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Discussing: breathe

breathe

Oh my gosh - prose. How did that happen?

This is the very first piece of prose I have ever written with the idea that it would be seen by someone outside my householding...
Though if you have read it, you can see it still thought it was going to be a villanelle.

The challenge description gave me this vignette entire in my mind as I read the list. I know several people have taken this challenge already, but my head was in a different place.

Still – prose?
Non-fiction is one thing but… prose?

How…addicting.


Thank you, Chris, heart-sister and best buddy, for beta

This is for my little brother.



 

 

Re: breathe

Hey, prose is fun! Thanks for writing this, I'm a sucker for fluff like this. Faramir's so cute.

 

 

Re: breathe

This is the very first piece of prose I have ever written with the idea that it would be seen by someone outside my householding...

And you should do it often, for the results delight your fellow members.

How…addicting.

Good.

Lyllyn

 

 

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What a lovely vignette! Can I just say how surprised - and pleased - I was at the reversal of what I expected? And the sort of bookending of the piece - one scene in peace as boys, and one in war as men. That was beautifully done.

Love the interaction between the brothers, and the protectiveness we see Faramir express towards Boromir - it's something I'm starting to crave, I supposed because of so many stories focusing on the reverse. It's nice to see Faramir expressing his strength, and Boromir being looked after for once. Yay!

Loved this:

“There is more to life than war, brother. And more to you than the sword.” They looked at each other for a moment, seeing as only brothers can see, into each other’s hearts.

It makes me sad all over that JRRT didn't see fit to bring these two brothers together again.

Only two things, both nothing more than copyeditor stuff: here, laughing to cover it’s own moment of anxiety you want "its" not "it's", and I think here: “Did you remember to breathe,” his brother’s voice coughed next to his ear? what you want is “Did you remember to breathe?” his brother’s voice coughed next to his ear.

Thank you for this lovely and poignant story.

Write more. Give in to the addiction. It's cheaper than shopping (which is the addiction I abandoned for fanfic).

 

 

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Thanks to all of you for the feedback - especially since it is of an encouraging nature. (After the ongoing flaming conversation on the list, I was a little timid about my timing.)

Shadow, many many thanks for bothering to give specifics – surely this is the coin of the realm!

I had wanted to write this vignette since I first got on the list, but it was only the approaching closing date that made me take the deadly plunge. So, if anyone wonders if the challenges serve a purpose, I would say a resounding yes.

-- Can I just say how surprised - and pleased - I was at the reversal of what I expected? --

It was that very thing that almost kept me from writing it – I was beginning to wonder if my impression of the boys was too far off accepted character track. I have always thought of Faramir as strong, and Boromir as caring - and I am always surprised at how many people do not.

I also worried that Osgiliath might be too obvious a point of contrast. But I was helpless in the grip of strength-through-repetition after playing with all that interlocked poetry. I approached this in a very similar way, actually, wanting to show that the boys see themselves in each other.

I have a celtic brain, so I tend to think in triads – for me, the secret ending of this vignette is Faramir watching his brother’s boat, full of light, heading into the west (where we must believe he will be comforted and rewarded, or we will have some very very harsh words for the powers that be) and as he sees him slip away, whispers to him “Don’t forget to breathe.”

And thanks for the proofreading catches – I had caught the bad question mark and corrected it, but unfortunately not in the copy I uploaded it from. I never even saw the bad apostrophe – too much in my own head by the time I was re-reading it. Now I notice I have the word “things” much too close to itself at the end – must go change that as well.


I would like to write more – but I am trembling at the thought that my muse might only have one voice. I am hoping the relative confinement of the challenges will spark me again until I get brave enough to work unfettered.

I don’t think I’ll give up shopping, though. (Tay glances guiltily up to the shelf her husband just built to hold her multitude of action figures.)

Gaudete
tay / powzie / fileg



 

 

Re: breathe

It was that very thing that almost kept me from writing it – I was beginning to wonder if my impression of the boys was too far off accepted character track.

Ai! Oh, no, no, no! You must not do that! Never let fanon dictate whether or not your own interpretations are valid! Down that path lies blandness!

*falls off of soapbox*

Ow.

