worth fighting over. In Ch. XVII, when Bard declares all ahead to do battle with the Dwarves, Thranduil’s response, proving again that treasure didn’t rule his heart, was: “Long will I tarry, ere I begin this war for gold. The Dwarves cannot pass us, unless we will, nor do anything that we cannot mark. Let us hope still for something will bring reconciliation. Our advantage in numbers will be enough, if in the end it must come to unhappy blows.”
After the battle is won and Bard’s share of the treasure delivered, Thranduil still did not demand payment. He received only emeralds from Bard in a way of thanks for his assistance and a necklace from Bilbo, for the wine and bread he had stolen from the Elvenking’s Halls. And even then, Thranduil had not replied by greedily snatching up the prize, but instead inquired why he had earned such a gift (Ch. XVIII). Nor did he greedily eye the Arkenstone while it rested in Bard’s hand. He was quite content with Bard having it and made no claim. In fact, Thranduil was staring more in wonder at Bilbo Baggins than the jewel before heaping praise upon the Hobbit.
It could be argued that his treatment of the Dwarves was harsh, but it wasn’t unjustified. Thranduil had ample reason to be wary of the sudden and unexplained presence of Dwarves in his realm. The Dwarves left the path against the explicit warnings of Gandalf and Beorn (Ch. VIII) and entered without leave into the Elvenking’s realm. In the Wood-elves’ eyes, they were “sneaking through the woods and molesting our people.” Three times did the dwarves “pursue and trouble” Thranduil’s people, as well as stirring up the spiders with their “riot and clamor”, further endangering the Wood-elves’ safety. Yet, when the Elf-king justly sought an explanation for the Dwarves’ actions, the Dwarves would “not even pretend politeness” to the Elvenking. Tolkien made it clear that Thranduil’s anger was well earned. Thorin was even more polite to the Great Goblin than he was to Thranduil! By Thranduil’s order, the Dwarves were given “food and drink, plenty of both, if not very fine; for Wood-elves were not goblins, and were reasonably well-behaved even to the worst enemies, when they captured them.” (Ch. VIII) And on top of everything else, Bilbo is willing to die for Thranduil over all others.
This was taken from well-written essays on Thranduil. Should you wish to read them, let me know and I’ll provide a link or two. Where people get the irrational notion that Thranduil is a tyrannical king or an abusive father, I have no clue. Certainly, I have no tolerance for it and, through The Hobbit, Thranduil has become one of the characters I respect the most. Like I did for Círdan, I hope to put all this knowledge into some form of a story, so that way people may read about it and this section of Thranduil can be shortened down to a decent length (I also apologize for it being so long). Until then, let Thranduil be recognized as the great Elvenking he really is.
Pet Peeves: Just a thing or two that tend to irritate me. :)
-story incompletion: Very little in the art of writing can anger and annoy me as greatly as this. If you, all of the sudden, end a story, at least have the courtesy of informing your audience why. Please? It doesn't get anymore frustrating than to be reading an excellent story only to get dumped. Give us a small reason as to why you stopped, whether it'd be temporarily or permanently. Just one sentence, and any person would be satisfied. Don't just disappear off the face of the earth. It's not fair to the audience. They deserve better than that. Confirm the abandonment, don't leave anyone wondering.
-spoon-feeding: Simply put, just have it as a default understanding that your audience is not retarded.
-Mary-Sues: There is one story I would give up my paycheck to read: I am waiting to read a story when an OFC is not made to be better than everyone else. I am waiting to read when a woman will behave with dignity when she doesn’t have her way. I am waiting to read when a woman is not so haughty that she will apologize to a man. I am waiting to read when a woman actually acts mature by having a tamed tongue. I am waiting to read when a woman is the pompous fool for once instead of the man. I am waiting to read when a woman is not so self-centered that she is humbled when given rebuke (scratch that. I look forward to the day when a man stops kissing the ground she walks on to actually give rebuke). I am waiting to read when a woman is not so snobbish that she will ask a man to help her. I am waiting to read when a woman fails to meet Hollywood standards and welcomes a man to protect her from harm by fighting for her. I am waiting to read when a woman knows the true meanings of strength and weakness that she will not be offended by a man’s courtesy. I am waiting to read when a woman is not so prideful that she will be content at depending on a man. I am waiting to read when a woman is not ashamed to cook for her husband and be provided for by him.
