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

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  • aelfwina@cableone.net
    ... From: Marta Layton To: Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 11:20 PM Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] Movie-verse
    Message 1 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
      ----- 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 2 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
        --- 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 3 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
          --- 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 4 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
            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 5 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
              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 6 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
                > 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 7 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
                  > 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 8 of 30 , Dec 7, 2005
                    --- 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 9 of 30 , Dec 8, 2005
                      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 10 of 30 , Dec 8, 2005
                        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 11 of 30 , Dec 9, 2005
                          > > 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 12 of 30 , Dec 9, 2005
                            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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