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Euron Commoner | joined 31 March 2004 | 5 posts


The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q & AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Euron, Commoner

Hi everyone. This is my first post, though I've been lurking about, peering at you all for a little while!

Just a quick question for the author if he gets a chance to look, or anyone else who has an opinion on it.

First off though, I want to say how much I loved the first book! Right away it nestled comfortably behind asoiaf at the top of my list of favourite fantasy works. In fact, I'm reading it again at the moment and the things I reckon Bakker (Scott?) does even better than GRRM are mounting by the moment. Most of all I love the dirty politics and scheming in tdtcb. In particular, the personal interaction between characters trying to overpower each other is great. The contrast between what individuals say and what they mean, how they appear and how they actually feel, is probably my favourite thing about the book. The sordid mess that is the Emperor's relationship with his family is maybe the best example!

Anyway, to the question. Kellhus is a great character, but I was thinking about his conditioning. I understand that the whole culture of the Dunyain is built around training mind and body. But I was wondering how Kellhus is able to read and influence men of the world so totally when his society is so separate form the rest of the world? To understand men's hopes and dreams and behaviours (down to their facial expressions) so entirely, I would have thought the Dunyain would need some exposure to those men? Otherwise, wouldn't ordinary men just seem completely alien to them? Does that make sense?

Anyway, I'm interested in any opinions, and sorry for the long post! view post


The conditioning of Kellhus posted 31 March 2004 in Author Q & AThe conditioning of Kellhus by Euron, Commoner

Thanks for the replies. Interesting stuff.

Thinking about the prologue, I reckon it definitely works as an illustration of how Kellhus learns to apply his skills to men of the outside world. And, of course, a lot of time passes before we see him again, during which he crosses half a continent and gathers a massive band of followers. So this would certainly give him loads of experience of handling men of the world.

I wonder how much of his ability to dominate others would rely on understanding universal human emotions and their signals, and how much would rely on the context? Quite often Kellhus seems to manipulate others by knowing what it is they most desire. And I suppose this would require him to understand at least something of the culture he is working in (which will obviously change as he travels to different lands). I think this is portrayed consistently in the book, as Kellhus certainly observes and learns about cultures as he goes, and he admits that Cnaiur is still useful to him as he knows more of the world etc. view post


Now Reading... posted 09 April 2004 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Euron, Commoner

Has anyone else read Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan? It's an SF book that I just read and really enjoyed.

It's extremely fast paced (a bit of a crime thriller really) and dark and hard-edged. Bleak, bleak, bleak stuff. But fun though!

There are quite a few SF ideas thrown about, but they certainly don't get in the way of the story. I liked it a lot. view post


Getting the words down. posted 09 April 2004 in Writing TipsGetting the words down. by Euron, Commoner

I've been into writing (at least in theory!) for a while and I'm always interested in how people go about actually getting their stories onto paper - habits and tricks to avoid the agony of writer's block etc.

At first I used to feel quite a lot of pressure to make my first draft as good as I possibly could. I'd type a sentence and then fiddle with it for a while until I liked it. This just didn't work at all as it made my volume of output depressingly feeble and it also made the whole process painful (and therefore very easy to avoid with excuses).

Then I read somewhere that it can be much easier to try to separate the creative aspect of writing (coming up with ideas) from the analytical (making it all work and sound good). This made enormous sense to me as these two ways of thinking are really different and I had been trying to do them at the same time.

So now, for my first draft, I just write whatever comes into my head - almost deliberately making it bad! No editing. I use a pen and paper as well (condemning myself to some massively dull typing later) to avoid the temptation of easy editing. Obviously I still try to write well, but even if I know that a sentence is poor and has zero chance of surviving as I'm writing it, I try not to worry too much. If there's a tricky part I'm not quite sure how to phrase - I just write straight through it and worry later. For me, it makes the process more fun and I'm able to produce quite a lot of words to bolster my morale!

Obviously, many of those words need to be smothered in their beds when I look at them again later, but a lot can be polished up. And a few emerge just as I want them first time, perhaps in a way I wouldn't have achieved if I'd been using the stiffer old technique.

When I go back later with my analytical hat on, it's much easier and more fun to assess something that already exists.

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear if other people write in a similar way, or about any other habits people have to help them get down to the business of writing. view post


The Series That Comes After? posted 09 April 2004 in Author Q & AThe Series That Comes After? by Euron, Commoner

The thought of eventually having three trilogies to tell this great story is pretty exciting!

I also like the idea of returning to the same characters twenty years later to see just how they've changed, perhaps not even realising that some of them are characters we already know until crucial details are revealed. Ohhh, it's gonna be good. <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> view post


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