In all, I am waiting to read a story about a "powerful" woman that carries no weapon in her hand, power to her name, or arrogant words in her mouth. That, to me, will be a worthwhile read. Otherwise, I probably won’t want to read a story centered on your OFC. The key to creating depth for a character is by starting out with little, not a lot. And Mary-sues couldn’t be shallower, and look how many traits they carry from the very beginning. In simple terms, I don't like them and I don't write them. I'll only read them to offer objective advice and/or credit to the writer. But my tolerance for most of them is very little as to be objective, so it's rare that I'll review for one of them. If I do review, it means I have hope for the story. And in my experience, most of the "suethors" (such a derogatory name) won't pay attention to your critique, anyway. Besides, most of them are so horrid with their spelling and grammar that it's a waste of work for my brain cells. Which brings me to my next point...
-grammar/spelling: Please, give me a break. If English is your first language you have no excuse. If it's not, get a Beta Reader, that's what they're there for. I'm okay with minor ones and the like, since we all make them, but when it gets to the point where you can't even simply comprehend what you're reading, that's ridiculous. Use spell check, grammar check, anything or simply get a beta reader. It's their job.
-apologetic summaries: Do yourself a favor and never apologize for having a "sucky summary" inside your story description. Honestly, why would that improve my opinion of you? I understand saying "full summary inside" since FFN provides only a very limited character amount for the story description. But if you say something like "I'm no good at summaries/Sorry for the bad summary/etc"...Don't you know how unprofessional and, face it, unskilled you sound? If you apologize for not being able to write a decent summary for your story, for what good reason would I expect the content inside the story to be any better than your "bad" summary?
-favoriting, yet not reviewing: I don't believe I need to spell this one out. There's just a little something wrong with this equation, isn't there? In short, I have very few favorable words for people who do this. If you see me favorite your story without reviewing, it either means a) I reviewed your story before I opened this present account, or b) I haven't read it yet. Since FFN doesn't provide a "Read Later" option, I sometimes will Favorite a story so it will remain available for me to read when I'm able to. But I truly do endeavor to review any story I read. (If it comes to submitting stories to my C2, The Hobbity Hobbit, I reserve the right to not submit a review upon "collection", as my method for finding suitable stories for said Hobbit community may or may not fall to simply sitting back and reading them. Therefore, if I "collect" your story, do not be offended or think me hypocritical, I ask. And just because I say this doesn't mean I won't leave a review at all - it's merely a possibility. If you wish for a more thorough explanation on this "hypocritical train of thought" of mine, feel free to ask.)
-rave reviews: Please, bring light to my confusion - how, in any way, are rave reviews helpful? They don't offer advice or input or any sign of interest. They don't even offer any praise! Their horrid mispelling and juvenile tone aside, they literally offer you nothing in benefit to your story. Every decent review - short, long, one-liner or paragraph after paragraph - should have some measure of insight. Proof that some measure of thought went behind the praise or concrit. Example: "Your prose is unbelievable. It's just so poetic." "I love the way you use unpopular characters." "It all makes sense now, especially after so and so suffered blah blah ealier on." "He really failed to withhold his temper here, but even though I understand where he's coming from and can't blame him for being furious, he did cross the line a bit with his words." "This was incredible the way he conveyed his wisdom even through haste, and his ability to make a decision on a split second and adhere to it was aweing." "I think so and so was a little OOC. I mean, she was all blah blah earlier on and then, out of nowhere, she came up with this." See what I mean? Reviews should offer some degree of proof that you actually read the story. None of this crap of "wow, I luuuv it sooo kool up new chappie asap plz1!!" or even "I love this story! Keep writing!" Ugh...
