Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

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Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

Post by 222333 »

*
Thank you for this suggestion, Zara. This is a kind of stories which I like very much. When we exchanged suggestions, at the beginning of our correspondence, I proposed you two stories that are in my “good!” folder and which in my opinion are similar:

In the fell clutch of circumstance, gkkstitch
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5183060/1/I ... rcumstance

Blackout, BeeDrew
http://jacalyns.u28.nozonenet.com/class ... ckou2.html


About Shakespeare.
I am not best qualified to talk of this story is written. I can say that I can read it easily, and that I like what I read. From my Italian point of view, it means that the words are at service of the story, they are not overwhelming decorations which I impatiently skim to hunt for what’s happening. I often do that, I confess, in many stories.

First of all, here there IS a story: something happens. Second, the story is original. Then, it is credible. These are the basics for me.

That said, I like this Vincent, daring and compassionate. It fits with the Vincent we are seeing in the episodes, although probably "almost twenty years" makes him a little too young when he started his nightly forays in the Library. I like that the story is inspiring, in a way, showing a bizarre but beautiful relationship between two persons and a “happy ending”. I like the idea of setting a story in the NYC Library, where I have been and which I remember with reverence. The description fits, and I’m happy that Midnight Rose offered its treasures to Vincent…

And I like these little stories which give Vincent and Catherine a life beyond the relationship depicted in the series. They are like those pieces of puzzle that do not compose the main illustration, but are useful nevertheless to have the full picture.

S

S

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

Post by Zara »

Yes! "Blackout" was next on my list, so we can certainly set these two stories on the shelf to read soon. :)

I like very much the work of Midnight Rose. She gives an atmosphere to her stories that beautifully matches the aesthetics of the original show. Yes, she does indeed paint clear word pictures. The writing is not frothy and it is wonderful to glide into the fantasy with such swift ease.

Sobi, I like your basics of storytelling too. But I think you know that by now. <grins>

I consider the nebulous B&B timeline a veritable free-for-all on the part of later writers. Perhaps MR's Vincent was very adventurous in his youth. Me, I also enjoy Barbara Hambly's offering of an anecdote about Vincent and Devin visiting the library as children, cracking up over a recording of Bill Cosby's Why is There Air? In any case, Vincent slipping into the public library at night is *so* in line with his character. I'm thankful this story was written, and written well.

It is great fun to read about the mystery in the mind of the security guard. A ghost, albeit a friendly one? A long-term friend who only ever listens, listens...until their last night together. Then the private joke that the new guard should make friends with Shakespeare.

The scenario also speaks to Tunnels culture. Their deep need and value for secrecy. Twenty years worth, in this case! Their attempts to live as well as they can, gleaning resources from the world Above by bending or ignoring some of the Topsiders' rules. Their value for knowledge and literature. Their careful evaluation of trustworthiness and need in potential Topsider friends. And also their fundamental sympathy for those who are alone and in need. All of this is present along with Vincent's individual personality, in the way he deals with Charlie.

Another thing I like about this tale is the open pause at the end. We are left to imagine the conversation between Vincent and Charlie. It does not need to be spelled out. Their standing companionship has already set the stage for acceptance and the pleasure of finally meeting face to face. The effect is gentle and appealing. Respectful of the reader's ability to dream within the setting the author has so capably crafted. It's a good technique to implement inside the structure of this story.

~ Zara

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

Post by Maclurv »

Barbara Hambly's offering of an anecdote about Vincent and Devin visiting the library as children, cracking up over a recording of Bill Cosby's Why is There Air?


I shall have to check this out, as I have that album!

A long-term friend who only ever listens, listens...until their last night together.


This was a frustration for me. I understand the need for secrecy. But in my little heart, Vincent could have begun conversing with Charlie earlier, not revealing himself, just conversing, and it could have benefitted them both. Vincent's insights could have helped Charlie's healing from the wounds of war more than just listening did. Vincent could have gained more insight into the Above world from Charlie, giving him more understanding sooner, so that when he met Catherine, he might have been better prepared.