Anyway, I enjoyed your story a lot, mostly because it does diverge from how most people handle the relationship between Boromir and Faramir. There's no reason that Boromir should be good at *everything* having to do with physical prowess, and Faramir be utterly useless outside of a library. It was just nice to see a little turnaround on that front.

Suzene

 

 

Re: breathe

I have a celtic brain, so I tend to think in triads – for me, the secret ending of this vignette is Faramir watching his brother’s boat, full of light, heading into the west (where we must believe he will be comforted and rewarded, or we will have some very very harsh words for the powers that be) and as he sees him slip away, whispers to him “Don’t forget to breathe.”

When I was reading 'Breathe' I thought this might be the ending. I loved what you did, but it lingered in my brain that there was one more river scene involved. Of course it would end on a far sadder note, but I'd love to see it anyway.

Could you be induced (cajoled, begged, browbeaten) into writing it?

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: breathe

Suzene

Thanks for that tip – ‘bland’ is a very bad gas station with a dirty restroom and I would rather not stop there! I have been very self indulgent with my fiction fears, but I will give myself a good slap once I am in the water.


Lyllyn

Having never done this before, I was afraid I might have pushed the rules of the “quickie” too far already. My Gondor boys, while still kids to someone my age, do push the envelope and I was not positive how hard I could push. I trod on the single viewpoint and on the single incident rule. Mostly, I expected to get my wrist slapped with a ruler.

But I have notes for the last section. It is quite short, and perhaps I could get away with adding it as a coda? I would be willing if it is not over the line.

You are the first person to request that I add prose to prose – what an incredible thrill you gave me.




 

 

Re: breathe

I liked this--a nice role reversal in terms of who teaches whom, yet it is in character. Just because Boromir is Faramir's protector doesn't mean that Faramir isn't the teacher in many things. The flashback that stitched the two halves of the Osgiliath story together (even though the city itself remains physically divided, and one half is lost... hm... like one brother will be lost) may be slightly in violation of the Quickie rules, but you could fudge it by saying it's Boromir remembering... plus we tend to be forgiving if you hit the point of the challenge, even if the form is a little off. Given what I said about Osgiliath, obviously I also thought in terms of Boromir's final journey on a river.

Add the coda if you wish--heh. I just discovered the story admin "how to format a story" area. Go to Help&FAQs, and click on "articles"--kind of amusing. I know I've violated the "standard" format six ways from Sunday. Anyhow, it's amusing, is my point.

And I wouldn't worry at the moment how diversified your muse's voice is. I think as you write more, you'll gradually find that through Boromir and Faramir, other voices will come to life, and you'll begin to write them as well.

 

 

Re: breathe

for me, the secret ending of this vignette is Faramir watching his brother’s boat, full of light, heading into the west (where we must believe he will be comforted and rewarded, or we will have some very very harsh words for the powers that be) and as he sees him slip away, whispers to him “Don’t forget to breathe.”

Oh - oh my. Oh my. You have to write this. Oh good lord, I'm feeling sort of lightheaded and teary just reading *this*. You have to write it.

God. You have to write it.

Well, I mean, it's up to you, of course, but.

Well.

Please?

 

 

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It's just lovely - I really admire the way you took the quickie challenge and turned it around to something so much deeper. Me, I'd be hesitant to add the third scene because I love the even symmetry of it now - but obvioulsy I'm in a very small majority there ;-) My only nitpick would be 'schedule' - to me it seemed too modern and jarred.

Avon

 

 

Re: breathe

yet it is in character…

A high compliment, thank you indeed. For me, it is so important to keep the basic spirit intact, especially if you are going to speculate as you go. (and I hope to)

I was so delighted to see that the symbolism of Osgiliath came through for you! It is such a big symbol of the boys for me – the sudden parting when the bridge is broken, the trials of fire and water, which are symbols the boys will be purified by (in the Anduin and the pyre), and the idea that the city will not be rebuilt, because you can never reclaim that loss – oh, lots more, really, but maybe I should write that coda before I let go of it all.

I am a little afraid the triad will change the symmetry of the story’s layout (do these things bother those of you who don’t think in terms of verse? teach me, teach me!) but I am drawn to write it out, whether I add it to the story or not. So maybe in a day or so…

Avon, I will think about “schedule.” It is an older word than people think, but mouth sound and feeling count too, and if it is jarring I would like to let it go. I am playing with a different way to construct that line. Thanks.


