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Movie-verse versus Bookverse (Re: Question concerning Dwim's list)

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  • elanor of aquitania
    ... Hi Rabidsamfan, IMO both solutions are too strong. 1) I thought cross-overs were for the mixing of other movies like Pirates of the Caribbean with
    Message 1 of 30 , Dec 1, 2005
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      rabidsamfan wrote Tue, 29 Nov 2005 22:04:52 -0500:
      > drawn equally on both sources the option of putting their
      > stories in with
      > the crossovers? Either that or by caveat declare that if a
      > story uses any
      > *plot* element of the films (rather than any *visual*
      > element), it should be
      > with the movieverse stories.

      Hi Rabidsamfan,

      IMO both solutions are too strong.

      1) I thought cross-overs were for the mixing of
      other movies like "Pirates of the Caribbean" with Tolkien's universe.
      IMO the movie by PJ is a story working with
      elements of Tolkien's Universe, which becomes
      towards the third part more and more AU.

      2) IMO the solution that 'any *plot* element' suffices to shove
      the story into movie-verse is also too strong a measure.

      My question is a result of one of my own stories
      where I use PJ's pyre scene to shorten the story line
      which else is completely book-verse.

      I would go with caveats in the summary
      and I would like to change Dwim's text to
      something like

      ###########
      My story is:

      1. Bookverse: *predominantly* based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or
      drafts made available by C. Tolkien

      2. Filmverse: *predominantly* based on a film adaptation of "The Lord of the
      Rings" or "The Hobbit"
      ###########

      Best wishes Elanor

      > Message: 2
      > Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 22:04:52 -0500
      > From: rabidsamfan <rabidsamfan@...>
      > Subject: Re: Question concerning Dwim's list (Re: Tying Up
      > Loose Ends--categorization form repost w/minor revision)
      >
      > There are a lot of stories that draw on the visual elements
      > of the film
      > without it changing the plotline of the books particularly --
      > all those
      > relentlessly blue eyed Frodos owe a debt to PJ anyway, even if they're
      > meeting the Barrow Wight. But maybe it's just me: I feel like I've
      > seen more than one story which tries to reconcile the book and the
      > movieverses. Perhaps we could offer writers who really feel
      > that they've
      > drawn equally on both sources the option of putting their
      > stories in with
      > the crossovers? Either that or by caveat declare that if a
      > story uses any
      > *plot* element of the films (rather than any *visual*
      > element), it should be
      > with the movieverse stories.
      >
      > On 11/29/05, Marta Layton <melayton@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > On 29 Nov 2005, at 11:05, dwimmer_laik wrote:
      > >
      > > > --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "elanor of aquitania"
      > <elanor@c...>
      > > > wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > > My story is:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > 1. Bookverse: based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or
      > > > drafts
      > > > > > made available by C. Tolkien
      > > > > > 2. Filmverse: based on a film adaptation of "The Lord of the
      > > > Rings" or
      > > > > > "The Hobbit"
      > > > >
      > > > > Hi all,
      > > > > quickly delurking after reading that in digest
      > > > > (sorry if this problem is already solved):
      > > > >
      > > > > what, if the story uses both verses, some sequences
      > only appearing
      > > > in the
      > > > > book
      > > > > and some scenes only appearing in the movies?
      > > > >
      > > > > Best wishes Elanor
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > > I'd say make a decision--which scenes are more
      > important? Is the aim
      > > > to highlight and enrich the movie scenes, or are the movie scenes
      > > > supporting a mostly bookverse story? We can change the
      > wording to say
      > > > "My story is *primarily* based on..."
      > > >
      > > > I'm reluctant to add "Both" as a category because I've
      > not seen many
      > > > book/movie blends that specifically aimed to be blends;
      > most seemed to
      > > > be playing to the movies and using bookverse scenes
      > where the movie
      > > > lacked them. I've read only a few stories that took a
      > moment or two
      > > > from the movie and integrated them into a bookverse
      > story, but those
      > > > were such minor moments for the most part that it'd be
      > silly to say
      > > > the story was movieverse. It made more sense to give a
      > heads up in the
      > > > author's notes and then leave it at that.
      > > >
      > >
      > > I don't have any strong feelings about this, so whatever
      > people want.
      > > My main concern is that people who write movieverse often
      > don't think
      > > to warm about it in their summaries. While I think they
      > should do this,
      > > I don't want to deal with people thinking they got less or shorter
      > > reviews because their story was movieverse and they didn't
      > warn for it.
      > > (And this is quite possibly old emotional baggage from when I was a
      > > HASA admin.)
      > >
      > > Just to cover our basis, how about a warning like:
      > >
      > > My story is...
      > >
      > > ___ 1. Bookverse: based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien
      > and/or drafts
      > > made available by C. Tolkien
      > > ___ 2. Filmverse: based on a film adaptation of "The Lord
      > of the Rings"
      > > or "The Hobbit"
      > >
      > > (Remember, if your story is primarily bookverse but
      > contains elements
      > > unique to the films, you may want to mention this in your summary or
      > > authors' notes so you don't catch your readers by surprise.)
      > >
      > > Marta
      > >
      > >
      > > *****
      > > "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our
      > greatest fear is
      > > that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not
      > our darkness
      > > that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
      > > unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
      > >
      > > (Nelson Mandela)
      > >
      > >
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    • rabidsamfan
      ... I agree that most stories fall predominately into one verse or the other. I just think there ought to be an option for authors who intended their story to
      Message 2 of 30 , Dec 1, 2005
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        On 12/1/05, elanor of aquitania <elanor@...> wrote:
        >
        > rabidsamfan wrote Tue, 29 Nov 2005 22:04:52 -0500:
        > > drawn equally on both sources the option of putting their
        > > stories in with
        > > the crossovers? Either that or by caveat declare that if a
        > > story uses any
        > > *plot* element of the films (rather than any *visual*
        > > element), it should be
        > > with the movieverse stories.
        >
        > Hi Rabidsamfan,
        >
        > IMO both solutions are too strong.
        >
        > 1) I thought cross-overs were for the mixing of
        > other movies like "Pirates of the Caribbean" with Tolkien's universe.
        > IMO the movie by PJ is a story working with
        > elements of Tolkien's Universe, which becomes
        > towards the third part more and more AU.
        >
        > 2) IMO the solution that 'any *plot* element' suffices to shove
        > the story into movie-verse is also too strong a measure.
        >
        > My question is a result of one of my own stories
        > where I use PJ's pyre scene to shorten the story line
        > which else is completely book-verse.
        >
        > I would go with caveats in the summary
        > and I would like to change Dwim's text to
        > something like
        >
        > ###########
        > My story is:
        >
        > 1. Bookverse: *predominantly* based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien
        > and/or
        > drafts made available by C. Tolkien
        >
        > 2. Filmverse: *predominantly* based on a film adaptation of "The Lord of
        > the
        > Rings" or "The Hobbit"
        > ###########
        >
        > Best wishes Elanor



        I agree that most stories fall predominately into one 'verse or the other.
        I just think there ought to be an option for authors who intended their
        story to be a deliberate blending. If we're accomodating author intentions
        for other questions, why not this one? Since no one seems to feel that
        there should be a "both" ticky box, I was trying to think of which places
        blends could go.

        Crossover's not a great choice, I grant you.

        If we used the "visual"/"plot" distinction, then your story would fall into
        "book" if you simply used the description of the fires springing up from
        mountain to mountain, but fall into "movie" if you had Gandalf and Pippin
        conspiring to light the beacons, as that is a distinct plot change which
        impacts the portrayal of Denethor and alters Pippin's experiences in Minas
        Tirith considerably.

        I suppose I'm theorizing ahead of the facts. How about a "Other, explain?"
        ticky box? That might accomodate "LotR written ala Author X" and "But I
        think it's both!" etc. We can always use the visual/plot distinction later
        if there's only one or two stories that are odd, and explain to the authors
        that we needed to place them for the sake of making viable categories.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Marta Layton
        Hi RSF, I have to admit, the whole concept of a bookverse/movieverse hybrid seems a bit foreign to me. If a story is bookverse, that means that on all the
        Message 3 of 30 , Dec 1, 2005
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          Hi RSF,

          I have to admit, the whole concept of a bookverse/movieverse hybrid
          seems a bit foreign to me. If a story is bookverse, that means that on
          all the points where the books differ from the movies, it follows the
          books. If I write a story about Faramir's thoughts just before he rides
          out to re-take Osgiliath, that story is movieverse by default - even if
          I have Faramir reflecting on things that are never mentioned in the
          movies, like Faramir's having the dream that sent Boromir to Osgiliath.
          The movies are pretty limited in their scope, especially when it comes
          to backstory.

          As for why not have the possibility of marking both, there's a simple
          logistical one. This year we had the "Movieverse" category as a choice.
          It was in Genres, but most people want to move it to Times from what
          I've seen. I certainly think it fits better there. But how would
          someone put their story in movieverse using Dwim's form? The way I
          interpret it, if you choose "based on the movies", your story gets
          "Movie-verse" as its "Times" category choice. If you choose "based on
          the books" it gets the time-period you chose as its Time choice.
          Therefore it's important that the author only choose one choice.

          If we don't want to do this, I guess we don't need a movieverse
          category, and I don't have a strong objection from an administrative
          viewpoint. I still think the concept of a hybrid doesn't make a lot of
          sense as I understand the term "bookverse" and "movieverse". But I'll
          go with whatever people want.

          Marta
        • rabidsamfan
          It might not matter, actually. I keep trying to think of specific examples, but this hasn t been a good week for brain cells. Still as long as we leave an
          Message 4 of 30 , Dec 1, 2005
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            It might not matter, actually. I keep trying to think of specific examples,
            but this hasn't been a good week for brain cells. Still as long as we leave
            an opening for authors to let the liaisons know when they feel that the
            options we've given (in whatever area) don't quite fit the way they see
            their stories, it should be sufficient to show us if there is a topic where
            our planning hasn't matched the expectations of others. One of the
            strengths of the MEFAs is inclusivity, and asking people what they think, as
            this discussion certainly proves.

            An evil little braincell in the back of my head just wondered whether or not
            we'd count a story with Bingo Baggins and Trotter as alternate
            universe... They do come from HoME, after all, and while I'm far too sleepy
            to go looking at the list as it stands, I thought that HoME was in the
            bookverse part of the stuff...



            On 12/1/05, Marta Layton <melayton@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi RSF,
            >
            > I have to admit, the whole concept of a bookverse/movieverse hybrid
            > seems a bit foreign to me. If a story is bookverse, that means that on
            > all the points where the books differ from the movies, it follows the
            > books. If I write a story about Faramir's thoughts just before he rides
            > out to re-take Osgiliath, that story is movieverse by default - even if
            > I have Faramir reflecting on things that are never mentioned in the
            > movies, like Faramir's having the dream that sent Boromir to Osgiliath.
            > The movies are pretty limited in their scope, especially when it comes
            > to backstory.
            >
            > As for why not have the possibility of marking both, there's a simple
            > logistical one. This year we had the "Movieverse" category as a choice.
            > It was in Genres, but most people want to move it to Times from what
            > I've seen. I certainly think it fits better there. But how would
            > someone put their story in movieverse using Dwim's form? The way I
            > interpret it, if you choose "based on the movies", your story gets
            > "Movie-verse" as its "Times" category choice. If you choose "based on
            > the books" it gets the time-period you chose as its Time choice.
            > Therefore it's important that the author only choose one choice.
            >
            > If we don't want to do this, I guess we don't need a movieverse
            > category, and I don't have a strong objection from an administrative
            > viewpoint. I still think the concept of a hybrid doesn't make a lot of
            > sense as I understand the term "bookverse" and "movieverse". But I'll
            > go with whatever people want.
            >
            > Marta
            >
            >
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            > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
            >
            >
            > - Visit your group "MEFAwards<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards>"
            > on the web.
            >
            > - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com<MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
            >
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            > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Kathy
            ... HAS anyone ever written a story with Bingo Baggins and Trotter? Now *that* I d like to see! ;) Kathy (Inkling)
            Message 5 of 30 , Dec 1, 2005
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              --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, rabidsamfan <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
              >
              > <snip>
              > An evil little braincell in the back of my head just wondered whether
              > or not we'd count a story with Bingo Baggins and Trotter as alternate
              > universe...

              HAS anyone ever written a story with Bingo Baggins and Trotter? Now
              *that* I'd like to see! ;)

              Kathy (Inkling)
            • Laura
              ... I ve been wondering about this hybrid concept, and I *can* think of a few examples that might fall under such a category. There s one story out there in
              Message 6 of 30 , Dec 1, 2005
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                -- Marta Layton <melayton@...> wrote:
                >> I have to admit, the whole concept of a bookverse/movieverse hybrid
                >> seems a bit foreign to me. If a story is bookverse, that means that
                >> on all the points where the books differ from the movies, it
                >> follows the books. If I write a story about Faramir's thoughts just
                >> before he rides out to re-take Osgiliath, that story is movieverse
                >> by default - even if I have Faramir reflecting on things that are
                >> never mentioned in the movies, like Faramir's having the dream that
                >> sent Boromir to Osgiliath. The movies are pretty limited in their
                >> scope, especially when it comes to backstory.

                I've been wondering about this hybrid concept, and I *can* think of a few examples that might fall under such a category. There's one story out there in which the Lothlorien elves never showed up at Helm's Deep and Haldir never died. He has a fairly big role in the story, and on that count, it's a bookverse story. However, a lot of the lines and a lot of the flashbacks come straight out of the movies and don't have much to do with the books at all. The author did something of a pick-and-choose job, using elements from both the books and the movies until she got something that worked. But even so, I think with a bit of prodding it could be narrowed down into a bookverse or a movieverse category.

                The other examples would are all parodies that use movies and books against each other, and I can think of quite a few of those. But by and large, they're probably going in the humor section rather than in a time category or a movieverse category.

                Anyway, just wanted to point out that there are a few stories out there that try to blend movies and books. And there are a few that try to reconcile movies and books. My opinion is that all of them (at least, all of the stories I've read) can fit into bookverse or movieverse with a bit of wrangling. I don't see an overwhelming need for a hybrid option. But that's just my opinion.

