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cloust Commoner | joined 14 July 2007 | 7 posts


Dear Scott, On naming your characters... posted 14 July 2007 in Author Q & ADear Scott, On naming your characters... by cloust, Commoner

Hello Scott,

I'm a huge fan of the series, just finished reading it through for the second time.

There are alot of things about your writing style that I admire. High up on that list is the names you invent for cities, races, and characters, etc...

I enjoy writing like nothing else in life, but for some incomprehensible reason I get stuck on names. My characters end up with names like Rafaentrop or Samusek or whatever...

They're not memorable. They don't conjure up images of fierceness, like some of your characters bring up. It's not an Aurang... or an Achamian. Or the Knight of Ce Tydonn. This is a glaring hole in my writing.

Do you have any tips on this subject? Can you offer some more insight into your process of naming characters, or languages, or races? How in depth do you get in, meaning do you actually go so far as to invent a language of sorts, meaning that all names from a race have the same structure etc? Do you just sound out different syllables to arrive at a characters name when it 'feels' right, or do you have a more indepth process?

thank you, and i would greatly appreciate any help from you or from any other writers on the forum who have wrestled with the same problem.

thanks! view post


Why did the consult kill xerius? posted 14 July 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWhy did the consult kill xerius? by cloust, Commoner

I don't understand the Consults thinking there. The only think i can come up with is that they wanted a stronger leader (his nephew Conphas) in place so that the Holy War would lose?

The idea being it would mean the end of the Dunyain. But as I remember the Consult already chose not to kill the warrior prophet once, when they went after the the consort instead of him in TTT.

Also in TTT it was revealed the Consult WANTED the Fanim to lose, because somehow the Cishaurim had spotted the skin spies and kicked them out of Shimeh, which the Consult wouldn't stand for.

So... I don't know? Any ideas? What plot line did i miss? view post


Why did the consult kill xerius? posted 15 July 2007 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWhy did the consult kill xerius? by cloust, Commoner

Curethan thats fascinating, because it sort of takes away a bit from the sesxual-hate relationship between the emperor and his mother. So in those books it was the skin spy playing out what the empress would have done.

Thanks for the link to the other thread. I didn't buy the idea that xerius was killed to protect the holy war (he was killed to keep him from destroying it) becuase in TTT i clearly got the message that the Cishaurim had somehow kicked out all the consults spies, which was why the Consult HAD to have them destroyed.

The alternative was the Fanim empire spreading across the three-seas, and ejecting all the consults spies, which was unacceptable to them.

The other idea, that the skin spy was forced to kill xerius becuase he inadvertantly felt her erection seems more plausible. But then again why didn't the skin spy just run away? Why kill xerius when it went against the consult's wishes? view post


Is Kelhus a criticism of Jesus/religion? posted 15 July 2007 in Author Q & AIs Kelhus a criticism of Jesus/religion? by cloust, Commoner

Hi scott. Apologies if you've answered this question before.

One of the message I got from Kellhus in your books is a subthread of criticism towards Christianity.

I personally am not Christian, and I don't mean that statement in a negative way at all. Please hear me out.

The way I see it, Kellhus embodies many of the symbols of Jesus - he's a humble prophet unaware of his status as a prophet until he was a young man, who faces fierce opposition. He is 'crucified' on a Circumfix, and in his rescue from it is reborn (symbolically removing his heart from his chest). And now he is accepted as the true Prophet of the God.

Here's where I saw the criticism: Kellhus is not a Prophet. I know there's some confusion near the end with his meeting with his father, but I think we can still safely stay that.

He's a charlatan, a man who manipulated the people around him, who lies to further his own path in the world. He does not feel compassion or love or anything, and in fact views those as weaknesses of humanity, whom he sees as children. Even the whole rebirth thing, removing his heart from his chest was another trick, since he uses Serwe's heart.

He's the anti-Prophet, a charlatan and liar who manipulates people around him to make them think he's holy, when he's not. He's Satan, so to speak. He even admits that the No-God speaks to him, though whether thats because he's learned the Gnosis or not, i'm not sure.