Gaudete!


 

 

Re: breathe



I have added the end of the triad to my story of the river.

 

 

Re: breathe

Wow.

The first part of your story was fantastic; an incredibly sweet, honest look at the relationship between the two brothers, and how their lives are tied around the River. But this second part, I don't know how to even explain it, it's so much more. Now it's got meat and a heart. It ties those themes together so beautifully. There were a few lines that I thought you wrote particularly well, I'll just mention one:

"His brother smiled as though his closed eyes focused now only upon the stars. "

Ahh, the imagery in that one sentence is absolutely perfect--I got shivers and a feeling of contentment as if I knew Boromir had finally found peace.

I think it's a perfect addition. Congratulations on your first short story!

Julia

 

 

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What can I possibly say that hasn't already been said? This was lovely, and the addition seemed to bring the story to that exquisitely poignant moment where Faramir sees his brother for the last time.

I add my congratulations to the rest. Well done!

~Nessime

 

 

Re: breathe

The line that stood out for me was

In the boat lay the Blade of Gondor, and he was broken.

Thank you, it is a fitting conclusion, and beautifully done.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: breathe


Thanks, I am very very grateful for this feedback - I really wavered between whether or not to add this part, even though in my heart it was always there. Should it be separated from the first piece or does it play this way?

It was not harder to write this section - but it was harder to expose it.

I will always be grateful for the spark in the challenge that made me do this, even if I am never able to do it again. It feels great to want to try.

Chris, I have never received such good Beta, even from you, as I did on this piece!

I appreciate those of you who feel the strength in a line, because I write to feel that - it is why I write more verse than prose. In writing poetry, if you are haunted by a single line, you can usually make an opportunity to feature it. I didn't think I could do that with prose, but in fact, I did try for that here. I am glad to see the ones that ring in my head get mentioned. It makes me feel more secure about my verse as well – a sense that my ear and my heart are connected.

The line that stood out for me was
In the boat lay the Blade of Gondor, and he was broken.


Lyllyn, you have put your finger on my heart. That is the line that made me write this piece.


Gaudete!

 

 

Re: breathe

Oh... that's lovely. It gives me that sort of tight feeling in my chest that makes it a little hard to breathe. Ironic, no?

Loved this: " He perched and waited, restless, the Raven of Ithilien, feeling that he was watching for death." Loved Faramir's sleeplessness, and the vision of him watching his men while they slept.

Loved this: "In the boat lay the Blade of Gondor, and he was broken." Wow. Great, great line.

And this makes me want to cry:

“Boromir!” he whispered. “I heard your call. Did you fall so close – so close to home? One long dive and I might have reached you.”

Oh, Faramir. "One long dive and I might have reached you."

And the last line is a perfect end to this coda.

Beautifully done, as I knew it would be. Thank you.

 

 

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I'm not sure I can add anything to what has already been said. This is beautifully done. Well done for taking the plunge! I hope you are going to give us some more.

 

 

Re: breathe

I´ve just discovered this story. It is lovely, lovely, lovely. I can´t really say much more, except that I have been very touched and very moved.

 

 

Re: breathe

Aiya ilya

Well, I was kind of holding my own breath but Breathe went through the review process with no trouble, and I saw it go out as a published story today. So, that’s how it feels. Wow.

A million thanks to you all for making me think I could do this.

Shadow:

Oh... that's lovely. It gives me that sort of tight feeling in my chest that makes it a little hard to breathe. Ironic, no?

Thanks, truly. This scene always takes my breath when Faramir describes it to Frodo, and I was fearful of working with it – but unable to stop myself. When Faramir whispers that last “Don’t forget to breathe” I feel him saying it to me as well as to his brother and himself.

Loved this: " He perched and waited, restless, the Raven of Ithilien, feeling that he was watching for death." Loved Faramir's sleeplessness, and the vision of him watching his men while they slept.

Loved this: "In the boat lay the Blade of Gondor, and he was broken." Wow. Great, great line.

Oh, Faramir. "One long dive and I might have reached you."



Thank you for picking out these phrases. I love the boys from Gondor so much, I am never sure if I am only writing to reach my own heart. I have thought of them as The Raven and The Blade for years, but of course no one knows that but me! So, when I wrote - in the boat lay the Blade of Gondor … I had to stop writing and try to remember to breathe myself. But I didn't know if it would be the same to anyone else.