                Thundera

                ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
                --Okay, I'll make a deal with you: If we go out
                on patrol and Gotham is quiet with no sign of
                the Joker, we come back here, have Christmas
                dinner, and watch �It�s a Wonderful Life.�
                --You know, I�ve never seen that. I could never
                get past the title.

                Robin and Batman - Batman: The Animated Series
                ~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
              • MarigoldCotton@aol.com
                For what it is worth, just as an example, almost all of Budgielover s fics are a combination of bookverse and movieverse. She takes elements from each for her
                Message 7 of 30 , Dec 1, 2005
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                  For what it is worth, just as an example, almost all of Budgielover's fics are a combination of bookverse and movieverse. She takes elements from each for her universe.

                  Marigold


                  >-- Marta Layton <melayton@...> wrote:
                  >>> I have to admit, the whole concept of a bookverse/movieverse hybrid
                  >>> seems a bit foreign to me. If a story is bookverse, that means that
                  >>> on all the points where the books differ from the movies, it
                  >>> follows the books. If I write a story about Faramir's thoughts just
                  >>> before he rides out to re-take Osgiliath, that story is movieverse
                  >>> by default - even if I have Faramir reflecting on things that are
                  >>> never mentioned in the movies, like Faramir's having the dream that
                  >>> sent Boromir to Osgiliath. The movies are pretty limited in their
                  >>> scope, especially when it comes to backstory.
                  >
                  >I've been wondering about this hybrid concept, and I *can* think of a few examples that might fall under such a category. There's one story out there in which the Lothlorien elves never showed up at Helm's Deep and Haldir never died. He has a fairly big role in the story, and on that count, it's a bookverse story. However, a lot of the lines and a lot of the flashbacks come straight out of the movies and don't have much to do with the books at all. The author did something of a pick-and-choose job, using elements from both the books and the movies until she got something that worked. But even so, I think with a bit of prodding it could be narrowed down into a bookverse or a movieverse category.
                  >
                  >The other examples would are all parodies that use movies and books against each other, and I can think of quite a few of those. But by and large, they're probably going in the humor section rather than in a time category or a movieverse category.
                  >
                  >Anyway, just wanted to point out that there are a few stories out there that try to blend movies and books. And there are a few that try to reconcile movies and books. My opinion is that all of them (at least, all of the stories I've read) can fit into bookverse or movieverse with a bit of wrangling. I don't see an overwhelming need for a hybrid option. But that's just my opinion.
                  >
                  >Thundera
                  >
                  >~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
                  >--Okay, I'll make a deal with you: If we go out
                  >   on patrol and Gotham is quiet with no sign of
                  >   the Joker, we come back here, have Christmas
                  >   dinner, and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
                  >--You know, I’ve never seen that. I could never
                  >   get past the title.
                  >
                  >Robin and Batman - Batman: The Animated Series
                  >~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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                  --
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                  http://marigold.tolkienshire.com

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                  There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.
                  >
                  >Sam, in Mordor, RoTK
                • Marta Layton
                  Hi Thundera, ... Okay, I can see that argument. To my mind, if Tolkien never gave us the exact wording of that quote (and the movies are different), then this
                  Message 8 of 30 , Dec 2, 2005
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                    Hi Thundera,

                    >>> I have to admit, the whole concept of a bookverse/movieverse hybrid
                    >>> seems a bit foreign to me. If a story is bookverse, that means that
                    >>> on all the points where the books differ from the movies, it
                    >>> follows the books. If I write a story about Faramir's thoughts just
                    >>> before he rides out to re-take Osgiliath, that story is movieverse
                    >>> by default - even if I have Faramir reflecting on things that are
                    >>> never mentioned in the movies, like Faramir's having the dream that
                    >>> sent Boromir to Osgiliath. The movies are pretty limited in their
                    >>> scope, especially when it comes to backstory.
                    >
                    > I've been wondering about this hybrid concept, and I *can* think of a
                    > few examples that might fall under such a category. There's one story
                    > out there in which the Lothlorien elves never showed up at Helm's Deep
                    > and Haldir never died. He has a fairly big role in the story, and on
                    > that count, it's a bookverse story. However, a lot of the lines and a
                    > lot of the flashbacks come straight out of the movies and don't have
                    > much to do with the books at all. The author did something of a
                    > pick-and-choose job, using elements from both the books and the movies
                    > until she got something that worked. But even so, I think with a bit
                    > of prodding it could be narrowed down into a bookverse or a movieverse
                    > category.
                    >

                    Okay, I can see that argument. To my mind, if Tolkien never gave us the
                    exact wording of that quote (and the movies are different), then this
                    doesn't keep it from being bookverse. To my mind the questions are:

                    1. Is the story completely consistent with the books?

                    a. Yes --> bookverse
                    b. No --> Go to #2.

                    2. Where the story is different from the books, is it instead following
                    the movie's version of events?

                    a. Yes --> movieverse
                    b. No --> AU

                    So a story where the hobbits pass through the barrows but aren't taken
                    by the wight is definitely not consistent with the books. But it's not
                    really movieverse, either, because it's not like the author is
                    specifically going with the movies' version instead. I'd label this AU.

                    On the other hand, a story where Arwen rides out to meet Aragorn +
                    hobbits isn't consistent with the books, but it's going with the
                    movies' version of events, so it's a movieverse story.

                    But I can see your point. That's why I suggested asking whether a story
                    was or wasn't movieverse -- if the author think there's enough of the
                    movies to label it as movieverse they can do that, even if there's
                    stuff from the books there, too.

                    Marta
                  • Marta Layton
                    ... The main problem I have with giving people the option to choose both is the problem with sorting stories into a movieverse category. If we can do that
                    Message 9 of 30 , Dec 2, 2005
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                      On 2 Dec 2005, at 00:06, rabidsamfan wrote:

                      > It might not matter, actually.  I keep trying to think of specific
                      > examples,
                      > but this hasn't been a good week for brain cells.  Still as long as
                      > we leave
                      > an opening for authors to let the liaisons know when they feel that
                      > the
                      > options we've given (in whatever area) don't quite fit the way they
                      > see
                      > their stories, it should be sufficient to show us if there is a topic
                      > where
                      > our planning hasn't matched the expectations of others.  One of the
                      > strengths of the MEFAs is inclusivity, and asking people what they
                      > think, as
                      > this discussion certainly proves.
                      >

                      The main problem I have with giving people the option to choose both is
                      the problem with sorting stories into a "movieverse" category. If we
                      can do that some other way, I don't mind having this option - I'm not
                      particularly for it, I just don't have strong feelings.

                      Marta
                    • rabidsamfan
                      If every author agrees that their story is one or the other it s no biggie, but I think it s possible that some authors will balk at having to choose to cram
                      Message 10 of 30 , Dec 2, 2005
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                        If every author agrees that their story is one or the other it's no biggie,
                        but I think it's possible that some authors will balk at having to choose to
                        cram what they've written one direction or the other. And since we're using
                        source information to group similar stories together there's room for some
                        flexibility. If nine stories come in where the authors say that they've
                        blended film and book deliberately, that's enough for a "Great Years -
                        blends of book and film" group. But if there are only three authors who say
                        "it's a blend" then those stories could be assorted into more precise
                        times, eg, one each into "Battle of Helm's Deep", "Journey down the Great
                        River" and "Cormallen". How the final assortment will work out is going to
                        depend on the stories which are nominated, because it's impossible to
                        predict numbers. But good data is everything. It doesn't hurt to ask
                        authors what they think.

                        <omits long paragraph about how she splits the material down because it
                        would just turn into a wrangle>




                        On 12/2/05, Marta Layton <melayton@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > The main problem I have with giving people the option to choose both is
                        > the problem with sorting stories into a "movieverse" category. If we
                        > can do that some other way, I don't mind having this option - I'm not
                        > particularly for it, I just don't have strong feelings.
                        >
                        > Marta
                        >
                        >
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Marta Layton
                        Hi RSF, ... This is why I suggested framing the question differently: is the story movieverse or not? If the author thinks there s enough movieverse in it for
                        Message 11 of 30 , Dec 3, 2005
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                          Hi RSF,

                          On 2 Dec 2005, at 22:50, rabidsamfan wrote:

                          > If every author agrees that their story is one or the other it's no
                          > biggie,
                          > but I think it's possible that some authors will balk at having to
                          > choose to
                          > cram what they've written one direction or the other.  And since
                          > we're using
                          > source information to group similar stories together there's room for
                          > some
                          > flexibility. 

                          This is why I suggested framing the question differently: is the story
                          movieverse or not? If the author thinks there's enough movieverse in it
                          for it to compete with movieverse stories, they select yes, even if
                          there's a fair bit of bookverse in there as well. We could phrase it as
                          something like "Is your story based on some adaptation of Tolkien's
                          work like the movies made by Jackson or Bakshi. Select "yes" even if
                          your story also draws from Tolkien's books if you would like it to
                          compete with other movieverse stories. If you do not want it to compete
                          in a movieverse category [or sub-category, whatever we go with], please
                          select "Decline to answer" and mention that it draws from the movies in
                          your summary."

                          My concern with giving people a book/movie/splice option is that the
                          splice stories won't go in with the movieverse categories even if the
                          author might put it there. I had a story entered in this year's
                          movieverse category ("Fell Deeds, Awake") that had Gimli at Helm's Deep
                          comparing Theoden to Bard. It was movieverse because Gimli was the one
                          who blew Helm Hammerhand's horn, and I still think that was the right
                          category for it -- but if I had the option of marking it as a
                          combination of bookverse and movieverse, I probably would have chosen a
                          blend. I don't want that to happen to other people this year.

                          Just my thoughts, of course. If most people want to accommodate splices
                          this way I won't fight it. Would people like a poll on this?

                          Marta
                        • rabidsamfan
                          See, I d call that a blend right off the bat, as Bard is drawn strictly from the books and Gimli blowing the horn is definitely from the film, and the story is
                          Message 12 of 30 , Dec 3, 2005
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                            See, I'd call that a blend right off the bat, as Bard is drawn strictly from
                            the books and Gimli blowing the horn is definitely from the film, and the
                            story is doing its best to bind those two things into a single whole. You,
                            I gather, feel that any hint of the films moves the story into the
                            movieverse, and even want authors to mention if there are moviebits in
                            summaries, almost like a warning for unpleasant topics or character deaths.


                            Part of the problem, I guess, is that I don't ask that question first. And
                            it is the first question on Dwim's form.

                            To quote:

                            [My story is:

                            1. Bookverse: based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or drafts
                            made available by C. Tolkien
                            2. Filmverse: based on a film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" or
                            "The Hobbit"...]

                            Now when I think "Bookverse" I don't include anything from Tolkien's letters
                            or HoME, or even Unfinished Tales. If I were better acquainted with the
                            Silmarillion, I'd definitely include that in my thinking, but mostly I think
                            of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (and in their "most corrected" form,
                            at that) as being the basic canon of the Bookverse.

                            HoME, the Letters, etc., are in my noggin as "drafts and background
                            material".



                            The films (and for that matter, the audio performances by people like the
                            BBC), are "adaptations", some of which would clearly be Alternate Universes
                            if they were fanfic.



                            And of course there Alternate Universes of the usual variety as well, which
                            for me are always stories that try to answer "what if some factor were
                            changed" and extrapolate forward.

                            Except for some of the Alternate Universe/Crossover type stories, where
                            Frodo is living in modern New York and Sam is the building superintendent,
                            most fanfic falls within a scope of Time and Place which is consistent with
                            JRRT's published works.

                            So what if we skip that question for now, and save it for later. Now we
                            have two primary questions on the form (and again, they're not in the form
                            I'd divide things.)... Hmm. I can see that what I really need to do is
                            explain how I would do it if I were in charge of the universe.

                            Okay. Might take me a day or so, depending on the insomnia. I'll go hunt
                            up Dwim's most current form of the form and see if I can make a coherent
                            contribution. Not that I expect it to be used, mind you, but so you can see
                            how I'm thinking.


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • dwimmer_laik
                            ... strictly from ... and the ... whole. ... first. And ... Rings or ... Tolkien s letters ... with the ... mostly I think ... corrected form, ... Ok, let s
                            Message 13 of 30 , Dec 3, 2005
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                              --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, rabidsamfan <rabidsamfan@v...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > See, I'd call that a blend right off the bat, as Bard is drawn
                              strictly from
                              > the books and Gimli blowing the horn is definitely from the film,
                              and the
                              > story is doing its best to bind those two things into a single
                              whole.
                              >
                              > Part of the problem, I guess, is that I don't ask that question
                              first. And
                              > it is the first question on Dwim's form.
                              >
                              > To quote:
                              >
                              > [My story is:
                              >
                              > 1. Bookverse: based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or drafts
                              > made available by C. Tolkien
                              > 2. Filmverse: based on a film adaptation of "The Lord of the
                              Rings" or
                              > "The Hobbit"...]
                              >
                              > Now when I think "Bookverse" I don't include anything from
                              Tolkien's letters
                              > or HoME, or even Unfinished Tales. If I were better acquainted
                              with the
                              > Silmarillion, I'd definitely include that in my thinking, but
                              mostly I think
                              > of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (and in their "most
                              corrected" form,
                              > at that) as being the basic canon of the Bookverse.

                              Ok, let's start again.

                              The "Bookverse/Movieverse" option, the way I have it, is intended to
                              talk about which source material you're using for your story.

                              Now, given that absolutely uninflected, stripped down sentence, I am
                              not consistent in requiring an author to choose between them if said
                              author has used both books and movies.

                              However, the work that that filter *can* do is to show us which fics
                              should be moved into the movieverse category on the grounds that a
                              movieverse story has a different set of canonical events governing
                              it.

                              A third layer of interpretation is taking each fic according to what
                              appears as the author's intention: is the author attempting to say
                              something about the movieverse events, even if by drawing
                              significantly on bookverse events/personalities (this is what I
                              would understand Marta's fic to be doing) or is it attempting to say
                              something about bookverse events/personalities, even if by
                              incorporating movieverse elements that seem to point in certain
                              directions? Here, I don't think it makes sense to have a "blend"
                              option.

