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Bakker vs. Kellhus in Cranium posted 03 Apr 2005, 16:04 by Quinthane, Candidate

A few years back I was working on a script whose story included a character with a genius level intellect. Good Will Hunting hangin with Hannibal Lector discussing Richard Nash--type intellect. My intellect was strong enough to envision the character as well as the impact he would have on the story...and that's about it. (Took me two tries to STOP spelling 'discussing', just to give you a little hint.) Despite knowing what the effects to the plot needed to be, and understanding (or at least recognizing) the scope of the man’s intellectual prowess.....and despite loads of research, bringing the character to the story in any real and honest way was beyond my ability. In Kellhus, you've created a peerless intellect and, to your enormous credit, have taken us through the details of his problem-solving, theorems, plots ploys acumen. Everything. (You know how I know when Kellhus has made a mistake? When Kellhus says 'I've made a mistake'.) You are clearly an above and beyond mind yourself (spelling 'discussing' was probably child's play for you) however, your protagonist (and his father) are, in theory, beyond even you, yes? My question (clumsily gotten to) is this: Did you ever find yourself stymied when dealing with Kellhus and/or daunted by the height of the bar that his reality sets? Impressed as hell with both of you, Quinthane "Innuendo Glistens" view post

posted 03 Apr 2005, 22:04 by Randal, Auditor

Until mr. Bakker can answer the question, you might be interested in reading [url=]this interview.[/url:20hipzri] Specifically, it contains this question: [quote:20hipzri][color=blue:20hipzri]Q: In a series filled with vivid, fascinating characters, Kellhus (for me anyway) is the standout -- not least because, unlike some other writers who portray superhumanly intelligent beings, you succeed in making his intellectual superiority completely convincing. What were the challenges of creating such a character?[/color:20hipzri] A: I've always felt more intelligent when I write than when I speak. Take me away from my computer screen, and I'm lucky if my thoughts attain the clarity of Campbell's Soup. I suppose (and remember, I'm writing this response!) this is because writing allows you to step outside of time, to think a thousand thoughts where the reader encounters only one. And if you think about it, this is pretty much what Kellhus does while speaking. He stands outside the rush of verbal interaction, and so is able to scrutinize and premeditate where others can only reflexively respond. So in a formal sense, portraying Kellhus's superhuman intelligence was relatively easy. I would start with straight dialogue for Kellhus's scenes, which I would then go over again and again, each time giving Kellhus more in the way of insights and observations. It was the substance of these insights and observations that proved exceedingly difficult to write. But here again, I had the luxury of time: I would work and rework them until I eventually came up with something 'Kellhus worthy.' I took a shotgun approach.[/quote:20hipzri] view post

posted 04 Apr 2005, 12:04 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Did I say that? :wink: Kellhus is hands down the most difficult, and aside from Conphas, the most fun character to write. But it really is a case of working those sections over and over. I think the philosophy background comes in handy - even though it doesn't give you squat in the way of answers, it lends a certain conceptual mobility, allows you to see the logical structure of the arguments people make, stuff like that. [i:38f58ycx]And[/i:38f58ycx] it makes it easy to cop a 'tone of profundity.' Otherwise, it really does feel like I'm wrestling in broth and noodles any time I cogitate. view post

posted 04 Apr 2005, 21:04 by Cynadar, Candidate

Creating such an intelligent character as Kellhus must have been hard, as you say. But how can you possibly decide the thoughts of the idiot characters (such as the emperor)? view post

posted 07 Apr 2005, 21:04 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Characters like the Emperor I just write in real time. :wink: view post

posted 09 Apr 2005, 04:04 by Cynadar, Candidate

I really don't like the emperor very much because his thought process reminds me of my sister's. And she's extremely stupid, refusing to accept truth when it's put in front of her, spelled out flatly. Even after I prove something to her NUMEROUS times, it seems she is unable to realize many fundamentals of life. Just make her male, give her a position of power, and you have the emperor. view post

posted 09 Apr 2005, 04:04 by White Lord, Subdidact

So far the Emperor has been a very funny character to read about. Since I predict a gruesome end for him I hope it can be made entertaining as well . . . :) view post

posted 01 Jul 2005, 17:07 by saintjon, Auditor

weirdly enough the emperor still has his good ideas from time to time though. I can definitely see where conphas would be fun to write. I hate the bastard but he's definitely a great character. How does the rest of the challenge scale work out? Like Kellhus first then who? I imagine Esmenet could be a handful sometimes. view post

posted 06 Jul 2005, 21:07 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Cnaiur was a close second in TWP. Otherwise, it always seems to change. This guy stymies me here, that gal stumps me there. view post

posted 09 Jul 2005, 04:07 by cyruskhan, Commoner

Something i was wondering, and this isn't completely on topic for the post, but how did you get started writing? Did you originally write short stories, work your way up to a few novels that never went anywhere, and then finally broke through with The Darkness...? Or were these books your first real effort? The reason i love your work so much, is because i'm in college, and i had a hell of a time deciding between an english or philosophy major. I finally decided on philosophy, but i still want to write geeky fantasy books. I'm planning on taking some creative writing classes and such, but i'm wondering what you have to say on the matter. How did you work yourself up to writing 600 page books? Unless you covered this somewhere else? -joe (p.s. does it annoy you that people call you by your first name without the courtesy of giving you theirs?) view post

posted 11 Jul 2005, 18:07 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I started with the novels. I'm the guy everyone hates on the 'How to get published' panels at SF&F conventions. I literally wrote fantasy because I was a workaholic and couldn't relax without feeling productive. Then I met a friend who's old college roommate was an agent. It was literally the old 'who you know thing...' Otherwise, I [i:1biacdny]prefer[/i:1biacdny] people call me 'Scott,' Joe! I suppose I'm old enough to qualify as a 'Mr. Bakker' now, but I feel too much like the 14 year old goofball I once was to not feel like a poser when people call me that. view post


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