Of course, my intuition comes from possibilities, so hence this frustration! :)

I liked the descriptions of the library. I have no basis to know if it is a true representation or not, but it sounds plausible. I liked the premise, because we know Vincent's love of books, and Father's library is limited. His access to, and egress from, also seems plausible so we can easily see Vincent's desire to visit and keep returning.

The only thing I didn't care for, and this is probably personal to me, is the description of Vincent as 'the lion man.' Leonine features, yes; lion man, eh, just doesn't resonate for me.

Pat

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

Post by Zara »

Pat, you make me smile. I'm learning that whenever you meet with silence instead of conversation, frustration ensues. Yours is such an interesting outlook to me. New, even. :)

I'm always curious to see how different authors handle descriptions of Vincent. I'm not overly fond of "lion man" either, because I feel it is too specific. The phrase certainly gets a sketchy image across quickly, but also limits Vincent's characteristics to those of "lion" and "male human." Thus, leonine doesn't sit well with me either, as a general adjective. My preference is for "feline," "bestial," "animal," variations of "monster," and of course "Beast." A special case is "freak," but few people know how to use that term appropriately, so I am wary when I see it in a story. More than any of these one-shot descriptions, I like to read specific details about what makes Vincent lionish, beast-bodied, man and animal at the same time. How does he move? How does he behave? What blend of instinct and reason motivates his actions? What shapes and textures are present in his physical form? What kinds of shadows does he cast? What is his coloration, how is his hair arranged and how is he dressed? What abilities and attributes does he possess that make him something more (or less) than human?

MR uses words and phrases like: dark form; crouched; moving shadow; secretive lion man; prowled; instinct; night-sighted eyes; no sound; barely a rustle; deftly moved; swallowed by the enclosing shadows; silent ear; lurking in the shadows; shadowy companion; favorite haunt; ever vigilant; elusive lion man; unseen company; keen hearing; cat burglar quality of movement; unique, golden flesh; a playwright's nightmare come to life; over six foot, massive, leonine form; a featureless black form.

By contrast: Charlie was a short stocky man; his weathered face etched by time and sagging jowls. His graying hair was reduced to a grizzled silver crown of laurel around the dome of his head. He was sixty-three and sporting the typical round middle of a nighttime watchman grown fat from all the years of coffee, donuts and little activity.

In this story, the author has tailored her descriptive language to reflect the setting: a large public building, empty at night, save for thousands and thousands of books. She gives us two characters who know and love a library. This is a place of silence, where sudden sights and sounds are shocking, where whispers are loud, where the deaf and mute activity of reading constitutes a valuable skill or virtue rather than a handicap. The story is about waiting, watching, listening. It's about a long, slow game of hide and seek, a progressive treasure hunt, and the rewards of great patience. <smiles at self> In short, all the things that appeal to a reclusive bookworm like me.

Cosby's Why Is There Air? Oh, heavens, it is SO funny. My mother has audio tapes of several Cosby comedies and I would love to transfer them into .MP3 files someday. Does it make me old if I take such delight in artifacts from the era of my childhood? :D

~ Zara

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

Post by Maclurv »

Pat, you make me smile. I'm learning that whenever you meet with silence instead of conversation, frustration ensues. Yours is such an interesting outlook to me. New, even. :)


Good to know that I can still surprise you after all this time of correspondence! It's not that I can't appreciate silence. I do. It's the amount of it that is at issue for me!

May I ask how one uses the term "freak" appropriately? It has mostly negative connotations to me that I would eschew its use.

I would add that I like stories that are effortless, and by that I mean effortless to the reader to get into, start imagining, get with the story. Enough description to give a visual image, not too much to impress us with words. Some authors tend to mellifluous, even poetic descriptions, often in abundance, and that tends to slow me down to the point that I begin skipping and scanning to get on with the story. Now and again, for effect or a technique is fine; over use and I get impatient. This story didn't slow me down so the descriptions aided rather than hindered me.