                              Given that, the problem point is going to be deciding what the
                              function of the filter is. Do we want to use it to mark out stories
                              that probably should go into a category on their own? Or do we want
                              it to function just to let readers know what source material they
                              may need in order to make sense of the story? If the latter, we have
                              to find another place to put movieverse as a category or decide if
                              we want that to be a category (I personally would go with a
                              movieverse category provided it meets the 2x5 viability criterion);
                              we have to make sure that those filling in the form understand it's
                              not redundant as a question.

                              If the former, then *if* we added "blend" we would have to define
                              what it is that "blend" is trying to do that clearly separates it
                              from "movieverse" and "bookverse", which I'm not convinced we've
                              done, at least not on any basis other than "I just happen to use two
                              different sources". If we fail to do that, then I think there's too
                              little to give readers a sense of why this is a category, and it may
                              end up being a sort of catch-all with no clear sense of cohesion.
                              Granted, with big categories like "Drama" there's also that danger,
                              but I think people have a better sense of what "dramatic" means and
                              can see more or less why it makes sense, *given the aim of the
                              story*, to put it in drama (or Elves, or post-Ring War, etc.).

                              > Hmm. I can see that what I really need to do is
                              > explain how I would do it if I were in charge of the universe.
                              >
                              > Okay. Might take me a day or so, depending on the insomnia. I'll
                              go hunt
                              > up Dwim's most current form of the form and see if I can make a
                              coherent
                              > contribution.

                              I'm at work, so I can't access the form at home on my computer,
                              which has changed slightly due to Kathy's pointing out some errors
                              and oversights. I think I'll post the form in the YahooGroup's site
                              Files when I get a chance, and then update it when needed. That
                              should make it easier to find for everyone than if they have to hunt
                              through pages of posts.

                              Dwim
                            • rabidsamfan
                              Thanks. I ve gone and gotten the version that was linked at the LJ journal, but I know folks have talked about variations on it. I suspect that part of the
                              Message 14 of 30 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                Thanks. I've gone and gotten the version that was linked at the LJ journal,
                                but I know folks have talked about variations on it.

                                I suspect that part of the reason I don't just shrug my shoulders and wander
                                away is that I see the issue of source material as essentially minor, but
                                the placement of the question makes it a major consideration. I could care
                                less if a category about the Ents attacking Isengard is half film-based and
                                half book-based, as long as it's a decent size for the purposes of the
                                competition.

                                You mentioned "the aim of the story" and that's precisely why I want to give
                                authors the option to call something a blend. It's intention that matters
                                here as much as any definition. There's probably a better word than blend
                                -- a chimera, perhaps? Defined as a story which intentionally draws strong
                                elements from two or more disparate sources and attempts to reconcile them?

                                As far as readers finding things, hmmm. perhaps we could include the
                                answers the authors gave us in the story information page.

                                Yeah, it'll probably take a poll...


                                On 12/3/05, dwimmer_laik <dwimmer_laik@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, rabidsamfan <rabidsamfan@v...>
                                > wrote:
                                > >
                                > > See, I'd call that a blend right off the bat, as Bard is drawn
                                > strictly from
                                > > the books and Gimli blowing the horn is definitely from the film,
                                > and the
                                > > story is doing its best to bind those two things into a single
                                > whole.
                                > >
                                > > Part of the problem, I guess, is that I don't ask that question
                                > first. And
                                > > it is the first question on Dwim's form.
                                > >
                                > > To quote:
                                > >
                                > > [My story is:
                                > >
                                > > 1. Bookverse: based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or drafts
                                > > made available by C. Tolkien
                                > > 2. Filmverse: based on a film adaptation of "The Lord of the
                                > Rings" or
                                > > "The Hobbit"...]
                                > >
                                > > Now when I think "Bookverse" I don't include anything from
                                > Tolkien's letters
                                > > or HoME, or even Unfinished Tales. If I were better acquainted
                                > with the
                                > > Silmarillion, I'd definitely include that in my thinking, but
                                > mostly I think
                                > > of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (and in their "most
                                > corrected" form,
                                > > at that) as being the basic canon of the Bookverse.
                                >
                                > Ok, let's start again.
                                >
                                > The "Bookverse/Movieverse" option, the way I have it, is intended to
                                > talk about which source material you're using for your story.
                                >
                                > Now, given that absolutely uninflected, stripped down sentence, I am
                                > not consistent in requiring an author to choose between them if said
                                > author has used both books and movies.
                                >
                                > However, the work that that filter *can* do is to show us which fics
                                > should be moved into the movieverse category on the grounds that a
                                > movieverse story has a different set of canonical events governing
                                > it.
                                >
                                > A third layer of interpretation is taking each fic according to what
                                > appears as the author's intention: is the author attempting to say
                                > something about the movieverse events, even if by drawing
                                > significantly on bookverse events/personalities (this is what I
                                > would understand Marta's fic to be doing) or is it attempting to say
                                > something about bookverse events/personalities, even if by
                                > incorporating movieverse elements that seem to point in certain
                                > directions? Here, I don't think it makes sense to have a "blend"
                                > option.
                                >
                                > Given that, the problem point is going to be deciding what the
                                > function of the filter is. Do we want to use it to mark out stories
                                > that probably should go into a category on their own? Or do we want
                                > it to function just to let readers know what source material they
                                > may need in order to make sense of the story? If the latter, we have
                                > to find another place to put movieverse as a category or decide if
                                > we want that to be a category (I personally would go with a
                                > movieverse category provided it meets the 2x5 viability criterion);
                                > we have to make sure that those filling in the form understand it's
                                > not redundant as a question.
                                >
                                > If the former, then *if* we added "blend" we would have to define
                                > what it is that "blend" is trying to do that clearly separates it
                                > from "movieverse" and "bookverse", which I'm not convinced we've
                                > done, at least not on any basis other than "I just happen to use two
                                > different sources". If we fail to do that, then I think there's too
                                > little to give readers a sense of why this is a category, and it may
                                > end up being a sort of catch-all with no clear sense of cohesion.
                                > Granted, with big categories like "Drama" there's also that danger,
                                > but I think people have a better sense of what "dramatic" means and
                                > can see more or less why it makes sense, *given the aim of the
                                > story*, to put it in drama (or Elves, or post-Ring War, etc.).
                                >
                                > > Hmm. I can see that what I really need to do is
                                > > explain how I would do it if I were in charge of the universe.
                                > >
                                > > Okay. Might take me a day or so, depending on the insomnia. I'll
                                > go hunt
                                > > up Dwim's most current form of the form and see if I can make a
                                > coherent
                                > > contribution.
                                >
                                > I'm at work, so I can't access the form at home on my computer,
                                > which has changed slightly due to Kathy's pointing out some errors
                                > and oversights. I think I'll post the form in the YahooGroup's site
                                > Files when I get a chance, and then update it when needed. That
                                > should make it easier to find for everyone than if they have to hunt
                                > through pages of posts.
                                >
                                > Dwim
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > SPONSORED LINKS
                                > Writing book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+book&w1=Writing+book&w2=Writing+child+book&w3=Book+writing+software&w4=Writing+a+book+report&w5=Creative+writing+book&w6=Writing+and+publishing+a+book&c=6&s=158&.sig=CJ9-GUUZOlmjU1HkIfWNbw> Writing
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                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • dwimmer_laik
                                Re: LJ version Oh good. I still want to put the form up in the files. It ll make it easier to find whenever revisions are made. And even if (by a miracle) this
                                Message 15 of 30 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                  Re: LJ version

                                  Oh good. I still want to put the form up in the files. It'll make it
                                  easier to find whenever revisions are made. And even if (by a
                                  miracle) this were the final controversy over how the form was set
                                  up, it'd probably still be a good idea to ahve a copy of it isolated
                                  from the flow of messages.

                                  > You mentioned "the aim of the story" and that's precisely why I
                                  want to give
                                  > authors the option to call something a blend. It's intention that
                                  matters
                                  > here as much as any definition. There's probably a better word
                                  than blend
                                  > -- a chimera, perhaps? Defined as a story which intentionally
                                  draws strong
                                  > elements from two or more disparate sources and attempts to
                                  reconcile them?
                                  >

                                  But that question I would see as dependent upon determining *which*
                                  was being reconciled to which? It makes a difference if the aim is
                                  to reconcile the movies to the books, but it's a different thing to
                                  make the books reconciled to the movies. There's an implicit
                                  assumption, I think, about the priority of one source with respect
                                  to another that as I see as both resulting in the same thing: they
                                  both are more concerned with doing something with the movies than
                                  they are with the books.

                                  > As far as readers finding things, hmmm. perhaps we could include
                                  the
                                  > answers the authors gave us in the story information page.

                                  So the suggestion is to move the source material question, in
                                  suitably modified form, to the "subcategories" portion of the form
                                  and then to see whether sufficiently many movieverse fics are
                                  available to form a main category?
                                  >
                                  > Yeah, it'll probably take a poll...

                                  Eventually! I feel as if we're still sort of swimming about at the
                                  moment.

                                  Dwim
                                • Marta Layton
                                  Hey guys, I ve been thinking about this movieverse/bookverse debate, and as usual in my mind the question comes down to why we are asking the question; what we
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Dec 3, 2005
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                                    Hey guys,

                                    I've been thinking about this movieverse/bookverse debate, and as usual
                                    in my mind the question comes down to why we are asking the question;
                                    what we hope to accomplish.

                                    Do we want to help the reader identify stories that draw from the books
                                    or movies? Some people like to read stories that are one or the other;
                                    personally, I prefer pieces that are set strongly in the books. I'll
                                    read movie-based stories but will enjoy them a lot better if I'm not
                                    caught by surprise by movie-inspired details. This is my own quirk,
                                    perhaps not one that's widespread, but I think having the information
                                    available in some form allows people to adapt their own reading styles
                                    to the story information we provide. (Those who don't need it will just
                                    ignore the information.)

                                    Another possible use of this information is creating a category or
                                    sub-category. If movieverse deserves its own (sub-)category, then what
                                    is it about movieverse stories that make them so different from the
                                    other designations in the Books/Time division? Since we seem to be
                                    approaching Books/Times as a series of time periods rather than
                                    sources, we can't really say that movieverse stories should have their
                                    own category because they draw on a different source. We have no
                                    problem thinking fics about the Battle of the Fords of Isen and about
                                    the Battle of Helm's Deep belong in the same category, despite the fact
                                    that one probably draws mainly from UT and another from LOTR. So why
                                    should a piece set around the movies' version of the Great War be
                                    separated from one about the books' version? To be consistent, this
                                    shouldn't be because the source is different but because the timeline
                                    is different. There may be some common points, but if movieverse
                                    stories are getting moved to a different category, it has to be because
                                    the events they're based around are different.

                                    If hybrids deserve their own category in Books/TIme, it's because they
                                    belong to a different timeline than either book or movie. The problem
                                    is, it's not the same timeline. The author is mixing and matching movie
                                    and book events.

                                    Let me try to make clear what I'm thinking about here with a diagram,
                                    and hope that the graphics hold.


                                    1.
                                    / --> Movie version of Ring War --> \

                                    / \
                                    1st Age --> 2nd Age --> Early Third Age
                                    --> Fourth Age

                                    \ /
                                    2.
                                    \ --> Book version of Ring War --> /

                                    Going back to the story of mine I referenced earlier... the story is
                                    set in Helm's Deep, and it has Gimli with Theoden just before the final
                                    charge. That's clearly movies; in the books he's off with Eomer in the
                                    caves. It references things from earlier in the timeline (_Hobbit_ era)
                                    from before there are the two branches. In that sense it's irrelevant.
                                    If we have a story that has details that are unique to timeline #1, and
                                    another detail that is unique to timeline #2, we have a problem. For
                                    example if Frodo during the Shire scouring remembers riding to
                                    Rivendell with Arwen. That story straddles the two time lines in a way
                                    that isn't consistent with either one. But I think the majority of
                                    stories that we are calling blends are like my Helm's Deep story: set
                                    in the movie verse but using details from the books to fill in the
                                    backstory. The use of these details doesn't knock them completely out
                                    of their timeline, *provided* those details aren't unique to the other
                                    branch.

                                    What about the above Frodo remembering Arwen story? It seems like it's
                                    in some sense AU. I'm almost tempted to label it as an AU. The story
                                    just isn't consistent with either branch of the timeline.

                                    Not sure how much sense I'm making, and I'm definitely losing steam.
                                    These are just my thoughts on this subject; I'm not sure I necessarily
                                    have an answer to provide, but maybe it will help us see the question
                                    clearer.

                                    Marta
                                  • Marta Layton
                                    Hi RSF, ... So that s at least part of the problem: we re using the terms differently. If I don t see a story labelled as movieverse and I see an event that
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Dec 6, 2005
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                                      Hi RSF,

                                      > See, I'd call that a blend right off the bat, as Bard is drawn
                                      > strictly from
                                      > the books and Gimli blowing the horn is definitely from the film, and
                                      > the
                                      > story is doing its best to bind those two things into a single
                                      > whole.   You,
                                      > I gather, feel that any hint of the films moves the story into the
                                      > movieverse, and even want authors to mention if there are moviebits in
                                      > summaries, almost like a warning for unpleasant topics or character
                                      > deaths.
                                      >

                                      So that's at least part of the problem: we're using the terms
                                      differently. If I don't see a story labelled as movieverse and I see
                                      an event that is in the movies but not in the books, I think of it as
                                      an authors' mistakes. I don't mean movie-inspired pieces per se, I just
                                      want to expect it. So for me as reader, I appreciate having this
                                      material labelled. And this is for the authors' good as much as
                                      anything else. My reading of an unlabelled movieverse story will
                                      probably be less forgiving than my reading of one for which I had fair
                                      expectations. It might be the difference between an 8 point and a 10
                                      point review.