-flaming: One thing I will always say is that I'm no flamer. I don't believe in flaming. Flaming is a deliberate verbal attack on the author that criticizes said author and not the story. Don't confuse that with constructive criticism. People who purposely hunt down stories to flame for their own fun make me a little worried. Yes, sometimes it's tempting, but in my knowledge those stories that are tempting are the ones whose authors won't even listen. (Those border on troll, I believe, correct me if I'm wrong.) But I do believe in constructive criticism. Even harsh criticism. I'm no slacky when it comes to criticizing, mostly because I in turn like to be criticized harshly if I need to be (okay, I may not like it, but I'll respect it and listen and use it). I want my writing to be superb, not looking like a fool on the road. Flaming though can be useful (I would call my harsh criticism bordering that) so long as it's not written by an ignorant ranter who hadn't even read the story (that's the pet peeve part). But listen to critiques, no matter how harsh they may be. It's meant to help you in the long run. Then you'll find that you get even more compliments (hopefully). Oh, and keep your temper during a critique, no matter how horrid the story is. There's nothing more immature, to me at least, than resorting to swear words and name-calling to get a point across.
-slash/smut: In simple words, keep it as far away from me as possible. I don't condone it, I don't like it, I don't read it, I don't write it. It's disgusting and disturbing to my mind.
-modern euphemisms: This can really be defined as a pet peeve. Some people are perfectly fine with it, I know, and I can understand it without a qualm. But they still drive me crazy, you know? It just rips away the sense of immersion like few other things can, in my opinion. As my two cents, the narrative itself (and dialogue especially) should appropriately match the era its representing. Including modern euphemisms just destroys that atmosphere you spent so much time building up. Even professionally it isn't done. Just think about it.
-excessive torture: I don't mind reading torture. I rather like it. It adds great tension to the story (especially the psychological aspect). But when the author starts throwing in torture left and right for no reason whatsoever, it makes me roll my eyes and tempts me to back out. Keep to the plot. I read one story where the author promised that a certain character wasn't going to be tortured, and then said character was tortured simply because the reviewers wanted him to be. It had nothing to do with the plot and could have done well without. Don't make the torture excessive. It's kind of like my take on rape or sex; only when needed (briefly for these two), not there just because it can be. Let there be a purpose for it and then it will become a fantastic addition.
-keyboard warriors: This has nothing to do solely with the art of writing or the Tolkien legendarium, but just a quick piece on commenters. Of any genre or medium. Literally. These people drive me to copious amounts of frustration, and those people I am referring to are the ones who hide behind their computer monitors and type away, believing suddenly that they are the coolest verbal assassins to hit the Internet. Those people who do that, using the Internet as your filth filter and feeling you have the privilege to spout whatever you want without reproof in your comments/reviews for stories, blogs, videos, etc., using “freedom of speech” as your buffer, you wouldn’t have the guts to say half the things you write to the creator of the story/video in person. Again, there is a distinct difference between flagrant rudeness and constructive criticism. Why do you feel the need to be a jerk instead of practicing civility? Is it empowering for you? I am fully aware that the Internet is the ideal haven for nastiness and evil, but that is no excuse to partake in it, and having freedom of speech is a protection against censorship or restraint, not a right to be a *bleep* on the Internet. Yes, if something angers you, rudeness can slip through into your critique, sometimes so enthusiastically that it turns into a flame. But as I stated already, keep your temper during a critique. If you want the creator of whatever you commented on to take your words seriously and be grateful to you for providing feedback, then be serious yourself and have some integrity and respect in what you say. A keyboard is a conduit from your mouth to the Internet, and there is no reason fathomable why your comments should not be colored the same hue as your mouth in real life.
-out-of-era-concepts: Here's another one that I have absolutely no patience for. And this is one that can easily make me lose my temper. This is mainly in reference to LotR, though there are several other books. I'm a woman, remember that, but I can't stand any out-of-era-concepts. I can and will never be able to condone anything in the reading material that involves women being superb fighters or any of the like for no reason. In that time and age, women didn't do those things (general medieval-based society books). They stayed home or were maidens or cooks or something similar. I'm a woman for crying out loud and I find it offensive when I read stuff like that!
