Archive through August 12, 2005

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 3: Alliance of Light: Fugitive Prince, Grand Conspiracy; Peril's Gate & Traitor's Knot: Traitors Knot Discussions: Review: Archive through August 12, 2005
   By Annettevk on Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 10:45 am: Edit Post

Hello Janny and everyone. Guess what? The city employee news paper printed my review of the book!!!!! Yaaaaahhhhh. Here is the link if anyone is interested in looking.
If you have any problems getting through let me know. Thanks.

   By Frank T Davis on Wednesday, August 10, 2005 - 03:01 pm: Edit Post

Well done! I know Janny will be most appreciative.

Others interested in reading Annette's review, the website address is as she indicates except place an underscore at the following points in the address:
1) between alive and V4N8
2) between V4N8 and pg
3) between pg and 46.

Annette, you are most astute in your comment about big words, basically my only complaint about Janny's work. I absolutely hate to take time out to look up the meanings of words while I'm reading, particularly when other better known words would get the essential message across.

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 10:11 am: Edit Post


   By Auna on Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 02:33 pm: Edit Post

Cool review. The link as posted works fine for me, underscores and all.

You really only need to look up a few words as they keep getting repeated throughout the books. I think only two new (to me) words popped up in the last book - sanguine and sangfroid. While not a fan of these newest words, in general I think the others do a better job of conveying description than a string of more common words would do.

   By Hannah on Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 09:57 pm: Edit Post

An interesting point from the review: Annette said something to the point of the the people you think are the good guys are the bad guys, and the people you think are the bad guys are anything but. I drew a different conclusion from the books, which is that there really are no "good guys" or "bad guys". Only out interpretations of other people's actions and motivations, limited by our own paradigms.

I love the challenge of reading Janny's books. Not too verbiose for me! Why shouldn't we challenge our brain? I swear, some people are very anti-brain-exercising these days. Well, what're you gonna do, I guess.

   By Miranda Bertram on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 09:03 am: Edit Post

I love 'sanguine' and 'sangfroid'! I actually like all of Janny's vocabulary. I hate the lowest-common-denominator fascism of insisting that authors should only ever use words that will be comprehensible to everyone, immediately. If a longer, less common-currency word says it better, the author has a duty to use that word.

   By Chad Jenkins on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 09:30 am: Edit Post

Janny, you had me at "panoply". :P

   By Frank T Davis on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 10:16 am: Edit Post

It takes all kinds, I suppose. Is the author writing for her enjoyment or writing as a vocation with a goal to make money? In the latter it seems to me the writing would be in the fashion that sells the most books and engenders or gains the largest reading audience. I struggle through because Janny weaves fantastically well conceived stories. Though, TK was worth the price paid, it did not quite measure up to her previous work.

   By Trys on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 10:20 am: Edit Post

I remember Janny saying that she writes these books in this style in an attempt to deliberately slow down the reader in the hopes they will pick up the nuances and details that will come into play later in the story. Considering some of the review of Fugitive Prince I've read, those people didn't 'read' the book, they rammed through it and so, IMO, missed the important stuff that is in that book.


   By Janny Wurts on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 11:56 am: Edit Post

On words - and how they are used. I do NOT "deliberately" use "big words" - what's a big word anyway??? I wouldn't know it if it hit me -

Does big word = "one I don't happen to know?"

What I don't happen to know - is that ignorance or is that "somebody in the know being arrogant?"

:-) Am I dumb for my lack of experienced comprehension, or are they dumb not to act as I could?? (the "c" on could is important, here)

We have inherited an incredibly rich language from our forebears....many words, each with a PRECISE meaning, and no two with the same defninition, exactly. Shades of nuance.

I learned my vocabulary by READING! Many books. It is a wealth of ability, to communicate with precision and accuracy and, in the end, LESS space taken to convey a specific concept....the Norse indiginous have MANY words for "ice" and every one of them is a different KIND of ice....this has meaning to them. The people living in the Pantanal have many MANY words for 'mud" all of which are different and have meaning to THEM. For these peoples what kind of ice and what kind of mud could mean a different choice of action....

To lose that nuance would take from their lives, and complicate communication in situations that may mean life or death choice in the moment...

A word is a word, to me....when I wrote Hell's Chasm, I deliberately "simplified" the language, and yet -- some readers still complain! I used the word that suited the meaning I wished to convey - accurately and with that precise shade of nuance....but evidently I can't discern WHAT words people think are "simple" words - and what are not...the word is just THE word to me. It's not "flowery or complex" it is a word....sometimes a combination of words strikes to reach between a "gap" - in combination it asks your imagination to leap, too - and in so doing, it gets you INVOLVED in creation of something that isn't quite mine, isn't quite yours - but spans a point in a way that's creative and pushes creativity and opens possibility.

I'd have to pause and LOOK AT LISTS (educational "grade level" lists) then decide what nuance of MEANING to jettison....this is not creative. This is dumbing down.

And not necessarily to the benefit of the treasure that is language - that CAN convey meaning with exactitude....and can ALSO convey meaning through invoking imagination - play between the gaps of what IS known to arrive at something that is mystery - why do we whine when we are offered gold, and we are used to pennies or been settling for silver? Why not leap? Sometimes, even, why not be playful?