                                      For the purpose of categorisation, I'm less sure. I think the first
                                      question we need to answer is whether movieverse stories should be
                                      their own category, and if so why. If we answer that I think it will be
                                      a lot easier to see what to do with blends.

                                      >
                                      > Part of the problem, I guess, is that I don't ask that question
                                      > first.  An
                                      > it is the first question on Dwim's form.
                                      >
                                      > To quote:
                                      >
                                      > [My story is:
                                      >
                                      > 1. Bookverse: based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or drafts
                                      > made available by C. Tolkien
                                      > 2. Filmverse: based on a film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" or
                                      > "The Hobbit"...]
                                      >
                                      > Now when I think "Bookverse" I don't include anything from Tolkien's
                                      > letters
                                      > or HoME, or even Unfinished Tales.  If I were better acquainted with
                                      > the
                                      > Silmarillion, I'd definitely include that in my thinking, but mostly
                                      > I think
                                      > of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (and in their "most
                                      > corrected" form,
                                      > at that) as being the basic canon of the Bookverse.
                                      >
                                      > HoME, the Letters, etc., are in my noggin as "drafts and background
                                      > material".
                                      >

                                      Ah, the joys of being in such a complex canon! I'm for including the
                                      drafts of Tolkien's posthumously published works just to avoid
                                      controversy, because while the details might be different, the *medium*
                                      is at least the same, and Tolkien himself had some hand in choosing the
                                      details. Even if they weren't finished.

                                      And Rabidsamfan, at the risk of dividing the fandom into factions...
                                      you write mostly hobbit fic, right? While there is certainly
                                      information about hobbits in the Letters and HOME, but I think that
                                      most of the *events* at least are set out in LOTR and TH. I honestly
                                      can't imagine writing Gondor without knowing a lot more about the
                                      history of Numenor than we see in the appendices. This is even more
                                      true for the elves; I personally think the most interesting part about
                                      them are the allusions to the "deeper matters" that are only told in
                                      full in the Silm, or UT. In my mind, if it doesn't contradict the
                                      published books it's fair game.

                                      That's just my personal opinion, though. The main reason I'm allowing
                                      C. Tolkien's stuff is it side-steps a controversy on what just is
                                      canon. People have been arguing over that for decades, and I doubt
                                      we'll settle them in a manner that everyone will agree with.

                                      > So what if we skip that question for now, and save it for later.  Now
                                      > we
                                      > have two primary questions on the form (and again, they're not in the
                                      > form
                                      > I'd divide things.)...   Hmm.  I can see that what I really need to
                                      > do is
                                      > explain how I would do it if I were in charge of the universe.
                                      >
                                      > Okay.  Might take me a day or so, depending on the insomnia.  I'll go
                                      > hunt
                                      > up Dwim's most current form of the form and see if I can make a
                                      > coherent
                                      > contribution.  Not that I expect it to be used, mind you, but so you
                                      > can see
                                      > how I'm thinking.
                                      >

                                      By all means! I've thrown out my opinion, and I look forward to seeing
                                      how you'd handle these questions. And whenever you have the time to ldo
                                      that, of course.

                                      Marta
                                    • rhapsody_the_bard
                                      ... Okay, I ve been trying to follow this conversation the past days, but I am not sure if I understand completely why this is brought up for discussion.. It
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:

                                        Okay, I've been trying to follow this conversation the past days, but
                                        I am not sure if I understand completely why this is brought up for
                                        discussion.. It might have been the flu though ;)

                                        > So that's at least part of the problem: we're using the terms
                                        > differently. If I don't see a story labelled as movieverse and I
                                        > see an event that is in the movies but not in the books, I think of
                                        > it as an authors' mistakes. I don't mean movie-inspired pieces per
                                        > se, I just want to expect it. So for me as reader, I appreciate
                                        > having this material labelled. And this is for the authors' good as
                                        > much as anything else. My reading of an unlabelled movieverse story
                                        > will probably be less forgiving than my reading of one for which I
                                        > had fair expectations. It might be the difference between an 8 point
                                        > and a 10 point review.

                                        Well, reading this I wonder... what if an author does thorough book
                                        research, but you (as a reader) think it is a movie thing (maybe
                                        because it feels a bit alike, or PJ dived more into the books than you
                                        assumed). What then? I think you need to be aware of this as well. We
                                        all can't know every single detail of what Tolkien wrote or stated, we
                                        all miss things when we read (or form our own idea about it)...

                                        > For the purpose of categorisation, I'm less sure. I think the first
                                        > question we need to answer is whether movieverse stories should be
                                        > their own category, and if so why. If we answer that I think it will
                                        > be a lot easier to see what to do with blends.

                                        Well, this is something I have a hard time understanding currently...
                                        I mean didn't we had a movieverse category? And didn't it work quite well?

                                        >> Now when I think "Bookverse" I don't include anything from
                                        >> Tolkien's letters or HoME, or even Unfinished Tales. If I were
                                        >> better acquainted with the Silmarillion, I'd definitely include
                                        >> that in my thinking, but mostly I think of The Hobbit and The Lord
                                        >> of the Rings (and in their "most corrected" form,at that) as being
                                        >> the basic canon of the Bookverse.
                                        >>
                                        >> HoME, the Letters, etc., are in my noggin as "drafts and
                                        >> background material".
                                        >
                                        > Ah, the joys of being in such a complex canon! I'm for including the
                                        > drafts of Tolkien's posthumously published works just to avoid
                                        > controversy, because while the details might be different, the
                                        > *medium* is at least the same, and Tolkien himself had some hand in
                                        > choosing the details. Even if they weren't finished.

                                        Well the thing is here, especially with HOME is that Tolkien drafted
                                        so many versions of one event, that it is quite often contradicting.
                                        It is a great source for plotbunnies though, but I can imagine that
                                        when someone explores a HOME thing that covers an event in the
                                        Silmarillion that is contradicting... that would be very interesting
                                        to see how you guys want to see that as categorisation because
                                        technically: it isn't AU, you can quote canon on that.

                                        > And Rabidsamfan, at the risk of dividing the fandom into factions...
                                        > you write mostly hobbit fic, right? While there is certainly
                                        > information about hobbits in the Letters and HOME, but I think that
                                        > most of the *events* at least are set out in LOTR and TH. I honestly
                                        > can't imagine writing Gondor without knowing a lot more about the
                                        > history of Numenor than we see in the appendices. This is even more
                                        > true for the elves; I personally think the most interesting part
                                        > about them are the allusions to the "deeper matters" that are only
                                        > told in full in the Silm, or UT. In my mind, if it doesn't
                                        > contradict the published books it's fair game.

                                        Even the URT contains contradicting material... just don't try to dive
                                        too much into exploring Celeborn for example... it gave drive you
                                        insane ;) And I am not starting about LACE, which is never ever
                                        mentioned in the Silmarillion to begin with.

                                        *dives for cover*

                                        Rhapsody
                                      • aelfwina@cableone.net
                                        ... From: Marta Layton To: Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 11:20 PM Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] Movie-verse
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "Marta Layton" <melayton@...>
                                          To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 11:20 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] Movie-verse versus Bookverse (Re: Question
                                          concerning Dwim's list)


                                          So that's at least part of the problem: we're using the terms
                                          differently. If I don't see a story labelled as movieverse and I see
                                          an event that is in the movies but not in the books, I think of it as
                                          an authors' mistakes. I don't mean movie-inspired pieces per se, I just
                                          want to expect it. So for me as reader, I appreciate having this
                                          material labelled. And this is for the authors' good as much as
                                          anything else. My reading of an unlabelled movieverse story will
                                          probably be less forgiving than my reading of one for which I had fair
                                          expectations. It might be the difference between an 8 point and a 10
                                          point review.

                                          ::Now, I have to say, I write what I think of as essentially book-verse
                                          stories. Yet I often draw on visual elements and bits of characterizations
                                          that were inspired by the films, as long as they don't contradict the book.
                                          For example, JRRT never tells us the color of Frodo's or Pippin's eyes--so I
                                          don't feel there's anything amiss in using the color of the actors who
                                          played them. And we are certainly never given a description of the hobbits'
                                          articles of dress, so mentioning Merry's yellow weskit or Pippin's scarf
                                          would certainly not fall into putting the story in movie-verse, to me.
                                          On the other hand, sometimes people read into a story something that's not
                                          there. In my very first story, I had a less than flattering protrayal of
                                          Denethor, my own interpretation of his character for over 30 years, from the
                                          time I read the book the first time. Yet I had a reviewer who assumed I was
                                          writing "movie-verser Denethor".
                                          So I would say that a definition of "movie-verse" or "book-verse" is very
                                          subjective, and rightfully left to the author to decide.

                                          For the purpose of categorisation, I'm less sure. I think the first
                                          question we need to answer is whether movieverse stories should be
                                          their own category, and if so why. If we answer that I think it will be
                                          a lot easier to see what to do with blends.

                                          ::We had a movie-verse category, or was it sub-category? last year, and I
                                          think it seemed to work all right. I am afraid I would put this whole
                                          question to the old "if it ain't broke..." question.

                                          > Now when I think "Bookverse" I don't include anything from Tolkien's
                                          > letters
                                          > or HoME, or even Unfinished Tales. If I were better acquainted with
                                          > the
                                          > Silmarillion, I'd definitely include that in my thinking, but mostly
                                          > I think
                                          > of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (and in their "most
                                          > corrected" form,
                                          > at that) as being the basic canon of the Bookverse.
                                          >
                                          > HoME, the Letters, etc., are in my noggin as "drafts and background
                                          > material".
                                          >

                                          Ah, the joys of being in such a complex canon! I'm for including the
                                          drafts of Tolkien's posthumously published works just to avoid
                                          controversy, because while the details might be different, the *medium*
                                          is at least the same, and Tolkien himself had some hand in choosing the
                                          details. Even if they weren't finished.

                                          ::I fall somewhere in between. I think of The Silm as more or less canon to
                                          the events which take place during those years. I think of UT and Letters
                                          as "semi-canon"--useful for factoids that are not included in the finished
                                          works, and then I think of the rest as "quasi-canon", again useful for
                                          certain factoids, but not quite so much so, as the aforementioned works.
                                          All of them are to be treated with a certain amount of respect as revealing
                                          some of JRRT's own mind on certain matters, but I don't see them as "canon",
                                          except for The Silm.


                                          And Rabidsamfan, at the risk of dividing the fandom into factions...
                                          you write mostly hobbit fic, right? While there is certainly
                                          information about hobbits in the Letters and HOME, but I think that
                                          most of the *events* at least are set out in LOTR and TH. I honestly
                                          can't imagine writing Gondor without knowing a lot more about the
                                          history of Numenor than we see in the appendices. This is even more
                                          true for the elves; I personally think the most interesting part about
                                          them are the allusions to the "deeper matters" that are only told in
                                          full in the Silm, or UT. In my mind, if it doesn't contradict the
                                          published books it's fair game.

                                          That's just my personal opinion, though. The main reason I'm allowing
                                          C. Tolkien's stuff is it side-steps a controversy on what just is
                                          canon. People have been arguing over that for decades, and I doubt
                                          we'll settle them in a manner that everyone will agree with.

                                          ::You are quite right in noting that we hobbit writers have a lot more
                                          published material to draw on. There's nothing wrong or divisive in
                                          pointing that out.
                                          Your statement in saying "if it doesn't contradict the published books it's
                                          fair game" is interesting, however, in the light of what you had to say
                                          about seeing movie-verse elements in a book-verse story. 8-)

                                          ::At any rate, I do think that the question of movie-verse versus book-verse
                                          as a category is being made more important than it really needs to be. It
                                          should be a question on the form, but like RSF, I don't think it needs to be
                                          the first one, or even a main one. It's just a small part of what needs to
                                          be decided. And the author can make that call.

                                          ::My two cents.
                                          Dreamflower

                                          > So what if we skip that question for now, and save it for later. Now
                                          > we
                                          > have two primary questions on the form (and again, they're not in the
                                          > form
                                          > I'd divide things.)... Hmm. I can see that what I really need to
                                          > do is
                                          > explain how I would do it if I were in charge of the universe.
                                          >
                                          > Okay. Might take me a day or so, depending on the insomnia. I'll go
                                          > hunt
                                          > up Dwim's most current form of the form and see if I can make a
                                          > coherent
                                          > contribution. Not that I expect it to be used, mind you, but so you
                                          > can see
                                          > how I'm thinking.
                                          >

                                          By all means! I've thrown out my opinion, and I look forward to seeing
                                          how you'd handle these questions. And whenever you have the time to ldo
                                          that, of course.

                                          Marta





                                          Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        • dwimmer_laik
                                          ... Can you cite an example where this is the case? I m not sure what you re talking about here, other than a purely hypothetical scenario. The plot points of
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "rhapsody_the_bard"
                                            <rhapsody74@g...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Okay, I've been trying to follow this conversation the past days, but
                                            > I am not sure if I understand completely why this is brought up for
                                            > discussion.. It might have been the flu though ;)
                                            >
                                            > > So that's at least part of the problem: we're using the terms
                                            > > differently. If I don't see a story labelled as movieverse and I
                                            > > see an event that is in the movies but not in the books, I think of
                                            > > it as an authors' mistakes. I don't mean movie-inspired pieces per
                                            > > se, I just want to expect it. So for me as reader, I appreciate
                                            > > having this material labelled. And this is for the authors' good as
                                            > > much as anything else. My reading of an unlabelled movieverse story
                                            > > will probably be less forgiving than my reading of one for which I
                                            > > had fair expectations. It might be the difference between an 8 point
                                            > > and a 10 point review.
                                            >
                                            > Well, reading this I wonder... what if an author does thorough book
                                            > research, but you (as a reader) think it is a movie thing (maybe
                                            > because it feels a bit alike, or PJ dived more into the books than you
                                            > assumed). What then?

                                            Can you cite an example where this is the case? I'm not sure what
                                            you're talking about here, other than a purely hypothetical scenario.
                                            The plot points of the movie that depart from the books are pretty
                                            obvious and well-trodden fandom ground by now. If someone uses the
                                            plot device that Elrond had a conversation in the garden in front of
                                            Gilraen's graave about Arwen, that's movieverse. Can you reconcile it
                                            with bookverse? With sufficient skill, you could say it's not
                                            counter-canonical, it's just extra-canonical. But do we know where
                                            that came from? Yes: the movies.