I agree that I like descriptions of Vincent that address the characteristics the author sees in him. This gives you the foundation to a) see if the author sees Vincent the same way as you do, and if not b) allows you to follow logically to the author how Vincent would behave within the story given those characteristics. And if not viewed the same as you, this gives the reader the chance to see Vincent in another way, which may broaden your perspective, or you may decide, 'nope, interesting story but I just don't see Vincent that way.'

Pat

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

Post by 222333 »

I would add that I like stories that are effortless, and by that I mean effortless to the reader to get into, start imagining, get with the story. Enough description to give a visual image, not too much to impress us with words. Some authors tend to mellifluous, even poetic descriptions, often in abundance, and that tends to slow me down to the point that I begin skipping and scanning to get on with the story.

*
amen! AMEN! AMEN!!

S - clapping

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

Post by Zara »

What Sobi said!

:mrgreen:

~ Zara

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

Post by Maclurv »

This is me, basking in the glow of your agreement! :lol: I seem to have struck a nerve, I think!

Give me a moment to enjoy, and I'll soon go back to my normal state of contrariness. :)

I read for enjoyment much differently than I do for learning and/or thoughtful growth. Not that I can't learn from what I read for enjoyment, just that I don't attack it in the same way. That's also why I can't recall as much because that is not my focus. That will change now that I am reading for discussion, because I need to have more insight into the content and style of the piece.

I have downloaded both pieces that Sobi listed. Ready to read whenever a choice is made.

Pat

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

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I have downloaded both pieces that Sobi listed. Ready to read whenever a choice is made.

*
I was not exactly suggesting to discuss them, just offering them as similar takes. BUT if you don't mind briefly taking a look at them before perhaps choosing a different kind of story, I'd be very glad to hear what you think about them.

S

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Re: Shakespeare ~ Midnight Rose

Post by Maclurv »

Well, so far I have read "In the fell clutch." I liked it, much like the other story in that it is a Vincent focus. However, a few aspects bothered me.

I did not care for the main character speaking in what I guess was to be a New Yorker vernacular. It was unnecessary in my opinion and ended up distracting a bit for me. It was far from what I have heard as a New York accent, nor was it consistent. I wouldn't have advised it if I had been asked (but I wasn't, so there, Pat!)

I also thought it was longer than it needed to be. I liked the description well enough, and the writer sounded knowledgable about underground gas mains, so I credit her/him for that. But it went on longer than necessary for the points that it was trying to make.

And a couple of points about the story were out of sync for me. The beginning gave me a strong impression that by the end of the story, the narrator would be dead. After meeting Kristopher Gentian, that is certainly in the realm of possibility! But no, it was not how it ended. So I felt a bit misled. This may be solely how it struck me, but that's the way I experienced it. The second thing that felt false to me was the narrator becoming suddenly more outward thinking and wanting to help others. I didn't see the conversion of him well enough in what was written, or not enough was written about that aspect that convinced me at the end that it was a natural progression for him.

I don't know if you all (or in Texas, ya'll) find typos and mis-used words like I do, but for some reason, they leap out at me. So in both of these stories, I found a number of misspellings and mis-used words. I freely admit I cannot see my own; just other people's. :) So if anyone needs a final edit (even in the age of spell-checker) I'm available

Pat

On to the other story!

Edited to add: okay, have read the other story. Liked this one better than the former. Part of that could be because of the mix of characters: Joe, Vincent, Catherine and some extras. The story was put together well, flowed pretty easily from one event to the other. Liked the idea that Joe indirectly met Vincent. Characterizations seemed pretty well done, no glaring 'out of character' moments for me. This one didn't feel too long to me, even though it was the same number of pages as the former.

Would be interested if Zara thinks Father's character was misrepresented. It was, as usual, not very flattering. But it went with the theme of caution and safety, which is certainly something Father feels when thinking about Vincent's exploits, so it wasn't horribly off target to me.

Pat

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