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Author Topic: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9  (Read 4446 times)

Offline Arry

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Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« on: March 03, 2015, 10:52:23 PM »
I am really enjoying this one so far! For some reason I was quite surprised by the dark opening. Lady’s/Blackthorn’s descriptions of her life since her imprisonment just rang with a level of reality that highlighted the harshness encountered and the dire state of life.

Conmael’s offer to her was obviously a no brainer decision. Death or not death (that also promised the possibility of freedom). But obviously, both Blackthorn and Grim are wary of the offer, wondering what trick Conmael may have up his sleeve.

I am quite curious about Blackthorn and Grim’s backgrounds before they were imprisoned. And what their life will be like at Winterfalls. And then there is Prince Oran. I can’t help but wonder what will happen when he meets Blackthorn.
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Offline ladybritches

Re: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2015, 06:35:57 AM »
My reaction is the same as Arry's.

Blackthorn and Grim are both excellent characters, but I have a real soft spot for Grim. Based on the hints we're getting, he seems even more damaged than Blackthorn is.

I like the set up here, where Blackthorn can't turn Grim away without adding a year to her bondage, because he's in need of help. She's strong enough to make it without him, but he is proving a handy fellow to have around.

Oran's chapters aren't holding my attention as much as the other two do, but he won me over in chapter 9. I'm anxious to meet his fiancee. (Can't remember her name and too lazy to look it up.)

And what's with the woods? I'm excited to read on. I need answers!  ;)

Offline Ender

Re: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 04:43:13 AM »
It feels like i'm reading a diary.  I don't really like that.  Hopefully the plot is going to get moving along soon.

Offline Arry

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Re: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 10:34:36 PM »
My reaction is the same as Arry's.

Blackthorn and Grim are both excellent characters, but I have a real soft spot for Grim. Based on the hints we're getting, he seems even more damaged than Blackthorn is.

I like the set up here, where Blackthorn can't turn Grim away without adding a year to her bondage, because he's in need of help. She's strong enough to make it without him, but he is proving a handy fellow to have around.

Oran's chapters aren't holding my attention as much as the other two do, but he won me over in chapter 9. I'm anxious to meet his fiancee. (Can't remember her name and too lazy to look it up.)

And what's with the woods? I'm excited to read on. I need answers!  ;)

Yep, agree with all this. And I will say I became much more interested in Oran's chapters during the second week's reading. I think Blackthorn and Grim just dominated the opening, but Oran will eventually become a bit more entwined in the plot :)

It feels like i'm reading a diary.  I don't really like that.  Hopefully the plot is going to get moving along soon.

Sorry to hear that. Is it all three POVs? I know I read a review where someone struggled a bit in the beginning with Grim's chapters.
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Offline Ender

Re: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 07:36:03 AM »
Quote
Sorry to hear that. Is it all three POVs? I know I read a review where someone struggled a bit in the beginning with Grim's chapters.

Yep, all three.  I suppose it's mostly the first person past tense.  But sometimes it also feels like they are addressing a reader in their narration.  I don't actually notice any difference between Grim's chapters and Oran's or Blackthorn's.  He's a man of few words, but he's not a man of few thoughts.  He's as, maybe even more so, perceptive and analytical about what's going on around him as either Blackthorn or Oran.  I do feel like there is a pretty big discrepancy between the person we see him as in his thoughts and the persona he puts out when he's interacting with others.  He would have to be doing it deliberately, otherwise it's not really good writing right?  One of the problems I sometimes have with first person is when a character acts and speaks like themselves as that character, but actually thinks with the voice of the author as a narrator.  It's a big, huge pet peeve of mine.  I don't know if that's really the case with Grim, but the discrepancy feels weird to me even if he is doing it deliberately.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2015, 11:11:48 AM »
Yep, all three.  I suppose it's mostly the first person past tense.  But sometimes it also feels like they are addressing a reader in their narration.  I don't actually notice any difference between Grim's chapters and Oran's or Blackthorn's.  He's a man of few words, but he's not a man of few thoughts.  He's as, maybe even more so, perceptive and analytical about what's going on around him as either Blackthorn or Oran.  I do feel like there is a pretty big discrepancy between the person we see him as in his thoughts and the persona he puts out when he's interacting with others.  He would have to be doing it deliberately, otherwise it's not really good writing right?  One of the problems I sometimes have with first person is when a character acts and speaks like themselves as that character, but actually thinks with the voice of the author as a narrator.  It's a big, huge pet peeve of mine.  I don't know if that's really the case with Grim, but the discrepancy feels weird to me even if he is doing it deliberately.
Yeah I've never really been a fan of first person, but this wasn't too bad. Re: Grim, I always thought it was due to him being autistic or something. That would fit with the contrast in tense, and explain why there's a disconnect between his thoughts and his actions.
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Offline ladybritches

Re: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2015, 02:47:26 PM »
Quote
Sorry to hear that. Is it all three POVs? I know I read a review where someone struggled a bit in the beginning with Grim's chapters.

Yep, all three.  I suppose it's mostly the first person past tense.  But sometimes it also feels like they are addressing a reader in their narration.  I don't actually notice any difference between Grim's chapters and Oran's or Blackthorn's.  He's a man of few words, but he's not a man of few thoughts.  He's as, maybe even more so, perceptive and analytical about what's going on around him as either Blackthorn or Oran.  I do feel like there is a pretty big discrepancy between the person we see him as in his thoughts and the persona he puts out when he's interacting with others.  He would have to be doing it deliberately, otherwise it's not really good writing right?  One of the problems I sometimes have with first person is when a character acts and speaks like themselves as that character, but actually thinks with the voice of the author as a narrator.  It's a big, huge pet peeve of mine.  I don't know if that's really the case with Grim, but the discrepancy feels weird to me even if he is doing it deliberately.