                                            If one disagrees with the characterization PJ used, that's a more
                                            subtle point, usually, and much more open to the "PJ did more research
                                            than you think" objection. Also, just to be clear, I don't assume PJ
                                            did less than the required amount of research. I assume what happened
                                            was that in order to make a feature film that had twenty speaking
                                            roles that were significant, he took poetic license in ways that
                                            sometimes worked out far less than well because they played to
                                            preconceptions of the average viewer's patience and ability to follow
                                            a plot. Having done the research does not guarantee a good
                                            interpretation, it just makes it less likely to be bad.

                                            So let's say someone characterizes Denethor as a right bastard who's
                                            unfit to rule in every important way, and I think to myself, "Gee, PJ
                                            did that too. This is a movieverse story, not a bookverse one." If I
                                            think that's not a great thing, but I think it's someone adhereing to
                                            the movieverse, I'm going to give that person points for working with
                                            flawed source material as best they can, but whether bookverse or
                                            movieverse, my review will be relatively short, because I just don't
                                            think that in *any* universe, that's a good characterization and so I
                                            won't enjoy the story as much. I'll enjoy it *more* if I think it's
                                            movieverse, whether or not it's warned of--that's called being
                                            charitable. If I think the person got this from the books, she'll
                                            actually get fewer points because I'll think there's less excuse for it.

                                            I think you need to be aware of this as well. We
                                            > all can't know every single detail of what Tolkien wrote or stated, we
                                            > all miss things when we read (or form our own idea about it)...

                                            You say "form our own idea about it" like this is both a bad thing and
                                            an avoidable thing. Nothing literary is read about which one forms
                                            onnly the idea that the author had of it. Yes, there are bad
                                            interpretations, but a good interpretation is still an interpretation
                                            and constitutes "my own idea about it." In the case you mention, it's
                                            going to be in the author's benefit where I'm concerned to give me
                                            reasons to think s/he is basing his/her work on the movieverse. If
                                            not, I'm going to think it's a bad bookverse interpretation, just as I
                                            think PJ's screen adaptation of Denethor is a bad interpretation,
                                            though not necessarily an unresearched one.

                                            <snip>


                                            > > Ah, the joys of being in such a complex canon! I'm for including the
                                            > > drafts of Tolkien's posthumously published works just to avoid
                                            > > controversy, because while the details might be different, the
                                            > > *medium* is at least the same, and Tolkien himself had some hand in
                                            > > choosing the details. Even if they weren't finished.
                                            >
                                            > Well the thing is here, especially with HOME is that Tolkien drafted
                                            > so many versions of one event, that it is quite often contradicting.
                                            > It is a great source for plotbunnies though, but I can imagine that
                                            > when someone explores a HOME thing that covers an event in the
                                            > Silmarillion that is contradicting... that would be very interesting
                                            > to see how you guys want to see that as categorisation because
                                            > technically: it isn't AU, you can quote canon on that.

                                            You seem to be treating this one filter as if everything depended on
                                            it. I recommend checking the example form I filled out for a Trotter
                                            and Bingo story. You can say "My story is bookverse" and still choose
                                            *AU* as a category if it's based on material that ws clearly discarded
                                            by Tolkien, or depending on how you view underused sections of the
                                            drafts (LACE) in their relation to other drafts (The Silm is *also*
                                            not work JRRT approved or finished--it is heavily edited by C.Tolkien
                                            and Gavriel, iirc--so Silm as canon is itself a fan creation,
                                            inaugurated by the need to have some point of reference that was
                                            relatively stable for the pre-Third Age stories, that acknowledged
                                            that Tolkien had done some work there so it wasn't a free for all).
                                            you can do that, and say in your author's notes or summary, "I'm
                                            relying on material from HoME that Tolkien discarded." The forms can
                                            accommodate this level of sophistication--I think the concern, that
                                            including the drafts as bookverse is misleading, is not taking into
                                            account the full range of data and the manipulability of that data
                                            that the form demands and can support.

                                            <snip>
                                            >
                                            > Even the URT contains contradicting material... just don't try to dive
                                            > too much into exploring Celeborn for example... it gave drive you
                                            > insane ;) And I am not starting about LACE, which is never ever
                                            > mentioned in the Silmarillion to begin with.

                                            See above, especially the point about the Silm, which to me says a lot
                                            to me about your conception of canon--it's still not complex enough
                                            despite the objections you're trying to bring to bear on behalf of
                                            that very point. We are *all* going to make assumptions, we cn't help
                                            it. It's how those assumptions are used in crafting the story so tht
                                            it is convincing based on the most reasonable conception of canon
                                            (itself a position one can argue for and should) you can find for your
                                            story.

                                            Maybe it's because I hang out at HASA normally, but this is the
                                            standard we use. If it's citable, it's fair game--you don't get to
                                            dock the person just because s/he used some obscure, discarded portion
                                            of Tolkien's drafts. But just because it's *citable* doesn't make it a
                                            good story yet--our conception of canon *is* complex because the
                                            interrelations of JRRT's writings is complex and ultimately in some
                                            cases 'undecidable'; it is therefore not enough to just point to the
                                            source material. If you use something clearly discarded (Trotter, for
                                            example), be prepared to make your case for why this story needs to be
                                            written--do it not by the footnotes (which still need to be there so
                                            the reader can find out what's given in the draft(s) you're working
                                            with), but by telling me a good story. That's the bottom line. If you
                                            choose to take on the challenge of working with material that is
                                            contradictory because you *need* something from it, be prepared to be
                                            very sophisticated as a writer in leading your reader through the mess.

                                            But the complexities of canon aside, I really think there's a focus
                                            that's too narrow, here. Take the story you deem to be a good example
                                            of what your'e talking about. Put it through the form--the whole
                                            thing, not just the bookverse/movieverse filter, and ask yourself
                                            whether or not the whole form seems likely to be misleading. Post the
                                            results and explain why, so we can see what you're talking about.
                                            Right now, possibly because I, too, have caught the dreaded disease of
                                            the month, I'm not able to see what you're talking about in your
                                            objections very clearly--not in a concrete way that convinces me this
                                            is more than a set of exceptional cases (w.r.t. the 'what if it really
                                            is bookverse and you only think it's movieverse' position at least). I
                                            need concrete stuff! My head is too filled with goop for anything less
                                            to enter it, unfortunately. :-S

                                            Dwim
                                          • rhapsody_the_bard
                                            ... How about the scene where Isildur, Elendil and Gil-Galad take on Sauron... well in the movie you don t see Gil-Galad fighting that much, so what if the
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik" <dwimmer_laik@y...>
                                              wrote:
                                              >
                                              > --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "rhapsody_the_bard"
                                              > <rhapsody74@g...> wrote:
                                              >>
                                              >> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> >>wrote:
                                              > >
                                              >> Okay, I've been trying to follow this conversation the past days,
                                              >> but I am not sure if I understand completely why this is brought up
                                              >> for discussion.. It might have been the flu though ;)
                                              >>
                                              >>> So that's at least part of the problem: we're using the terms
                                              >>> differently. If I don't see a story labelled as movieverse and I
                                              >>> see an event that is in the movies but not in the books, I think
                                              >>> of it as an authors' mistakes. I don't mean movie-inspired pieces
                                              >>> per se, I just want to expect it. So for me as reader, I
                                              >>> appreciate having this material labelled. And this is for the
                                              >>> authors' good as much as anything else. My reading of an
                                              >>> unlabelled movieverse story will probably be less forgiving than
                                              >>> my reading of one for which I had fair expectations. It might be
                                              >>> the difference between an 8 point and a 10 point review.
                                              >>
                                              >> Well, reading this I wonder... what if an author does thorough book
                                              >> research, but you (as a reader) think it is a movie thing (maybe
                                              >> because it feels a bit alike, or PJ dived more into the books than
                                              >> you assumed). What then?
                                              >
                                              > Can you cite an example where this is the case? I'm not sure what
                                              > you're talking about here, other than a purely hypothetical
                                              > scenario.

                                              How about the scene where Isildur, Elendil and Gil-Galad take on
                                              Sauron... well in the movie you don't see Gil-Galad fighting that
                                              much, so what if the story appears to be a re-telling of the tale on
                                              how Elendil fought Sauron (besides the whole discussion what truly
                                              happened there and what/who brought Sauron down on his knees). A
                                              reader can form an image in his/her head that it is movieverse, while
                                              the author in question might have thoroughly researched it.


                                              > Having done the research does not guarantee a good
                                              > interpretation, it just makes it less likely to be bad.

                                              Well that is a nice pat on the back for those authors who do spend
                                              loads of amounts on doing very thorough research but are questioned
                                              for canonical interpretation.

                                              <snip>
                                              >
                                              >> I think you need to be aware of this as well. We all can't know
                                              << every single detail of what Tolkien wrote or stated, we all miss
                                              >> things when we read (or form our own idea about it)...
                                              >
                                              > You say "form our own idea about it" like this is both a bad thing
                                              > and an avoidable thing.

                                              Well that is your interpretation of my words. I surely didn't mention
                                              it that way. But when I read how Marta for example might give a person
                                              less points because of it.. I am very much for own interpretation
                                              because it is, for me, a good way to see a different perspective where
                                              I never thought of before. For example, I might write a very arrogant
                                              Boromir (with some good citations to back it up), but she adores him
                                              and she doesn't agree with my intepretation of Boromir at all.. am I
                                              rewarded with 2 points less then?

                                              > Nothing literary is read about which one forms onnly the idea that
                                              > the author had of it. Yes, there are bad interpretations, but a good
                                              > interpretation is still an interpretation and constitutes "my own
                                              > idea about it." In the case you mention, it's going to be in the
                                              > author's benefit where I'm concerned to give me reasons to think
                                              > s/he is basing his/her work on the movieverse. If not, I'm going to
                                              > think it's a bad bookverse interpretation, just as I think PJ's
                                              > screen adaptation of Denethor is a bad interpretation, though not
                                              > necessarily an unresearched one.

                                              It all remains pretty subjective what is a good or bad interpretation.
                                              I rather not think that way.
                                              >
                                              > <snip>

                                              > > It is a great source for plotbunnies though, but I can imagine
                                              > > that when someone explores a HOME thing that covers an event in
                                              > < the Silmarillion that is contradicting... that would be very
                                              > >interesting to see how you guys want to see that as categorisation
                                              > > because technically: it isn't AU, you can quote canon on that.
                                              >
                                              > You seem to be treating this one filter as if everything depended on
                                              > it. I recommend checking the example form I filled out for a Trotter
                                              > and Bingo story. You can say "My story is bookverse" and still
                                              > choose *AU* as a category if it's based on material that ws clearly
                                              > discarded by Tolkien, or depending on how you view underused
                                              > sections of the drafts (LACE) in their relation to other drafts (The
                                              > Silm is *also* not work JRRT approved or finished--it is heavily
                                              > edited by C.Tolkien and Gavriel, iirc--so Silm as canon is itself a
                                              > fan creation, inaugurated by the need to have some point of
                                              > reference that was relatively stable for the pre-Third Age stories,
                                              > that acknowledged that Tolkien had done some work there so it wasn't
                                              > a free for all).

                                              Oh I can see that. Sure. But what is pure canon then? I often wonder
                                              that. I can write for example a different version of the Lay of
                                              Leithian and still keep it *not* AU. And there are many versions of
                                              this Lay in HOME. My point being is: are you gonna 'categorise' all
                                              stories that have a main plot element derived from HOME in the AU...
                                              with this reasoning?

                                              > you can do that, and say in your author's notes or summary, "I'm
                                              > relying on material from HoME that Tolkien discarded." The forms can
                                              > accommodate this level of sophistication--I think the concern, that
                                              > including the drafts as bookverse is misleading, is not taking into
                                              > account the full range of data and the manipulability of that data
                                              > that the form demands and can support.

                                              I am not following this. How can a story based on HOME be seen as
                                              misleading? I most certainly misread this, can you explain it a bit
                                              more clearly?

                                              > <snip>
                                              >>
                                              >> Even the UT contains contradicting material... just don't try to
                                              >> dive too much into exploring Celeborn for example... it gave drive
                                              >> you insane ;) And I am not starting about LACE, which is never ever
                                              >> mentioned in the Silmarillion to begin with.
                                              >
                                              > See above, especially the point about the Silm, which to me says a
                                              > lot to me about your conception of canon--it's still not complex
                                              > enough despite the objections you're trying to bring to bear on
                                              > behalf of that very point.

                                              Does it truly Dwim? I really wonder about that.

                                              > We are *all* going to make assumptions, we cn't help it. It's how
                                              > those assumptions are used in crafting the story so tht it is
                                              > convincing based on the most reasonable conception of canon
                                              > (itself a position one can argue for and should) you can find for
                                              > your story.

                                              The moment you read a book, you form your own idea about it. At that
                                              moment, the manner how you process it, it will be an assumption and
                                              your opinion is actually subjective. You can find people who share
                                              those assumptions or not, that doesn't make it purely objective
                                              straight away.

                                              > Maybe it's because I hang out at HASA normally, but this is the
                                              > standard we use. If it's citable, it's fair game--you don't get to
                                              > dock the person just because s/he used some obscure, discarded
                                              > portion of Tolkien's drafts. But just because it's *citable* doesn't
                                              > make it a good story yet--our conception of canon *is* complex
                                              > because the interrelations of JRRT's writings is complex and
                                              > ultimately in some cases 'undecidable'; it is therefore not enough
                                              > to just point to the source material. If you use something clearly
                                              > discarded (Trotter, for example), be prepared to make your case for
                                              > why this story needs to be written--do it not by the footnotes
                                              > (which still need to be there so the reader can find out what's
                                              > given in the draft(s) you're working with), but by telling me a good
                                              > story. That's the bottom line.