Anyone who says women as a whole are treated fairly in the media is fooling themselves. There's something fundamentally wrong with putting a sword in a woman's hand (or arrogant words in her mouth) to make her "look as though she's strong." For there seems to be an underlying assumption there that without masculinizing the image, women are weak. It's like most writers only believe that women can be influencial or powerful by being kick-butt fighters of unimaginable skill or are superb to everyone else. And that is purely insulting to women's intelligence! In LotR, Tolkien emphasized that he didn't have women as fighters because, in his eyes, they gave life with their bodies and in turn were unable to take it away. For Elven women, Tolkien said that they only fought valiantly in the direst of circumstances (kind of like how Théoden had to send children into battle in TTT, if you remember). The Elven women otherwise made bread, cooked (though not as much as ellyn), worked with linens, in the fields and gardens, were musicians and the like. A lot of them were healers too. I'm not saying this, Tolkien is. They weren't warriors, they weren't non-domestic councilors, they weren't important people of high nobility - the husband was (unless she's a Queen or Lord's Lady). Okay, I'm starting to rant. To keep it short, stick to the customs of that day and age (a.k.a. Middle Ages), otherwise it will be more unrealistic than anything else could be. Not to mention sickening.
-visit my rants down at the bottom: I'll also call them pet peeves, but they're not so "big" that I'd list them up here.
Random opinions: (no media specified)
-If I disagree with your opinion, it does not mean I disrespect the fact that you have one. I just disagree with it. And that is my opinion. “Shut up. He was just stating his opinion.” No kidding? And to think that I was just stating mine. Shouting about freedom of speech, and then proceeding to incriminate others for disagreeing with your opinion is an epitome of hypocrisy. As one in anonymity said: "If you have the right to your opinion, then I have the right to tell you how stupid it is." And Voltaire should never be dismissed: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
-I have no respect for a person who agrees with this scenario: “A woman cheats on her man and he beats on her, he’s a horrible monster. A man cheats on his woman and she beats on him, YEAH! YOU GO GIRL!!”
-Starting your phrase with “No offense” automatically puts the addressed person on the defense.
-Feminism was an important and admirable movement in the beginning, one worthy of praise. But contemporary feminism bears no resemblance to real feminism. Today it's all about dominance, superiority, and control and, like any other hate group, it's despicable.
-Romance and love are certainly affiliated, but they are not the same thing at all.
-Criticism does not need to be sprinkled with praise, but it should at least be given with a morsel of advice on how to improve what was criticized.
-My opinion about public education can be found right here in this video.
WORTHWHILE ESSAYS TO READ:
Sexist? Not sexist? What the Valar is going on? For those who care to learn Tolkien's opinion on women and "love", read this article. Trust me, it's worth the time.
What "Lord of the Rings" has that no longer exists: One word: Virtue. An enlightening example of just how far our world has fallen in morals and has become laughable in human integrity, and why Tolkien's works awaken in us something we can only envy that stays out of reach.
In praise and defense of Love: Tolkien? Love? You're kidding right? The majority of people only equate "love" with "romance", and its sick. In Tolkien's world, you're provided the epitome that when it comes to the true definition of love, romance is not high on the list.
Aragorn the lover: The Lord of the Rings is one of those odd books in which romance, love-triangles, explicit sex-scenes and tensions, debauchery, dirty jokes and forbidden/true love issues are not at all central or crucial to the plot of the story. There is indeed very little romance, no sex scenes, and no nagging woman around to trip the heroes up or get in the way of their tasks. This annoys a lot of people. And it annoyed Jackson.
What C. Tolkien thinks about it all: Have some respect for the gentleman and stop the despicable whining that his opinion isn't worth hearing because he's a "traditional old fod".
If your interested: Favorite characters in Lord of the Rings (no particular order): Elrond, Elladan, Elrohir, Glorfindel, Erestor, Celeborn, Círdan, Haldir, Thranduil, Legolas, Aragorn, Gimli, Éomer, (book)Éowyn, Théoden, Halbarad, Boromir, Faramir, Frodo, Rosie, Samwise, Radagast and Mithrandir.
Favorite characters that can't be found in the LotR trilogy (again, no order): Fingolfin, Fëanor, Maedhros, Maglor, Ambarussa, Oropher, Thingol, Beleg, Túrin, Finrod, Fingon, Eärendil, Isildur, Elros, Elendil, Gil-galad, Haleth, Thorondor, and Melkor (come on, everyone loves reading about the bad guy!). // Gandalf, Eönwë, and Ossë are my favorite Maiar. Manwë, Námo, and Ulmo are my favorite Valar (and Tulkas and Nessa), Ulmo being at the top of the list.
