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Author Topic: Epistolary Novel  (Read 26729 times)

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Offline Elkhound

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Epistolary Novel
« on: May 01, 2015, 02:19:37 pm »
Has anyone ever written a fanfic in this style?  That is, consisting of various people writing letters to each other about the events---each from his/her own point of view?  I'm thinking something like the account of the wedding of Lord Peter Wimsy and Harriet Vane at the beginning of "Busman's Honeymoon."

Offline Aerlys

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2015, 02:30:25 pm »
The Moonstone also comes to mind.

But no, I haven't used this style myself.
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Hilaire Belloc

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2015, 03:38:43 pm »
I find epistolary style to be difficult to write, myself.

Perhaps the art of writing letters at all is being lost in the age of email, IM, and text messages. :D
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2015, 09:18:58 pm »
Part of the problem is to find a different "voice" for each of the letter-writers.

Here's a challenge--retell one of the canon novels or stories from the point of view of a minor character writing to a friend/relation.

Offline bronwynevaine

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2015, 10:43:33 am »
That would be fun. But I can't even finish what I started so I am NOT starting anything new.
I don't just march to the beat of a different drummer...I dance to a beat no one else can hear :)

Offline Laurna

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2015, 10:59:58 am »
The way I could see it done is to assign each writer with a character and one or two events (chapters) in which that character was apart of. The same event could be shared by two characters to get the different point of view. Everyone writes as their character to a friend who does not live in Gwynedd, so some things would need to be detailed. This friend gets all the letters and has to piece together the story.

It could work, but oh, the effort involved.
Could be a fun result, though.

Online revanne

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2015, 11:08:25 am »
Sounds great fun but I already have two things on the go - Joram is very fed up with me, tho I've written more chapters than I've posted.

The letters wouldn't need to be very long though -

* speaks firmly to herself about not starting one thing before finishing another and thinks of the half dozen bags of knitting, and more of cross stitch which reflect my failure to apply this rule*
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
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As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline Evie

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2015, 01:37:04 pm »
"Unto Prince Nigel, Duke of Carthmoor (presumably known as King Nigel by this point, for surely everyone must think I am dead now). If you or one of your descendants are reading this, then someone must have figured out how to get to this underground cavern. I hope that person has had more success in figuring how to get out than we've had. I am writing on this flat piece of shale with horse blood, which is quite disgusting, so I will make this quick. This is my Last Will and Testament.  To Rothana, my dearest love, I leave my ring as token of the hopes and dreams we once shared. To my mother, Jehana, I leave my rosary. To the Duke of Corwyn, my best destrier. To Father Duncan McLain, the prie-dieu in my private chamber. All else, I leave to my uncle Nigel to keep or distribute as he sees fit.

Wait, I think Dhugal has found something. Looks like a brick wall!  On second thought, screw this; is there anything here I can use as a chisel?

Kelsonus Rex"

;D  Well, OK, I can't quite buy that one either!

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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2015, 04:21:37 pm »
But I like it anyway!   ;D
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2015, 07:15:12 pm »
The way I could see it done is to assign each writer with a character and one or two events (chapters) in which that character was apart of. The same event could be shared by two characters to get the different point of view. Everyone writes as their character to a friend who does not live in Gwynedd, so some things would need to be detailed. This friend gets all the letters and has to piece together the story.

It could work, but oh, the effort involved.
Could be a fun result, though.

Not necessarily 'not living in Gwynedd'--just not at court.  Not a servant--most of them would not be literate, anyway--but a page or squire or a lady-in-waiting, say, writing home.

Offline drakensis

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2015, 02:31:25 am »
My dear lady Richenda,

I suspect that some word, mostly in the form of irresponsible gossip, has reached you in Marbury before this letter does of the events of the last few days. To allay the concerns that must have been raised, you may wish to share with the court that all is, if not perfectly well in Rhemuth, then at least far more to the good than the ill.