                                              Well maybe that is a reason why I am no longer active there. I don't
                                              feel the need to justify my drive to pursue a bunny coming from HOME
                                              or UT for that matter. Neither do I think that anyone should do that.
                                              But that is my personal opinion, for me, taking an element and run
                                              with it doesn't make a story less to me.

                                              > Right now, possibly because I, too, have caught the dreaded disease
                                              > of the month, I'm not able to see what you're talking about in your
                                              > objections very clearly--not in a concrete way that convinces me
                                              > this is more than a set of exceptional cases (w.r.t. the 'what if it
                                              > really is bookverse and you only think it's movieverse' position at
                                              > least). I need concrete stuff! My head is too filled with goop for
                                              > anything less to enter it, unfortunately. :-S

                                              Well I am just recovering from it (the dreaded disease) and I am
                                              asking basically *why* this is discussed because I still can't follow
                                              the reasoning why. To me the main category movieverse worked
                                              brilliantly and I am wondering why movieverse is up for discussion.
                                              See above: I do clearly ask for clarification because I really can't
                                              follow the discussion. It feels like many things are getting mingled
                                              and it's highly confusing (especially when your mind is foggy).

                                              Rhapsody
                                            • dwimmer_laik
                                              Doing this out of order for the sake of simplicity: ... disease) and I am ... still can t follow ... Ok, here s how I understand the current debate: The issue
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
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                                                Doing this out of order for the sake of simplicity:

                                                Rhapsody:
                                                > > Well I am just recovering from it (the dreaded
                                                disease) and I am
                                                > asking basically *why* this is discussed because I
                                                still can't follow
                                                > the reasoning why.

                                                Ok, here's how I understand the current debate:

                                                The issue is understanding how to interpret the movieverse filter on
                                                the proposed form, and how that understanding affects our way of
                                                dealing with stories integrating *in some fashion* movies or books.
                                                This issue is, I think, being organized around more or less explicit
                                                questions such as:

                                                How do we deal with fics that use both books and
                                                movies?

                                                Is it fair to put any fic involving movieverse
                                                elements in with the movies, since not all fics using
                                                movieverse elements are about the movies in the
                                                end--authors may try to incorporate elements into
                                                essentially bookverse fics?

                                                Is there a category that could be formed out of
                                                "blend" that would make conceptual sense and
                                                *usefully* orient readers towards the stories therein? If so, and if
                                                we create a third filter option of "both" in the BASIC section of the
                                                form, do we make that a category?

                                                If we don't use that filter to create a movieverse or blend category,
                                                then, how do we use the filter for source material, if "movieverse"
                                                doesn't really fit as a genre (like drama or whatnot, since movieverse
                                                stories *are* dramatic, or comic, or action-adventure, or what have you)?

                                                The new question added to the list is: if we did away
                                                with the distinction between movieverse and bookverse
                                                fics (dropped that filter), then would this cause more problems than
                                                it would solve? Would such a move allow movieverse fics to be judged
                                                unfairly?

                                                > To me the main category movieverse worked
                                                > brilliantly and I am wondering why movieverse is up
                                                for discussion.

                                                To be clear, I am not advocating being rid of
                                                movieverse as a category--no where have I said this. That was a
                                                question that came up because people started worrying, "How will I
                                                categorize a story that has both book and movie
                                                elements?"

                                                Then that led to (I think) questions of wht is understood by "cnon",
                                                how the mere categorization of a fic might influence reader perception
                                                and expectations unfairly, and *ONE* suggestion was that we consider
                                                whether it's a good idea to separate stories based on
                                                movie versus books. Marta's response is, I take it, an argument
                                                against doing away with the movieverse category because one very
                                                popular way of approaching books versus movies is a
                                                hierarchy in which the movies are judged as themselves
                                                *fanfiction* interpretations of the
                                                books--interpretations many people have opinions about
                                                already. But if someone could come up with a good
                                                argument for eliminating movieverse as a category,
                                                she's saying she would be open to that. But only in
                                                the face of a good argument.

                                                > See above: I do clearly ask for clarification
                                                because I really can't
                                                > follow the discussion. It feels like many things are
                                                getting mingled
                                                > and it's highly confusing (especially when your mind
                                                is foggy).

                                                Does the above clarify things? Does what I've said seem like a good
                                                summary of the thread to date, anyone else?

                                                ********


                                                Other points:

                                                Me (w.r.t. "The Great Adventure of Trotter and Bingo Baggins" example
                                                form):
                                                > > you can do that, and say in your author's notes or
                                                summary, "I'm
                                                > > relying on material from HoME that Tolkien
                                                discarded." The forms can
                                                > > accommodate this level of sophistication--I think
                                                the concern, that
                                                > > including the drafts as bookverse is misleading,
                                                is not taking into
                                                > > account the full range of data and the
                                                manipulability of that data
                                                > > that the form demands and can support.

                                                Rhapsody:
                                                > > I am not following this. How can a story based on
                                                HOME be seen as
                                                > misleading? I most certainly misread this, can you
                                                explain it a bit
                                                > more clearly?

                                                No, I'm not saying that "a story based on
                                                HOME [can] be seen as misleading", to quote you. I'm responding to
                                                what I take to be your point: that the filter "bookverse", where
                                                "bookverse" is understood as encompassing works Tolkien approved for
                                                publications plus the drafts his son made available, *is* misleading
                                                insofar as it sets up expectations about what counts as canon that may
                                                be hard to defuse.

                                                *My* point in that exchange was that those expectations can be offset
                                                via other portions of the form, via author's notes and summaries
                                                (which are up to the author to provide anyway), and that making those
                                                other things bear the weight of distinguishing the complex
                                                interrelations of Tolkien's corpus, both drafts (whether wholly his
                                                own or edited by his son to whatever degree) and work published within
                                                his lifetime, is a burden for the author to shoulder, not the MEFAs.

                                                The upside of forcing the author to do that work is that we avoid, in
                                                the context of the categorization form, any implicitly *normative*
                                                answer to the unresolvable argument of what counts as canon or what
                                                *should* be understood as more canonical within the set of draft works
                                                and apparent gap-fillers Tolkien has written, while giving the author
                                                the scope to set out his or her own understanding of how his or her
                                                interpretation of canon governs the content and unfolding of the
                                                story. "Bookverse: based on the stories of JRRT and the drafts made
                                                available by C. Tolkien" is, I think, least controversial and least
                                                complicated way of filtering stories *not* based on the films (in any
                                                substantial, plot-relevant way). Additional qualifications internal to
                                                the bookverse canon can be made using other portions of the form, and
                                                it is *up to the author* to decide how to use those other portions and
                                                what priority s/he wants to give them.

                                                Therefore, I'm not yet convinced we have a problem accommodating HoME
                                                and UT based stories that would require a change to the proposed form.
                                                What we have currently is a filter motivated by pragmatism and
                                                inclusivity. Let the authors work out, in the body of their works or
                                                summaries, what is not reducible to a general form. The only thing we
                                                need to decide is how to deal with movieverse elements--do we need a
                                                "blend" category, and would such a category be cohesive enough to give
                                                readers a general sense of what might be good ways of evaluating such
                                                stories? I don't think we've answered that question yet.

                                                In a previous e-mail, I filled out an example form to show how one
                                                *might* use it in the case of a story based on a discarded draft of
                                                LOTR--it is not in any way intended to be the *only* or definitive way
                                                someone with a story based on HoME drafts or UT or what not should use
                                                the form. The point was to show that the form can accommodate stories
                                                based on drafts found in HoME that were explicitly discarded by
                                                Tolkien, so that that case doesn't necessarily give us reason to think
                                                we need to revise the form yet.

                                                I asked others to try and show, by using similar examples, how the
                                                form isn't working, because I'm frankly prone to being ok with
                                                abstraction to a certain point, but then I need something more
                                                concrete to work with, especially if it's a practical matter.

                                                ********

                                                Rhapsody: > My point being is: are you gonna 'categorise' all
                                                > stories that have a main plot element derived from
                                                > HOME in the AU... with this reasoning?

                                                No. See above explanation of what I was doing with the example and its
                                                constraints as *only* an example.


                                                ********

                                                Rhapsody:
                                                > >> > >> Well, reading this I wonder... what if an author
                                                does thorough book
                                                > >> research, but you (as a reader) think it is a
                                                movie thing (maybe
                                                > >> because it feels a bit alike, or PJ dived more
                                                into the books than
                                                > >> you assumed). What then?

                                                Me:
                                                > > > > Can you cite an example where this is the case?
                                                I'm not sure what
                                                > > you're talking about here, other than a purely
                                                hypothetical
                                                > > scenario.

                                                Rhapsody:
                                                > > How about the scene where Isildur, Elendil and
                                                Gil-Galad take on
                                                > Sauron... well in the movie you don't see Gil-Galad
                                                fighting that
                                                > much, so what if the story appears to be a
                                                re-telling of the tale on
                                                > how Elendil fought Sauron (besides the whole
                                                discussion what truly
                                                > happened there and what/who brought Sauron down on
                                                his knees). A
                                                > reader can form an image in his/her head that it is
                                                movieverse, while
                                                > the author in question might have thoroughly
                                                researched it.

                                                Ok, if this were my story...

                                                Another story form example (cut to include only the bits I think are
                                                be relevant to this discussion) of how I might handle this sort of
                                                thing, and following explanation.

                                                BASICS

                                                Title: The tale of the Fall of Sauron (again)
                                                Author: Dwym the Evil Twyn
                                                Summary: Gap-filler. We never see the last battle of Elendil with
                                                Sauron. Here it is. I'm integrating PJ's interpretation of that battle
                                                with the books' timeline, since they don't contradict each other.

                                                Warnings: movieverse elements.

                                                Please choose *one* and *only one* from each of the following three lists:

                                                My story is *predominantly*:

                                                2. Filmverse: based on a film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" or
                                                "The Hobbit"

                                                My story is:

                                                1. Fiction


                                                MAIN CATEGORIES

                                                Please choose *one* and *only one* from each of the following lists.
                                                Your responses will help us to try to place your story in a MEFA
                                                category that is most appropriate.

                                                A. Which of these time periods is your story based in?


                                                2. The Second Age - anything between the overthrow of Morgoth and the
                                                Last Alliance, including stories about the latter event.


                                                B. Which of these genres best describes your story?

                                                4. Drama (includes angst)


                                                D. Rank your category choices. In which of the above categories would
                                                you *most prefer* your story to compete? Please list your first
                                                category choice first, and your last category choice third (e.g., A,
                                                C, B).

                                                A, B, C

                                                SUBCATEGORIES

                                                4. If your story is based on filmed versions of Tolkien's work, which
                                                film/set of films is it based on?

                                                Fellowship of the Ring: Peter Jackson.

                                                This is how I'd fill out the form. I'd choose filmverse as my source
                                                material, because although I want to integrate the movie into the book
                                                timeline as a compatible gap-filler that I'm helping to fill in, and
                                                although I've done my research, the major point of reference is the
                                                filmed events. I'd use 2nd Age in the Times main category, and drama
                                                in the genre category (I could see doing a this first person and
                                                focusing on emotion rather than action, since the action is mainly
                                                what you see in the movies, so why repeat that? But others might
                                                choose other categories, obviously). I'd want my story to compete in
                                                Times, so I rank that first because it'd make most sense to me, ymmv
                                                depending on your own story.

                                                I'd answer the subcategory question on the assumption that it's not a
                                                secret I'm using the movies, nor is it a spoiler to tell which movie
                                                I'm using should anyone want to know, at a glance, which one they'll
                                                need to pop into the DVD player if they'd like to be reminded of how
                                                the movieverse played out in this case.

                                                And I use the warning option to give a blunt warning that I'm using
                                                movieverse elements, then I use my summary (and/or perhaps author's
                                                notes) to explain *how* I'm using the movies w.r.t. the books, *since*
                                                I'm using PJ's version as a gap-filler that's ready-made.

                                                I don't see this as a terribly controversial *type* of place to
                                                situate a "blend"--the major point where research into the books comes
                                                out is in determining that the movie gap-filler isn't directly
                                                contradictory of the books up to the point where we see Elrond with
                                                Isildur in the Sammath Naur. At that point, the two versions are
                                                different, if your main text is the Silmarillion, but your example
                                                didn't say we were including that part. Also, your example didn't say
                                                we were including any material about the lead-up to the war against
                                                Sauron, just the last fight of Elendil. Now, I might make one or two
                                                references to stuff we know about from the books--the death of
                                                Anárion, for example, but the overall look and feel, the choreography
                                                and imagery and timing--all that is being supplied by the movie, so
                                                that is the major source I'd list on the form because doing it that
                                                way would make it clear at a glance what canon is most relevant to my
                                                fic, and so most useful for readers to know and judge my story by.

                                                Ok, so for completeness' sake, here are the options I see when it
                                                comes to gap-filling the books and how one might deal with the use of
                                                movieverse elements:

                                                1) Create a whole new scene, as a bookverse
                                                gap-filler, that borrows nothing from the movies and draws citable
                                                background material only from the books and other, non-movie sources
                                                that can be brought to bear on creating a world within the books that
                                                is compatible with the books.

                                                Form filter option: bookverse. If the author says that, we take
                                                him or her at his or her word unless there is
                                                *obvious* evidence that s/he has unconsciously drawn
                                                on the movieverse and entered into the realm of 2
                                                below (this would be, I think, where Marta's approach to bookverse
                                                fics unexpectedly using movieverse elements fits in most logically).

                                                2) Look at the movies, because they *do* offer already
                                                a gap-filler scene that doesn't contradict the books, because the
                                                books have nothing to say about the nitty-gritty staging, just a few
                                                key events the movies don't contraadict. Use *that* as your basis for the
                                                story, and follow the timeline and events of the
                                                movies. This looks like your example above.

                                                Form filter option: I'd classify this with pure movieverse gap-fillers
                                                because there's practically nothing to say otherwise, and even though
                                                one might pull in a few details from the books to flesh things out or
                                                even to help set the movie scene, the *primary* source material
                                                governing the story is gleaned from the movies' depiction of an event.