So the man who embodies the characteristics of Jesus, is in reality the biggest liar of them all. Thats where I saw some criticism of Jesus or maybe even of organized religion. Kellhus's father beautifully sums it all up near the end of TTT.

In a way, I feel you've even tricked the readers into liking Kellhus, into falling for his wiles and charm and 'wisdom' as easily as those around him We root for him throughout all 3 books, (me included) even though on retrospect there's only one thing worth praising him for : he's opposed to sealing the world shut and so opposed to the Consult.

Its the skeptic in me that makes me look back and think why exactly i'm rooting for a man who really does embody some terrible characteristics. Thats what made me think that you've been playing with the readers a bit, and there's this deep thread of criticism underneath it all.

If it was intentional or not, its given me insight into myself. I fell for Kellhus just like the people around him who I pitied for being such saps. Who couldn't see past his tricks. It makes his type of personality more real to me, if that makes any sense.

Also I know you've dropped clues thorughout the books that maybe Kellhus has a conscience or can feel things. 1) He doesn't kill Cnaiur, even though the Logos tells him he should. 2) He feels for Serwe while hanging next to her. 3) He doesn't go along with his father in the end, in his plan to seal shut the world (which he forsees his father being a part of.)

This is all theoretical, i hope i haven't offended you or anybody else. It's just for the sake of discussion, and your books are definately my favorite fantasy books that i've ever read. view post


Dear Scott, On naming your characters... posted 16 July 2007 in Author Q & ADear Scott, On naming your characters... by cloust, Commoner

thanks for the advice nathaara. Looking for equivalents of english words in forieign languages, and then modifying them is an interesting idea. I can see where scott has done it as well. view post


Is Kelhus a criticism of Jesus/religion? posted 27 July 2007 in Author Q & AIs Kelhus a criticism of Jesus/religion? by cloust, Commoner

i'd like to do that zarathinius, but sometimes these things jump out at me and i end up thinking about them.

Who is the hero in the books? Is there even a hero and what does it mean that there might not be, that its just a collection of irreparably flawed humans or (in the case of Kellhus) perfectly flawed humans?

As far as the criticism of religion thing, I have to say that most of the books contain a deep criticism of the mechanisms of humanity. About our leaders, the process they use to become leaders, about followers and their gullibility. About heirarchies and their corruption.

Scott's world is a dark place. A scene that comes particularly to mind is Maithanet's procession where a homeless child is kidnapped by slavers.

There's so much concentration on the dark side of human life, on the underbelly of the societies he creates, that there doesn't seem to be much room left over for the good moments in life.

Unless you think a desperately sad love between Achamian and Esemet is an example of that. And Scott ends up tearing that to shreds as well in his last book. And surely its not the love between Serwe and Kellhus. That's just the deluded hero-worship of an abused woman taken advantage of by a consumate manipulator.

Why's it all dark Scott? view post


Is Kelhus a criticism of Jesus/religion? posted 04 August 2007 in Author Q & AIs Kelhus a criticism of Jesus/religion? by cloust, Commoner

for clarification, i didn't mean any of my comments as criticisms of Scott or his books. I'm an avid fan of his books, i've read them several times.

I guess it interests me that some of the people that the characters in the book see as heroes are really diabolical (like Kellus.) The followers in the book are tricked. They're fools, just like people in the real world can be fools who follow blindly.

A part of that criticism is religious. The people follow false prophets, and their rise to near divinity closely models stories of prophets in the real world. So its a criticism of a broad spectrum, politics and religion.

But I can't spot the light at the end of the tunnel. The revelation that sets humanity back on the right track. If anything the followers in the books just fall more and more under the spell of the liars and deceivers. With the one exception being Achamian, and that happens on the last few pages of the last book.

When does humanity get a chance to redeem itself? Maybe Scott just wants to hold up a mirror to us, but where's the hope in that?

As for living in north america, i live in Lebanon, and i get to see reality up close. view post


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