Incidentally, I was in Toronto this November and spent several days at the Two Towers exhibit. Ok, three days, (Obsessed??) There are many small details on things that you need to get quite close to see - some very powerful symbols that I am sure bear the hallmark of Alan Lee. They allowed me a lot of leeway by the end of my visit, when I had made several friends among the staff – and they let me kneel by the glass case and really look closely at Faramir's sword. (actually, when it was empty, they let me lie on the floor so I could look up and see the underside) On the boss below the hilt, there is an engraving of 2 black birds, each with an outstretched wing. I am guessing it represents the seabird motif of Gondor - but on Faramir's sword, they happened to be black.)





 

 

Re: breathe

On the boss below the hilt, there is an engraving of 2 black birds, each with an outstretched wing. I am guessing it represents the seabird motif of Gondor - but on Faramir's sword, they happened to be black.

Oh wow, Tay, thank you for that detail, that's wonderful.

Any chance of you writing up an account of your museum visit and post it, maybe to the list? I'd love to hear about what else you saw.

 

 

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Thank you for picking out these phrases. I love the boys from Gondor so much, I am never sure if I am only writing to reach my own heart.

I think maybe when you write to reach your own heart, that's when you do reach others'.

I have thought of them as The Raven and The Blade for years, but of course no one knows that but me!

Well, now we all know, and I'm now undergoing a rather mighty internal struggle not to steal it and use that myself. It's perfect, I think.

Must not steal... must not steal....

It's bad to steal.

Argh.

 

 

Re: breathe

Altariel,

I have been sitting on these sketches since November, Jim insisted he wanted to clean them up before I posted them I scanned them all tonight- well, all the good ones – and I will try to make a page where I can show them and link it back here. I also have pages and pages of notes, but I will start with the bits I can show.

Faramir’s sword took my breath away, and tears came to my eyes, Chris looked at me, and then into the display and said “Faramir’s Ravens!” I could not believe they were there!

Jim’s sketches mostly cover Faramir’s rangers gear and Rohan. Some great small detail, and lots of good mythology.


Shadow

Not stealing…oh no….um… sharing!



 

 

Re: breathe

I've just discovered this fic. I thought since so many other people were talking about how good it was I ought to see it for myself. And they were right.

In the boat lay the Blade of Gondor, and he was broken.

I love this line. It makes me catch my breath. All that effort Faramir had gone to to convince Boromir that swimming might be a useful skill and he's practically in the water but now he can't swim due to a severe case of death.

Of course the final irony is that you can't breathe underwater - merely blow bubbles and swim to the surface.


Nic

 

 

Re: breathe

I love this line. It makes me catch my breath.

This phrase, and this symbol, have been with me for some time. I knew when it first came to me that it had to be this way -- that once Andruil had been reforged, (I mean Aragorn, of course, with the sword as his symbol) the Blade of the Stewards would have to be broken. But I was still unprepared for what happened to my heart when Peter Jackson let Aragorn put the broken blade into Boromir’s hand at Parth Galen…..


All that effort Faramir had gone to to convince Boromir that swimming might be a useful skill and he's practically in the water but now he can't swim due to a severe case of death.

I don’t know if I am more impressed with your incisive phrasing, or your ability to cut right to the heart of the problem! Phrasing, I think. I will be mumbling this all day….



Of course the final irony is that you can't breathe underwater - merely blow bubbles and swim to the surface.

Indeed. That's why it's so important to remember to do it before you go under...

I have in my head that exchanging that phrase is a way of saying “I love you” between two men who would not get around to it otherwise.

And really, though Faramir whispers it aloud to Boromir in the boat, he is saying it to himself.



 

 

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I don’t know if I am more impressed with your incisive phrasing, or your ability to cut right to the heart of the problem! Phrasing, I think. I will be mumbling this all day….

Or possibly just my warped sense of humour.


Nic

 

 

Re: breathe

This is wonderful! I've even gone ahead and placed amongst my recomended fics.

I really like Boromir, and I find it a shame that he had to die. I agree that Tolkien should have brought the two brothers back together, but that's another story altogether, I suppose. Anyway, that's why we have AU's.

 

 

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