Why do we want to shrink our boundaries and not expand them? HABIT! Because it's easy. Because it's KNOWN.

When we were creative children, all born to imaginative legacy we were not afraid to explore ANYTHING! Until we were taught "safety" as a "desirable limit.' How many dreams died, then??? Never to be recovered?

Reading created my comprehension of language. Reading for FUN! Words didn't challenge me - I read books and LEARNED the precision of words by their use by authors who were literate and loved their was effortless! ONCE in a grand while, I'd use a dictionary (curiosity killed the cat and ALSO saved it!)

We live in times when the "mass media" and certain national magazines and newspapers write to "THIRD GRADE READING SKILL COMPREHENSION!" This sucks. It doesn't expand us, enrich us, teach us to stretch. It teaches us to "settle." It quite fails to "explore" a darned thing! beyond the tangible. "What happens next" Period.

I have Never Ever Settled for less! Never quit trying, quit seeking, quit growing, quit looking for something more and bigger - This or BETTER! and there is always more, still. I held on to that bit of the freedom to costs, I fail alot, but I refuse to get so safe I won't risk a skinned knee or a bruise or a failure....I get up and go again.

Should I talk down to readers or give them less that can be offered - for the sake of the ones who want SIMPLE over precise? Should I go for "security" just so you can be "secure?" (Big numbers = security) Well - I have tried and been BORED....and I couldn't see thru those glasses, anyhow!

This thing about language and needing literacy at all - is an ongoing debate....not easily answered. Each is free to choose for themselves. Does what I do empower you and give you the option of creating more freedom still FOR YOU? Does it limit you? Answer this.

I tend to tell complex stories in which the characters change - they grow - they are not static 0r SIMPLE, either. Nor are they "complex" just for the sake of boggling you - they are explorations that look to challenge limits. Mine first.

I look to challenge limits. Mine first! because it's arrogant as heck to think I could do this for anyone else - I offer to share, that's the best I can's an honest offer, honestly presented. If I did my expression well - you get something back for YOU. and that is yours, utterly. Do you want to challenge your limits or experience or just march along to be entertained in some sort of boundary (that I can't know or second guess?) Entertainment for me IS adventure - that means going further, looking further, expanding horizons. Not shrinking them.

I have traveled far with words - do I share the gift of that experience or smother it?

I use the word that has exact meaning. Should I shorten stride and dumb down the concept??? When it's an invisible line for me - I DON"T KNOW what word you, one reader, doesn't have - I use the ones I know are the right ones in the moment! It is effortless and natural. To "shrink" down this body of awareness - not natural and certainly NOT creative, which expression wants to bound ahead of limits. Freely and joyously reach outward and touch something MORE.

We have a gift and a treasure in our language - do we let that go and if we do - what else becomes "just too hard to handle" -when to OVERSIMPLFY robs meaning - from my words, and from you! Just as overly complex language takes away...what is excess? (the word rebarbarative, for example - I have NEVER used this one, it's just over the top, and doesn't convey much more than a "little" word in the moment)

I don't have the answer to this. Nor the discernment to recognize where your limits's not in me. Suffice to say - I use the word that's EXACT. And I did, because I discerned a difference between that word and its other cousins of WHATEVER length or "bigness"

I phrased the language in Light and Shadows to "slow down" skimming - to "sink in" because when brain function "slows down" more "sinks in" and the experience gets more vivid - strikes more emotional spark. I didn't do this "deliberately" - it is the natural style in which this story writes so that I get the meaning happens to be a style that takes you in - and impresses deeply IF you are willing to go for that ride. The intensity of impression awaits - if you want a surface ride, the style won't allow it.

I didn't post a sign "dummies please decline" - I didn't "decide" to screen out ANYONE - I just wrote the story as the story demanded to be told - the concepts framed the language....obviously if I had the object of touching everyone - I'd have written another story.

This story tests limits - mine, first - it seeks to look farther and deeper....and I as an individual have an individual expression.....

I can always do better - I can always learn more. Everybody's opinion has value.

What value is the "right" value?

Is it pearls before swine? Or is it an uppity sort of arrogance that some readers think - ?

I really hate to think of a world where dialogue and thought are reduced to "simple" words - pop culture TV is great for some things - but do we give up the gold given us, as our language, do we release that potential into the graveyard because we are lazy?

I do NOT work with reference books on words at my side!!! I work from my MIND and I learned by reading - and it was effortless and fun - to me. I was into the characters and the story, and telling it as I saw it unfold - with exactitude.

What are your reasons? They are yours and they are OK - I always listen. Do I choose to disempower ME for YOU - and in so doing, shorten stride in a way that ultimately robs us all - ? How important IS language and communication in this format? Do we need a wealth of words in our future?

I haven't got that answer. Maybe you do...

Alliance of Light is not complete at the end of TK. The arc ends after Stormed Fortress --
People can love or hate the story on their opinion of its merits and that's fine....but from my standpoint a half baked cake is just that. I don't take offense if the batter's not cooked at this stage - it wasn't meant to be! :-)

This statement was not a criticism of anyone :-) It's my ongoing search, in my creativity, as to how I want to temper the lense....