                                                3) Look at the movies, because they *do* offer already
                                                a gap-filler scene. Use only those parts that don't
                                                conflict the books (which would mean working the movie
                                                around the parts of the book that it *does* conflict
                                                with) and then move into the bookverse timeline and
                                                events.

                                                Form filter option: This is the trickiest one to categorize, and I
                                                take it is why some people are asking about "blend" as an option. I'd
                                                go with bookverse but leave an author's note somewhere noting that
                                                movieverse elements are being used in a very specific manner.

                                                4) Look at the movies, because they *do* offer already
                                                a gap-filler scene. Create new scenes based on the
                                                movies' look and feel and those specific events, but
                                                which don't follow the unfolding of the movie events
                                                after a certain point, but also don't coincide with
                                                the books.

                                                Form filter option: bookverse. This I would call a movieverse AU and
                                                should probably go in the AU category with a note either in the
                                                warnings field, the filter field, or the summary/author's note, or all
                                                three: this is an AU to the films.


                                                *******

                                                >For example, I might
                                                write a very arrogant
                                                > Boromir (with some good citations to back it up),
                                                but she adores him
                                                > and she doesn't agree with my intepretation of
                                                Boromir at all.. am I
                                                > rewarded with 2 points less then?

                                                You seem to be concerned that it would be unfair, because the reader's
                                                interpretation of your Boromir (even with citations) is incorrect, to
                                                dock you two points.

                                                It's frustrating when that happens, but so far as I can see, there is
                                                absolutely nothing you can do about it, either in general or in these
                                                particular awards. You cannot require someone to agree with
                                                you--unforced force of reason is great, but it's not always effective
                                                if someone doesn't want to be convinced. Yes, you have facts that can
                                                support your position, and you can clearly say so-and-so is just blind
                                                and be correct in your assessment that your interpretation is
                                                better-supported than hers. But what mechanism could you install to
                                                prevent that scenario? At a certain point, after the categorization
                                                dust settles, it's a democratic voting process that explicitly forbids
                                                a hierarchy of the reviewer-judges who could serve as a court of
                                                appeal; that means so long as its a good faith effort to vote as
                                                fairly as the person knows how, based on his or her best judgment
                                                (which may be quite terrible, all things considered), there's no way
                                                to penalize someone for voting on your story in a way that you would
                                                consider reveals a fundamentally flawed understanding of X. Not every
                                                reader is a good reader, but we don't require them to be such--nor do
                                                we require them to be good writers, just as good as they are capable
                                                of being.

                                                The rest of the exchange seems more or less pointless to rehearse
                                                here. If you honestly want me to answer the rest, e-mail me.

                                                Dwim
                                              • Marta Layton
                                                Hi Rhapsody, ... Here s my understanding - also possibly wrong ;-) Last year we had a movieverse category. It was in genres, but several people have suggested
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
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                                                  Hi Rhapsody,

                                                  > Okay, I've been trying to follow this conversation the past days, but
                                                  > I am not sure if I understand completely why this is brought up for
                                                  > discussion.. It might have been the flu though ;)
                                                  >

                                                  Here's my understanding - also possibly wrong ;-) Last year we had a
                                                  movieverse category. It was in genres, but several people have
                                                  suggested it get moved to books/times. I agree, it fits there better.
                                                  Anyway, RSF requested a category for bookverse/movieverse blends, and
                                                  so this whole issue kind of got brought up because she and I seem to
                                                  have very differing definitions of what qualifies as "movieverse". So
                                                  much so that what she considers a blend, I consider pure movieverse in
                                                  most cases.

                                                  > > So that's at least part of the problem: we're using the terms
                                                  > > differently. If I don't see a story labelled as movieverse  and I
                                                  > > see an event that is in the movies but not in the books, I think of
                                                  > > it as an authors' mistakes. I don't mean movie-inspired pieces per
                                                  > > se, I just want to expect it. So for me as reader, I appreciate
                                                  > > having this material labelled. And this is for the authors' good as
                                                  > > much as anything else. My reading of an unlabelled movieverse story
                                                  > > will probably be less forgiving than my reading of one for which I
                                                  > > had fair expectations. It might be the difference between an 8 point
                                                  > >  and a 10 point review.
                                                  >
                                                  > Well, reading this I wonder... what if an author does thorough book
                                                  > research, but you (as a reader) think it is a movie thing (maybe
                                                  > because it feels a bit alike, or PJ dived more into the books than you
                                                  > assumed). What then? I think you need to be aware of this as well. We
                                                  > all can't know every single detail of what Tolkien wrote or stated, we
                                                  > all miss things when we read (or form our own idea about it)...
                                                  >

                                                  I think readers will always make mistakes. Not too long ago, I had a
                                                  story declined for the HASA public archives, and one of the comments
                                                  mentioned that Sam never felt the pull of the sea. (There's a quote at
                                                  the end of "The Grey Havens" that suggests at least to me that he
                                                  probably did.) WHile this wasn't a movieverse/bookverse question, it
                                                  was a case of the reader not remembering the appropriate portion of the
                                                  books and thinking I had made an error. It ended up costing me, but in
                                                  a way it was my fault. I could have very easily quoted the paragraph
                                                  from "The Grey Havens" in a footnote.

                                                  I'm rambling, I know. My point is that mistakes like this will always
                                                  happen. If an author thinks the majority of her readers won't remember
                                                  something about the canon source for the stories, he or she can save
                                                  his or her readers some frustration by putting in a quick quotation.

                                                  I think I might have not been clear yesterday. When I said I might
                                                  write a shorter review for an unlabelled movieverse story than a
                                                  labelled one, I didn't mean that I was actively penalising the author.
                                                  Rather, because of the way I read stories, I enjoy it a lot less if it
                                                  doesn't fit into other things I know about Middle-earth. If I know from
                                                  the get-go that a story is movieverse, I will have one series of events
                                                  in mind, and the movie will (hopefully!) fit into them and add a little
                                                  bit to that version of Middle-earth. If I don't know it's movieverse,
                                                  I'll be imagining Bergil running through Minas Tirith and Imrahil
                                                  leading his knights in a glorious charge somewhere just beyond the
                                                  edges of the story -- and if the Dead show up, it will upset my whole
                                                  vision of what's going on. It's no one's *fault*, really, just the way
                                                  things work with me.

                                                  > > For the purpose of categorisation, I'm less sure. I think the first
                                                  > > question we need to answer is whether movieverse stories should be
                                                  > > their own category, and if so why. If we answer that I think it will
                                                  > > be a lot easier to see what to do with blends.
                                                  >
                                                  > Well, this is something I have a hard time understanding currently...
                                                  > I mean didn't we had a movieverse category? And didn't it work quite
                                                  > well?
                                                  >

                                                  We did have that category, and it did work pretty well IMO. I ask this
                                                  question because I think if we can figure out why movieverse should be
                                                  a category, it may help us decide if blends also deserve thier own
                                                  category.

                                                  > >> Now when I think "Bookverse" I don't include anything from
                                                  > >> Tolkien's letters or HoME, or even Unfinished Tales.  If I were
                                                  > >> better acquainted with the Silmarillion, I'd definitely include
                                                  > >> that in my thinking, but mostly I think of The Hobbit and The Lord
                                                  > >> of the Rings (and in their "most corrected" form,at that) as being
                                                  > >> the basic canon of the Bookverse.
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>  HoME, the Letters, etc., are in my noggin as "drafts and
                                                  > >> background material".
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Ah, the joys of being in such a complex canon! I'm for including the
                                                  > > drafts of Tolkien's posthumously published works just to avoid
                                                  > > controversy, because while the details might be different, the
                                                  > > *medium* is at least the same, and Tolkien himself had some hand in
                                                  > > choosing the details. Even if they weren't finished.
                                                  >
                                                  > Well the thing is here, especially with HOME is that Tolkien drafted
                                                  > so many versions of one event, that it is quite often contradicting.
                                                  > It is a great source for plotbunnies though, but I can imagine that
                                                  > when someone explores a HOME thing that covers an event in the
                                                  > Silmarillion that is contradicting... that would be very interesting
                                                  > to see how you guys want to see that as categorisation because
                                                  > technically: it isn't AU, you can quote canon on that.
                                                  >

                                                  I have to admit, I haven't read much beyond the Silm and the third age
                                                  and essays sections of UT. I know there are contradictions, but they
                                                  don't seem to be on the same scale as what you find in the first and
                                                  second age stuff. I'm honestly not sure how to resolve that for the
                                                  purpose of this award. I do think most authors who are on the fringe
                                                  between AU and in keepinbg with some version note this somewhere in
                                                  their stories. I remember seeing comments like "This story is compliant
                                                  with LOTR but not HOME 12" or something similar.

                                                  So I think I'm running out of suggestions here. Hopefully other people
                                                  can help untangle this mess. :-S

                                                  Marta
                                                • Marta Layton
                                                  ... Well, you guys who know me know that I would fall on the side of being (vocally) critical of this characterisation of Denethor. But as much as I hate to
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
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                                                    > If one disagrees with the characterization PJ used, that's a more
                                                    > subtle point, usually, and much more open to the "PJ did more research
                                                    > than you think" objection.
                                                    >
                                                    > <snip>
                                                    > So let's say someone characterizes Denethor as a right bastard who's
                                                    > unfit to rule in every important way, and I think to myself, "Gee, PJ
                                                    > did that too. This is a movieverse story, not a bookverse one." If I
                                                    > think that's not a great thing, but I think it's someone adhereing to
                                                    > the movieverse, I'm going to give that person points for working with
                                                    > flawed source material as best they can, but whether bookverse or
                                                    > movieverse, my review will be relatively short, because I just don't
                                                    > think that in *any* universe, that's a good characterization and so I
                                                    > won't enjoy the story as much.

                                                    Well, you guys who know me know that I would fall on the side of being
                                                    (vocally) critical of this characterisation of Denethor. But as much as
                                                    I hate to admit it, there are some events in the books that could lead
                                                    someone to a similar characterisation if interpreted a certain way.

                                                    You're right, characterisation is more open to interpretation. Either
                                                    the Elves did or didn't show up at Helm's Deep, and either Saruman did
                                                    or did not occupy the Shire, and so on. it might happen differently in
                                                    the books and in the movies, but there's no arguing that in the books
                                                    Haldir died at Helm's Deep. If you asked three people whether Denethor
                                                    as a bad leader is book!Denethor, movie!Denethor, or AU!Denethor,
                                                    you're likely to get three different answers.

                                                    So I think for the purposes of the MEFAs, whether a story is movieverse
                                                    or bookverse should be determined by the plot, not the
                                                    characterisation.

                                                    Marta
                                                  • dwimmer_laik
                                                    ... Hence the qualifier, Unfit to rule in *every* respect --all those who know me know I am most definitely not on the light side of Denethor interpretations
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
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                                                      > Well, you guys who know me know that I would fall on the side of being
                                                      > (vocally) critical of this characterisation of Denethor. But as much as
                                                      > I hate to admit it, there are some events in the books that could lead
                                                      > someone to a similar characterisation if interpreted a certain way.

                                                      Hence the qualifier, "Unfit to rule in *every* respect"--all those who
                                                      know me know I am most definitely not on the light side of Denethor
                                                      interpretations for precisely the reason you name--there are passages
                                                      and events that lead to interpreting him as a right bastard... just
                                                      not one who's unfit to rule in *every* respect.

                                                      :-D

                                                      > You're right, characterisation is more open to interpretation. Either
                                                      > the Elves did or didn't show up at Helm's Deep, and either Saruman did
                                                      > or did not occupy the Shire, and so on. it might happen differently in
                                                      > the books and in the movies, but there's no arguing that in the books
                                                      > Haldir died at Helm's Deep.

                                                      In the books he doesn't die at HD, you mean.

                                                      Dwim, who likes her Denethor like other people like their coffee
                                                    • dwimmer_laik
                                                      ... being ... much as ... lead ... Ok, so I misquote myself--every important way. I think this is a sign that it is time I went to bed. G night! Dwim
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
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                                                        --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik" <dwimmer_laik@y...>
                                                        wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > > Well, you guys who know me know that I would fall on the side of
                                                        being
                                                        > > (vocally) critical of this characterisation of Denethor. But as
                                                        much as
                                                        > > I hate to admit it, there are some events in the books that could
                                                        lead
                                                        > > someone to a similar characterisation if interpreted a certain way.
                                                        >
                                                        > Hence the qualifier, "Unfit to rule in *every* respect"

                                                        Ok, so I misquote myself--every important way. I think this is a sign
                                                        that it is time I went to bed.

                                                        G'night!

                                                        Dwim
                                                      • Marta Layton
                                                        Hi Rhapsody, ... Rhapsody, I m not 100% sure... was this sarcasm? It s so hard to tell online. I m all for people doing research; I do a fair amount myself. I
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Dec 8, 2005
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                                                          Hi Rhapsody,

                                                          > > Having done the research does not guarantee a good
                                                          > > interpretation, it just makes it less likely to be bad.
                                                          >
                                                          > Well that is a nice pat on the back for those authors who do spend
                                                          > loads of amounts on doing very thorough research but are questioned
                                                          > for canonical interpretation.
                                                          >

                                                          Rhapsody, I'm not 100% sure... was this sarcasm? It's so hard to tell
                                                          online.

                                                          I'm all for people doing research; I do a fair amount myself. I do
                                                          think we need to have a reasonable feel for what our readers can be
                                                          expected to know, and if something is more obscure than that, we should
                                                          take responsibility for "educating" them through authors' notes or
                                                          what-not.