Some general facts about me (though feel free to skip if you're not interested):
-I am a woman (but you probably already knew that).
-State of my health: With how obsessive I am with fanfiction, I sometimes question my sanity, but the unicorn and gummy bears say I'm all right.
-Still single and enjoying it. :) Not to sound pretentious and I'm in full support of the ideal of loving relationships, but hearing "I can't believe you don't have a boyfriend" tends to become more insulting than flattering. Being single, particularly by choice, is not evidence of social failure. In my opinion, if you want to have a relationship for the sake of being in with the times, the specialty of a relationship becomes meaningless. Seek a relationship for the correct reasons, not social pressure, and you're on the right track.
-I am a born-again Christian.
-My favorite Disney classic – The Lion King.
-I have a twin brother (and we're as far different in personality as we are in looks, but I still love him to death).
-I come from a huge military-oriented family (with both parents USAF).
-I wear glasses (and I hate them).
-I wash my face with vinegar.
-I prefer to eat the "crumbs" of chips at the bottom of the bag.
-I have been writing since I was 8 years old (wow, I can barely remember being that age).
-I have OCD (something my brother’s always reminded of every time he touches something in my room).
-My favorite music are primarily soundtracks, but otherwise worship (including hebraic), renaissance, and celtic.
-I can play the violin, viola, and cello (the orchestra is one of the most powerful things to hear, imo. And I love it when humor is factored into it, such as the likes of Victor Borge or Danny Kaye).
-I love thrillers. Legal, psychological, survival horror, you name it. I love suspense and drama, but not the despicable melodrama. Parallelism, familial plots and angst, vignettes, dramatic irony, satire...Gah, so many things! But one thing I will never refuse to read is humor. Laughter is something that I love to witness and experience (though I'm not too great at inspiring laughter in others). But psychological thrillers are my all time favorite books to read. Those, and historical fictions. My least favorite are romance and sci-fi (Alright, not least favorite. I don't care for them, period. And learning romance is a major part of a plot turns me off completely.)
-I am what you would call a purist for any book I read. I believe in respecting the work of the author as much as I can.
-One of the "Somethings" most people probably wouldn't believe: I once flew an airplane. A real one, not a simulator.
-In martial arts (began to train when I was 10), I am practiced in Kempo and Gnosho (branch of Kung Fu). Good exercise. For quite a few years, I've been doing archery (also good exercise). But I quit a little while ago.
-I have a sweet tooth. Not even going to deny it. For chocolate though. I generally don't eat or even like candy, but give me the chocolate!
This is a story about God that I honestly believe, though it did not happen to me.
A teenage girl about 17 named Diane had gone to visit some friends one evening and time passed quickly as each shared their various experiances of the past year. She ended up staying longer than planned, and had to walk home alone. She wasn't afraid because it was a small town and she lived only a few blocks away.
As she walked along under the tall elm trees, Diane asked God to keep her safe from harm and danger. When she reached the alley, which was a short-cut to her house, she decided to take it. However, halfway down the alley she noticed a man standing at the end as though he were waiting for her. She became uneasy and began to pray, asking for God's protection. Instantly a comforting feeling of quietness and security wrapped around her, she felt as though someone was walking with her. When she reached the end of the alley, she walked right past the man and arrived home safely.
The following day, she read in the newspaper that a young girl had been raped in the same alley just twenty minutes after she had been there. Feeling overwhelmed by this tragedy and the fact that it could have been her, she began to weep. Thanking the Lord for her safety and to help this young woman, she decided to go to the police station. She felt she could recognize the man, so she told them her story. The police asked her if she would be willing to look at a lineup to see if she could identify him. She agreed and immediately pointed out the man she had seen in the alley the night before. When the man was told he had been identified, he immediately broke down and confessed. The officer thanked Diane for her bravery and asked if there was anything they could do for her. She asked if they would ask the man one question. Diane was curious as to why he had not attacked her. When the policeman asked him, he answered, "Because she wasn't alone. She had two tall men walking on either side of her."
Amazingly, whether you believe it or not, you're never alone. Did you know that 98 percent of teenagers will not stand up for God, and 93 percent of the people that read this won't repost it?
