One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
I'm posting this because I'm having html problems. Canonfire will not accept the html of my new Word 2010 program. I am therefore obliged to copy and past to my new Open Office program, which doesn't have a Thesaurus feature.
Smillian asked about my Literary Influences regarding my story: "The Making of a Paladin."
Because of the html problems, my reply ended up all jumbled together. So I'd like to re-post my reply here:
“As silently as the ghost of murdered men they disappeared in the darkness.”
The Phoenix on the Sword, by Robert E. Howard
“The shimmering shaft of the tower rose frostily in the stars.”
The Tower of the Elephant, by Robert E. Howard
Hope I’m not disappointing you, Smillian! There are, of course, innumerable books on writing and I’ve read several. They all offer the same advice: Read what you like and want to write yourself. So, you shouldn’t expect me to name any “great” literary minds, in the normal sense.
Howard tops my list. Many know, or are familiar with Conan, but have those readers ever paid real attention to Howard’s prose? His scenic descriptions are awesome and who else would have thought to write the above quotes? How do you better such sentences as those?
Howard is followed closely by Tolkien, Louis L’aMour , Sir Walter Scott and Michael Moorcock. Moorcock’s “Eternal Champion” theme is one I’d like to emulate, but haven’t quite figured out how to do so without blatant plagiarism!
And now I spend the rest of my life trying to figure out how to rewrite the quotes above, lest all of you know from where I stole them!
Hope that answers your question, without disappointing you, Smillian!
And I’ll consider your complimentary comment to be my Nebula.
...Howard is followed closely by Tolkien, Louis L’aMour , Sir Walter Scott and Michael Moorcock. Moorcock’s “Eternal Champion” theme is one I’d like to emulate, but haven’t quite figured out how to do so without blatant plagiarism!
Howard's descriptions, a couple of which you've posted above, are completely evocative of his world vision for Conan. No doubt a literary snob would take them to pieces and label them "genre". Well, whatever friend, if that's genre fiction then I'm a genre reader and bloody well proud. Okay, some of the Conan stories did leave one a little disappointed mainly due to predictability of outcome but getting to the end, the journey, was a thoroughly diverting experience; and ain't that the point.
Moorcock's language and descriptions are also "of the setting" and deliver the same kind of "trip"; probably literally in Moorcock's case.
As for Walter Scott, the first few pages of Ivanhoe remain (IMO of course) the most descriptive piece of scene setting ever committed to the page; whilst I can't quote, having the most appalling memory for such, I can see the forest, the moss covered fallen stones of an ancient people and actually breath the clean air as it stirs the branches overhead.
"Hundreds of broad-headed, short-stemmed, wide-branched oaks, which had witnessed perhaps the stately march of the Roman soldiery, flung their gnarled arms over a thick carpet of the most delicious green sward; in some places they were intermingled with beeches, hollies, and copsewood of various descriptions, so closely as totally to intercept the level beams of the sinking sun; in others they receded from each other, forming those long sweeping vistas in the intricacy of which the eye delights to lose itself, while imagination considers them as the paths to yet wilder scenes of silvan solitude."
Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott
Is that, or is that not, just about the longest sentence you've ever seen?
Sir Walter was determined not to leave anything out!
Your influences are great and I don't care what other people say about them. However, one of the things I like most about your style Mystic, is how effortlessly you seem to be able to mesh many different characters into your story and make them seem like they fit well. So keep your stories coming.
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