Primus, Prince Kelson has surpassed all obstacles and been crowned King of Gwynedd as is right and just. He has his father's wit in managing the royal council and it seems that he has his magic too for he was challenged before the very altar of Saint George's by the Veiled One and God hath granted him victory with the daughter of the Marluk sent to join her father in the hell she deserves.

Secundus, that Earl Ian had thrown in his lot with the Veiled One and duelled with Morgan on her behalf. Duelled with swords I should say. Even the Duke seems to have had the decency not to bring sorcery before the House of God. The Howell is dead and as yet there is no word of his estates, of which I shall write more shortly, and Morgan was wounded sorely but it pleaseth God not to have called a close to the Deryni's life and he holds still the Kings favor.

Tiercus, Archbishop Loris and the King's mother Jehana are in much distress and hold not the favour of the King, nor is Kelson high in their regard. There was quite a scene in the Royal Council the day before Kelson's crowning and I must confess that I took more to their party than to Prince Nigel's. It seems that Nigel's thinking is very much that of his royal nephew however and I think not that it will be forgotten that I have voted against the Haldane's favorite. Edmund Loris is away back to Valoret in some temper and it is rumoured that Queen Jehana shall do likewise or of not to Valoret to some other House of retreat. She takes no part in the court at least and your kinswoman Lady Meraude has taken up a position chief among the ladies of Rhemuth in her absence. I have taken, dear lady, the liberty of conveying your respects to her.

Quartus, with the Royal Council thus depleted - Loris and and Jehana absent, Ian Howell and Lord Ralson - I do crave your pardon, I see I have not mentioned this before: the Lord Ralson is sadly gone to his ancestors, struck down by assassins it seems, upon the road from Cardosa to Rhemuth. He was in company with Morgan, which may say much or little of the cause - and only Lord Derry appointed in their place as yet (he is Morgan's creature and was wounded sorely the night before Kelson's crowning in a sorry affair among the Duke of Corwyn's men) and he has not shown great ability yet. In light of this, I say (please do not let Brendon see this paragraph as an example to him of writing) King Kelson has elected upon restraint towards myself and the others such as Duke Ewan who do not share his partisanship of Morgan.

Quintus, the latter point I regret to relay, will lead to my only having limited time in Marbury this winter my dear lady. I shall have to remain in Rhemuth until Twelth Night as plans are laid for the securing of the border with Torenth and with Howell's death and uncertainty as to the state of his demesne I have been much called upon. It is already agreed that I shall command one of the border armies, charged with either the northern or central command. Thus it seems I shall spend much time readying the levies before they are needed in spring.

Sixtus, my dear lady, my felicitations to you and I trust you will pass on a kiss to Brendon for me. Tell him I shall send a parcel by a more steady means than this courier, with a certain purchase from a toymaker.

I remain, dear lady,

Yours and our family's

Bran Coris.

Online revanne

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2015, 06:16:31 am »
Wonderful letters both.

Drakensis, great example of how Bran must have gone around undermining Morgan - little you could actually accuse him of saying but dripping insinuation.

Cross-over I know but in reading this, Bran Coris reminds me of Gollum/Smeagol.
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2015, 07:11:08 am »
I like how, without telling any actual lies, he has painted a rather false picture.

Offline Evie

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2015, 09:15:25 am »
What's truly sad is that, from Bran's standpoint, I don't think he has told any (deliberate) lies at all. Falsehoods, definitely, but I think he actually believes the worst about Morgan (and possibly Deryni in general, though he didn't seem to have to many qualms about throwing in with Wencit, at least once Wencit appealed to his greedy ambition, so I'm inclined to see him as less of a staunch Deryni hater as someone jealous of Morgan simply for being the King's favorite), and that has so colored his perceptions that he is unable to see the truth that is right in his face. And it's not being able to shake that warped paradigm that he views the world through, added to a sense of injury and his tendency to think that whatever Bran wants must be what Bran deserves, that eventually leads him on his fatal course.
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Offline Laurna

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Re: Epistolary Novel
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2015, 12:19:20 pm »
Very intriguing letters, both of them. I am suitably impressed.

 

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