If you believe in Jesus Christ, copy and paste this on your profile.
Getting an abortion is killing someone who never got to live. Don't kill a life, save one. If you don't believe in abortions, copy and paste this into your profile.
Some favorite Books:
-J.R.R. Tolkien books
-Frank Peretti books
-Michael Connelly books
-Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan
-Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
-Conqueror by Conn Iggulden
-John, Son of Thunder by Ellen Gunderson Traylor
-The Green Mile by Stephen King
-Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
-All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
-Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Favorite Composures in order: Hans Zimmer (he's the best), James Horner, Harry Gregson-Williams, Howard Shore, Steve Jablonski, and Jesper Kyd.
One last thing - my rants - some Lord of the Rings insight: (the last three were copied from Tori of Lorien)
Thranduil is not a tyrant, okay?! I refuse to read stories where he is portrayed as such. He was just being a good king. If you still don't believe me, read The Hobbit again. Tolkien writes that 'if the king had a weakness it was for treasure' not for beating up his subjects. In addition, he succours the Men of the Lake in their need, and Bilbo is willing to die for him. Moreover, do you really think Legolas would have been alright if he had been abused during his childhood? I rest my case! If you agree, copy and paste this into your profile, add your name to the list and spread the word. Elindë, Elven Warrior Princess, Gwedhiel0117
Arwen did not rescue Frodo in the "Fellowship of the Ring" movie. She is not a warrior and Hadafang does not belong to her. Glorfindel is the one who rescued Frodo, but of course, he wasn't given the credit. As stated below, the ridiculous concept of Arwen being the hero is just a figment of our imaginations set in place by Peter Jackson.
Éowyn does not deserve all the credit for slaying the Witch-King. I'm not downgrading her bravery for fighting the Witch-King, for she was brave, but she would be dead if it weren't for Merry, who deserves most of the credit. Tolkien declared that any sword that touched the Nazgûl was ineffective. But Merry stabbed the Witch-King with the Númenórean blade, which made him mortal, thus allowing Éowyn to make the final stroke. If it weren't for Merry, the Witch-King would not have become mortal, which means he would never have been able to be killed. Éowyn wasn't able to kill him because she was a woman, as the movies so aptly put it; she was able to kill him because he was finally made mortal by the Hobbit. After made mortal, any person, whether it'd be Man, Elf, Dwarf, or Hobbit, with a stroke of luck, would have been able to kill him, not *only* a woman. Therefore, *Merry* deserves just as much credit as Éowyn.
Galadriel is not a goddess. Nor is she all-knowing or all-powerful. She is an Elf and, like the rest of us, has her flaws. She does not have magical powers that will make everything okay again, contrary to belief. Yes, she has her Ring. Yes, that enhances some of her abilities. But does it turn her into a goddess? Absolutely not. She rarely uses it to boot. Besides being an Elf and the Lady of Lothlórien, she is also a mother, a grandmother, and a wife - things that mostly get forgotten about.
Oropher is not a tyrant. Plain and simple. Strict/stern? Yes. Proud? Yes. A bit harsh at times? Yes. Abusive to his son or others? No. A good father and a good king? Yes. How would Thranduil be such a good king if he was traumatized as a child because of his father's actions against him? Just saying. Would you want to invoke the wrath of Oropher or meet him in a dark alley though? Absolutely not.
Haldir did not die at Helm's Deep. Did Tolkien kill him off? No. His death in "The Two Towers" movie is just a figment of our imaginations set in place by Peter Jackson.
Book Editions: The sources of many, if not all of my stories are cited. If you desire to look further into the citation, here are the respective editions and abbreviations for each book.
Unfinished Tales [UT] : Ballantine Edition
History of Middle-earth [HoME] vol. 1-5 [I-V] : Ballantine Edition
All other books are Houghton Mifflin Edition:
Lord of the Rings [LotR]
The Hobbit [TH]
The Silmarillion [Silm]
The Children of Húrin [CoH]
History of Middle-earth [HoME] vol. 6-12 [VI-XII]
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien [Letters]
The Atlas of Middle-earth revised edition (Karen Wynn Fonstad) [Atlas]
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