That's really interesting to me that you see it that way, because I've always been quite self aware, and one of my frustrations as a human being is that the words in my head aren't even close to the words that come out of my mouth. Basically, I think in poetic, three page paragraphs like I'm J.R.R. Tolkien, and speak in short, clipped sentences that no one can make sense of. Usually fragments.  ;D It's one of my failings as a human being, that I can't put my thoughts into words. So Grim is totally believable to me, and he's the character I most relate to. But I think you've touched on why so many people probably don't like first person narrations. I had never thought of that before, but it's a good point.  It's really hard to get into a story if you can't stand the voice of the narrator.

Offline Ender

Re: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 08:20:32 AM »
Quote
Yeah I've never really been a fan of first person, but this wasn't too bad. Re: Grim, I always thought it was due to him being autistic or something. That would fit with the contrast in tense, and explain why there's a disconnect between his thoughts and his actions

I'm always slightly worried when I see a story is in first person.  But both the books we read in the last couple months were first person, and it didn't bother me at all.  I guess it just depends how it's done.  I think I even mentioned how I liked how it was done in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in one of my posts.  As far as Grim, I was thinking maybe it's just a defense mechanism due to everything he's been through.  He's intentionally being curt and even slightly brutish with others to keep them at a distance.  But it still felt like his voice in his thoughts and his character didn't match.  But that brings me to this response, which gave me something else to think about:

Quote
That's really interesting to me that you see it that way, because I've always been quite self aware, and one of my frustrations as a human being is that the words in my head aren't even close to the words that come out of my mouth. Basically, I think in poetic, three page paragraphs like I'm J.R.R. Tolkien, and speak in short, clipped sentences that no one can make sense of. Usually fragments.  ;D It's one of my failings as a human being, that I can't put my thoughts into words. So Grim is totally believable to me, and he's the character I most relate to

That's really interesting to me in turn! ;D  I guess it's so different from my personal experience, that it just seems strange to me.  To think one way, and speak another way.  Maybe it's a pretty common thing though, for people to be more complex with their thoughts than they are in their speech.  This actually got me to thinking, and i'm almost the opposite of this.  I tend to think in fragments, mixed with emotions and associations.  Very rarely am I formulating whole intelligible responses or opinions in my mind.  I think that's part of the reason I occasionally have trouble expressing my thoughts on things if I don't take a minute to think about them.  It might actually play a role in my speaking vocabulary being so much more limited than my comprehension vocabulary.  I constantly find myself trying to remember the exact word that says exactly what I want to say during a conversation.  It's pretty annoying actually; to know there's a word, know that you know it, but have to sit there and try and remember it.  even if it's a split second.  Really, I probably just need to write and talk more. ;D

Offline Raptori

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Re: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 08:33:36 AM »
I'm always slightly worried when I see a story is in first person.  But both the books we read in the last couple months were first person, and it didn't bother me at all.  I guess it just depends how it's done.  I think I even mentioned how I liked how it was done in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms in one of my posts.  As far as Grim, I was thinking maybe it's just a defense mechanism due to everything he's been through.  He's intentionally being curt and even slightly brutish with others to keep them at a distance.  But it still felt like his voice in his thoughts and his character didn't match.  But that brings me to this response, which gave me something else to think about:
Same, mostly because it's a short cut that newer writers sometimes seem to take so I sometimes associate it with shoddy writing. Less so after reading things like ROTE though.

Yeah you could be right that it's a defence mechanism, seems pretty plausible. There are a load of hints that his past is horrible at least!

That's really interesting to me in turn! ;D  I guess it's so different from my personal experience, that it just seems strange to me.  To think one way, and speak another way.  Maybe it's a pretty common thing though, for people to be more complex with their thoughts than they are in their speech.  This actually got me to thinking, and i'm almost the opposite of this.  I tend to think in fragments, mixed with emotions and associations.  Very rarely am I formulating whole intelligible responses or opinions in my mind.  I think that's part of the reason I occasionally have trouble expressing my thoughts on things if I don't take a minute to think about them.  It might actually play a role in my speaking vocabulary being so much more limited than my comprehension vocabulary.  I constantly find myself trying to remember the exact word that says exactly what I want to say during a conversation.  It's pretty annoying actually; to know there's a word, know that you know it, but have to sit there and try and remember it.  even if it's a split second.  Really, I probably just need to write and talk more. ;D
I'm another who thinks a lot and talks little actually - it's a running joke at work that I rarely speak, and if I do it's usually short responses.  I don't have a problem speaking my mind though - when I have something to say I can become pretty eloquent, which surprises people when they're used to me not talking.  :P

I think everyone gets the thing where you can't think of a word, it gets so frustrating, especially when you remember it for a split second and then it runs away again. :D
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Offline JMack

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Re: Dreamer's Pool Week : Chapters 1 - 9
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 06:29:38 PM »
Just finished chapter 9. Very interesting to read everyone's comments. (Yay, book club!)

So Oran is dull as a narrator, but yes in Ch.9 we see him start to become part of the story with Blackthorn and Grim, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

I do think there's a conceit at work in the narration: the writer is not really channeling the full voice of the characters, except maybe Blackthorn. But especially not Oran, since his voice would be overly romantic, a bit whiny, florid.  And, none of the the three would really be trustworthy narrators. They are secretive, but so far, completely trustworthy. (Well, maybe Oran is not very self-aware.) Also, these characters would not be speaking the quite excellent dramatic prose at work here.

So, it's a conceit, and certainly a better choice than "true" speech. The interesting question is whether we'd be better off with 3rd person limited POV.  But oh well, this is the book we have and so far it's pretty good. I'll trust Arry that Oran continues to get more interesting in week 2.
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