                                                          > <snip>
                                                          > >
                                                          > >> I think you need to be aware of this as well. We all can't know
                                                          > << every single detail of what Tolkien wrote or stated, we all miss
                                                          > >> things when we read (or form our own idea about it)...
                                                          > >
                                                          > > You say "form our own idea about it" like this is both a bad thing
                                                          > > and an avoidable thing.
                                                          >
                                                          > Well that is your interpretation of my words. I surely didn't mention
                                                          > it that way. But when I read how Marta for example might give a person
                                                          > less points because of it.. I am very much for own interpretation
                                                          > because it is, for me, a good way to see a different perspective where
                                                          > I never thought of before. For example, I might write a very arrogant
                                                          > Boromir (with some good citations to back it up), but she adores him
                                                          > and she doesn't agree with my intepretation of Boromir at all.. am I
                                                          > rewarded with 2 points less then?
                                                          >

                                                          I think it's a fact of life that, if we choose a difficult or uncommon
                                                          characterisation, your piece has to be that much better to convince us
                                                          of it. If I were to write, for example, Faramir as sexually promiscuous
                                                          or or Feanor as a very sensitive kind of man (elf, you know what I
                                                          mean) I'd be working at a natural disadvantage. This doesn't mean those
                                                          stories can't work, but that they do need to be better to work. At
                                                          least for me.

                                                          I know there's more to this email, not to mention other emails that I
                                                          want to answer. But I have been feeling thoroughly depressed and
                                                          overwhelmed for several days now, and I really do need to turn in
                                                          early. I think anything I say at this point will come across as
                                                          snippety. So I'll do my best to get to the rest later. If I don't get
                                                          to it, please don't think that it means less or that I don't *want* to
                                                          or that I'm trying to ignore you. I'm just exhausted by various things
                                                          going on (most RL and unrelated to MEFAs).

                                                          Thanks for your patience!

                                                          Marta
                                                        • Kathy
                                                          Marta, Your health comes first...yours too, Rhapsody. The holidays are stressful enough as it is and the MEFAs will keep. So get some rest and take care of
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Dec 8, 2005
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                                                            Marta,

                                                            Your health comes first...yours too, Rhapsody. The holidays are
                                                            stressful enough as it is and the MEFAs will keep. So get some rest
                                                            and take care of yourself!

                                                            Kathy (Inkling)

                                                            --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
                                                            >
                                                            > Hi Rhapsody,
                                                            >
                                                            > > > Having done the research does not guarantee a good
                                                            > > > interpretation, it just makes it less likely to be bad.
                                                            > >
                                                            > > Well that is a nice pat on the back for those authors who do
                                                            spend
                                                            > > loads of amounts on doing very thorough research but are
                                                            questioned
                                                            > > for canonical interpretation.
                                                            > >
                                                            >
                                                            > Rhapsody, I'm not 100% sure... was this sarcasm? It's so hard to
                                                            tell
                                                            > online.
                                                            >
                                                            > I'm all for people doing research; I do a fair amount myself. I do
                                                            > think we need to have a reasonable feel for what our readers can be
                                                            > expected to know, and if something is more obscure than that, we
                                                            should
                                                            > take responsibility for "educating" them through authors' notes or
                                                            > what-not.
                                                            >
                                                            > > <snip>
                                                            > > >
                                                            > > >> I think you need to be aware of this as well. We all can't
                                                            know
                                                            > > << every single detail of what Tolkien wrote or stated, we all
                                                            miss
                                                            > > >> things when we read (or form our own idea about it)...
                                                            > > >
                                                            > > > You say "form our own idea about it" like this is both a bad
                                                            thing
                                                            > > > and an avoidable thing.
                                                            > >
                                                            > > Well that is your interpretation of my words. I surely didn't
                                                            mention
                                                            > > it that way. But when I read how Marta for example might give a
                                                            person
                                                            > > less points because of it.. I am very much for own interpretation
                                                            > > because it is, for me, a good way to see a different perspective
                                                            where
                                                            > > I never thought of before. For example, I might write a very
                                                            arrogant
                                                            > > Boromir (with some good citations to back it up), but she adores
                                                            him
                                                            > > and she doesn't agree with my intepretation of Boromir at all..
                                                            am I
                                                            > > rewarded with 2 points less then?
                                                            > >
                                                            >
                                                            > I think it's a fact of life that, if we choose a difficult or
                                                            uncommon
                                                            > characterisation, your piece has to be that much better to convince
                                                            us
                                                            > of it. If I were to write, for example, Faramir as sexually
                                                            promiscuous
                                                            > or or Feanor as a very sensitive kind of man (elf, you know what I
                                                            > mean) I'd be working at a natural disadvantage. This doesn't mean
                                                            those
                                                            > stories can't work, but that they do need to be better to work. At
                                                            > least for me.
                                                            >
                                                            > I know there's more to this email, not to mention other emails that
                                                            I
                                                            > want to answer. But I have been feeling thoroughly depressed and
                                                            > overwhelmed for several days now, and I really do need to turn in
                                                            > early. I think anything I say at this point will come across as
                                                            > snippety. So I'll do my best to get to the rest later. If I don't
                                                            get
                                                            > to it, please don't think that it means less or that I don't *want*
                                                            to
                                                            > or that I'm trying to ignore you. I'm just exhausted by various
                                                            things
                                                            > going on (most RL and unrelated to MEFAs).
                                                            >
                                                            > Thanks for your patience!
                                                            >
                                                            > Marta
                                                            >
                                                          • Marta Layton
                                                            ... Yeps, that is what I meant. ... What, hot? Somehow I don t think that s what you mean. ;-) Marta
                                                            Message 29 of 30 , Dec 9, 2005
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                                                              > > You're right, characterisation is more open to interpretation.
                                                              > Either
                                                              > > the Elves did or didn't show up at Helm's Deep, and either Saruman
                                                              > did
                                                              > > or did not occupy the Shire, and so on. it might happen differently
                                                              > in
                                                              > > the books and in the movies, but there's no arguing that in the
                                                              > books
                                                              > > Haldir died at Helm's Deep.
                                                              >
                                                              > In the books he doesn't die at HD, you mean.
                                                              >

                                                              Yeps, that is what I meant.

                                                              > Dwim, who likes her Denethor like other people like their coffee
                                                              >

                                                              What, hot? Somehow I don't think that's what you mean. ;-)

                                                              Marta
                                                            • Marta Layton
                                                              jHi Dreamflower, ... I d agree with you. I tend to be pretty much bookverse, too, but I m the first to admit that I ve been *very* influenced by the movies
                                                              Message 30 of 30 , Dec 9, 2005
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                                                                jHi Dreamflower,

                                                                >> So that's at least part of the problem: we're using the terms
                                                                >> differently. If I don't see a story labelled as movieverse  and I see
                                                                >> an event that is in the movies but not in the books, I think of it as
                                                                >> an authors' mistakes. I don't mean movie-inspired pieces per se, I
                                                                >> just
                                                                >> want to expect it. So for me as reader, I appreciate having this
                                                                >> material labelled. And this is for the authors' good as much as
                                                                >> anything else. My reading of an unlabelled movieverse story will
                                                                >> probably be less forgiving than my reading of one for which I had
                                                                >> fair
                                                                >> expectations. It might be the difference between an 8 point and a 10
                                                                >> point review.
                                                                >
                                                                > ::Now, I have to say, I write what I think of as essentially
                                                                > book-verse
                                                                > stories.  Yet I often draw on visual elements and bits of
                                                                > characterizations
                                                                > that were inspired by the films, as long as they don't contradict the
                                                                > book.
                                                                > For example, JRRT never tells us the color of Frodo's or Pippin's
                                                                > eyes--so I
                                                                > don't feel there's anything amiss in using the color of the actors who
                                                                > played them.  And we are certainly never given a description of the
                                                                > hobbits'
                                                                > articles of dress, so mentioning Merry's yellow weskit or Pippin's
                                                                > scarf
                                                                > would certainly not fall into putting the story in movie-verse, to me.

                                                                I'd agree with you. I tend to be pretty much bookverse, too, but I'm
                                                                the first to admit that I've been *very* influenced by the movies when
                                                                it comes to how I see certain locations (most notably Moria and the
                                                                Shire, incidentally). I don't think that makes the story movieverse. I
                                                                think the movies have blessed us with a wealth of visual cues that
                                                                Tolkien could never have described and had them work as effectively.

                                                                I do think there are some visual elements that are movieverse if only
                                                                because they contradict the movies. For example, describing Faramir as
                                                                having auburn hair. In the books we are told very clearly that his hair
                                                                was raven-coloured, but in some of the movie scenes it looks so light
                                                                that it's almost red-coloured. I think movies can be used to fill in
                                                                the gbaps of the books just like the books can be used to fill in the
                                                                gaps in the movies. The key question is, where the movies and the books
                                                                differ, which version do you go with?

                                                                > On the other hand, sometimes people read into a story something
                                                                > that's not
                                                                > there.  In my very first story, I had a less than flattering
                                                                > protrayal of
                                                                > Denethor, my own interpretation of his character for over 30 years,
                                                                > from the
                                                                > time I read the book the first time.  Yet I had a reviewer who
                                                                > assumed I was
                                                                > writing "movie-verser Denethor".

                                                                Yes, readers can make mistakes like that. And I think among authors who
                                                                prefer bookverse anyway, there may be a tendency to label something
                                                                they don't like as movieverse (where applicable). Almost like calling
                                                                something movieverse is a stronger criticism than a simple "I don't
                                                                like this part".

                                                                I try not to do that, personally. If I don't like something, I will say
                                                                I don't like it. I have on occasion asked a writer why they chose a
                                                                certain characterisation (to see if they had any quotes that I wasn't
                                                                aware of, usually).

                                                                >> For the purpose of categorisation, I'm less sure. I think the first
                                                                >> question we need to answer is whether movieverse stories should be
                                                                >> their own category, and if so why. If we answer that I think it will
                                                                >> be
                                                                >> a lot easier to see what to do with blends.
                                                                >
                                                                > ::We had a movie-verse category, or was it sub-category? last year,
                                                                > and I
                                                                > think it seemed to work all right. I am afraid I would put this whole
                                                                > question to the old "if it ain't broke..." question.
                                                                >

                                                                It was a main category, in the genres division. We didn't have one in
                                                                2004.

                                                                And I should probably clarify my position. I like having a movieverse
                                                                category and think it works well. I'd love to see it moved to
                                                                Books/Times because I think it has more to do with source material than
                                                                anything. But since people are also proposing a main category for
                                                                bookverse-movieverse blends, I think it might help to see why we're
                                                                separating movieverse out. If we could see what makes movieverse
                                                                distinctive, we could decide whether blends deserve their own category
                                                                by the same arguments.

                                                                At one point I proposed having movieverse as a subcategory rather than
                                                                a main category. My thoughts are this: if the books/time categories are
                                                                going to be based around time periods, movieverse is a little different
                                                                because it covers the same years as what's already covered in other
                                                                categories (such as "Great Years"). I like having it asw a main
                                                                category, but the logician in me wants to have a reason for why we do
                                                                things the way we do.

                                                                So, bottom line: I like movieverse as a category. I would consider
                                                                creating a sub-category or not having it at all if people had a good
                                                                reason. But the main reason I'm asking this is to decide how to handle
                                                                blends.

                                                                >> Ah, the joys of being in such a complex canon! I'm for including the
                                                                >> drafts of Tolkien's posthumously published works just to avoid
                                                                >> controversy, because while the details might be different, the
                                                                >> *medium*
                                                                >> is at least the same, and Tolkien himself had some hand in choosing
                                                                >> the
                                                                >> details. Even if they weren't finished.
                                                                >
                                                                > ::I fall somewhere in between. I think of The Silm as more or less
                                                                > canon to
                                                                > the events which take place during those years.  I think of UT and
                                                                > Letters
                                                                > as "semi-canon"--useful for factoids that are not included in the
                                                                > finished
                                                                > works, and then I think of the rest as "quasi-canon", again useful for
                                                                > certain factoids, but not quite so much so, as the aforementioned
                                                                > works.
                                                                > All of them are to be treated with a certain amount of respect as
                                                                > revealing
                                                                > some of JRRT's own mind on certain matters, but I don't see them as
                                                                > "canon",
                                                                > except for The Silm.
                                                                >

                                                                I find this interesting. I know the Silm was published first, and I
                                                                think that's part of why people give it more weight. But isn't it also
                                                                more edited by CT than UT or even HOME? In UT and HOME we're given a
                                                                lot of drafts with notes by CT about when it was written in relation to
                                                                other things, and where it becomes illegible, etc. But in the Silm.
                                                                there's less to tell us what was JRRT's writing and what was CT's. (Can
                                                                you tell I don't think about this much? It's just not that relevant to
                                                                my writing.)

                                                                But my point is, what I personally consider canon isn't that relevant.
                                                                What's important is how most of the people writing stories that will be
                                                                nominated will use it. That's what's going to be most useful to these
                                                                awards.

                                                                >> And Rabidsamfan, at the risk of dividing the fandom into factions...
                                                                >> you write mostly hobbit fic, right? While there is certainly
                                                                >> information about hobbits in the Letters and HOME, but I think that
                                                                >> most of the *events* at least are set out in LOTR and TH. I honestly
                                                                >> can't imagine writing Gondor without knowing a lot more about the
                                                                >> history of Numenor than we see in the appendices. This is even more
                                                                >> true for the elves; I personally think the most interesting part
                                                                >> about
                                                                >> them are the allusions to the "deeper matters" that are only told in
                                                                >> full in the Silm, or UT. In my mind, if it doesn't contradict the
                                                                >> published books it's fair game.
                                                                >>
                                                                >> That's just my personal opinion, though. The main reason I'm allowing
                                                                >> C. Tolkien's stuff is it side-steps a controversy on what just is
                                                                >> canon. People have been arguing over that for decades, and I doubt
                                                                >> we'll settle them in a manner that everyone will agree with.
                                                                >
                                                                > ::You are quite right in noting that we hobbit writers have a lot more
                                                                > published material to draw on.  There's nothing wrong or divisive in
                                                                > pointing that out.
                                                                >
                                                                > Your statement in saying "if it doesn't contradict the published
                                                                > books it's
                                                                > fair game" is interesting, however, in the light of what you had to
                                                                > say
                                                                > about seeing movie-verse elements in a book-verse story. 8-)
                                                                >

                                                                I never claimed to be consistent. ;-) And maybe my thoughts are
                                                                changing, or maybe I'm just presenting myself more clearly. but see
                                                                what I said above about movieverse and bookverse. What makes a story
                                                                m/v or b/v are those points where the movies and books differ. At least
                                                                for me.

                                                                Marta
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