Ok, I'm caught up on the story. These trolls seem entirely too human to me. Trolls as Neanderthal man maybe . . . That being said, this is still a good read. You've got us caught up in the desperation of the moment, Dandelion. If you quit writing, we'll have to track you down and glower at you until we get the rest of the story.
Yeah, well, with the amount of research I did *snrk* it's fairly likely that my vision of trolls (or any other race) won't match other people's. And I am human, and do tend to write about the human experience, so I guess anyone I write about sounds distinctly human-like. I've done the whole alien-mind thing before, and it's a ton of fun, but it also takes a ton of preparation. So I'm letting my inner psyche guide me in this one.
And I'll keep writing, I promise! No glowering necessary! Actually, at this point, I couldn't stop writing if I tried.
Forgot to mention - the Discworld trolls of Terry Pratchett are also a big influence on my version. Even though they're rock trolls, they're very humanlike.
I ran across a reference to trolls eating lichen - forest trolls specifically, but I'd imagine that mountain trolls would too. After pondering that, I'm considering going back and editing in some references to lichen as food. That wouldn't change my plot much, though. The amount of lichen it would take to sustain a creature that massive is much more than one could easily pry off the ground as one walked along. Unless we're talking reindeer moss, and even then I doubt a traveling troll could sustain itself on lichen alone.
If anyone can think of similar tips and details that I can edit in for better flavor and greater accuracy, please suggest them. (Especially you, Khenn! You invented them all!) My ogre-mate observed that the story is developing a Natives vs. White Man theme. While I'm not surprised - that theme follows me around - I would like to soften the Indian/Neanderthal association. The Stone Age flavor in general is probably stuck - they live in the mountains, after all. But... yeah.
I've grown very self-conscious about how troll-like my trolls are... or aren't. My influences, for what they're worth, are all over the place. In the beginning, I was just making it all up myself, and I'm not sure how this outside influences thing is working out. Either my newfound self-consciousness is making the novel better, or it's making it worse. I'm sure soon I'll get over it and go back to letting my instincts guide me.
Last Edit: Nov 10, 2005 8:13:32 GMT -5 by dandelion
I need a monster. It needs to be flesh-and-blood, theoretically edible, not too bright (none of those highly evolved folk in the Monsters & Magic book), and mammalian - or at least vertebrate. And big, but n ot too big. And it needs to live above ground.
I found a monster. And somebody... somebody makes his first appearance. (To the somebodies who have yet to appear: your time is coming soon! Except Dekhurrsio. He only shows up at the end. Unless I reach the end before my word count reaches 50,000 - then I may use up some words on him. But for now, there's somebody else.)
Last Edit: Nov 11, 2005 16:54:54 GMT -5 by dandelion
I changed Aiydn's name back. Not in the Livejournal version, but in the manuscript itself I did, and I'll just stick with that from now on. I shouldn't allow myself to overanalyze such things. Just type type type and make changes in December. Or not. We'll see.
I'm glad you're enjoying it. I can't get enough praise, seriously, so if anyone is ever wondering whether or not to say something nice, then yes, you should. Please. Don't let me stop you.
While I like the name Aiydn too, I think that if you had to make a choice between Aiydn and Astuk, I'd change Aiydn. Astuk seems more Trollish to me.
One comment, now that I am finally up to date with my reading :
While I have some idea of the personalities of the various Trolls, I don't have a very good idea of their physical appearance. There was the reference to Khayd'haik being 'green as life', which is good, and comments about humans being small and fragile, but I'm not seeing them as a race, if you take my meaning.
(Edited to restore the half sentence that mysteriously disappeared...)
Last Edit: Nov 13, 2005 0:40:34 GMT -5 by mahrundl
Satisfy inquiring minds, add more description. Got it.
I do keep meaning to add more description; I can picture the trolls quite clearly. But I keep getting squeamish, I'm afraid. There's a part of me that wants to please Khenn and describe them exactly the way he sees them, and that people-pleasing desire also extends to everyone else who feels sure they know what a troll looks like. The problem is, looking at reference material is no help. The troll images are all over the place! Some look like leprechauns and some look like giants, and some have only the vaguest resemblance to humanoid. It's as bad as elves! Argh!
So every time I set my mind to adding a few descriptives, I chicken out and opt to wait and add them later.
What I could use is a few pictures to look at that will point me in the right direction. This is why I usually have such a strong aversion to fanfiction - it doesn't let me freely invent everything myself, and I really do work better when I can. I could also defend my right to write whatever the hell I want and refuse to take criticism. I may still do that. But you're absolutely right. I can't treat my characters like ghosts.
Dandelion, there are so many different opinions of what trolls look like, in literature, fantasy and in people's heads, that you'll never be able to satisfy everyone. So don't try. Just make them look like *I* expect them to... ;D
Seriously: it's your story, they are your trolls. Tells us what they look like to you. Paint a picture before our minds' eyes with your words! Take what inspiration you need from where you choose, then show us your vision!!