Subscribe to Blog RSS

This content shows Simple View

Home Fantasy Science Fiction Historical Blog Author Portfolio

Tag Archives Lord of the Rings

Character Comfort Foods

hardy-boys-the-secret-of-the-old-millAs authors, we put our characters through a lot. It is not unusual for them to be stressed, terrified, or in pain, so it is important to understand how they react. One of the fundamental ways human beings combat stress is through favourite food and drinks. In Gail Carriger’s Finishing School Series, the protagonist falls back on tea when in remarkable situations, and who can forget the second breakfasts demanded by hobbits in Lord of the Rings.

Choosing a food or beverage that a character craves when overwrought should reflect the personality of that character. It does not have to be what is expected. For example, what if the tough gunslinger’s secret passion is for petite fours? They might remind him of his mother, reflect an inner gentle heart, or maybe he really loves lovely feminine things but can’t admit to it openly. Another character might be an overt vegetarian, pushing it in other character’s faces, but secretly craves steak, showing the untrustworthy nature or false pride of that person?

hardy-boys-what-happened-midnightOn the other hand, it could simply be a chance to unwind emotionally and allow the reader and character a respite. The Hardy Boys and their hamburgers are a good example of that—hearty enjoyable food that is in keeping with teenage boys, yet always feels great after a good chase scene.

Whether the food is a running joke or serious insight into the character, writing down each main character’s comfort choice is a worthwhile exercise.




Lord of the Rings Book Club

hobbitonStarting this week, every Wednesday on my YouTube channel will feature a new vlog with chapter by chapter insights into Lord of the Rings. Going slowly through the book allows for detailed commentary into writing techniques, plot devices, characterization, backstory, and of course what is different about the film version and why those decisions were most likely made. You are invited to read along with the book club and any comments / questions are welcome. It should be an exciting adventure!

Subscribe to Alexa Chipman’s YouTube Channel




Top 5 Archers

When writing heroic archer characters, there are various motivations for using the weapon. Here is a look at my top 5 archers and why they chose a bow over other weapons like a gun or sword.

legolas-greenleaf-archery5. Legolas Greenleaf
Elegant, poised, and deadly, Legolas grew up in the woods where archery was the most logical weapon to use. It is based on stealth and perfect for ranged attacks, which came in handy during the Second War of the Ring as he defended his comrades. Legolas is an example of the lithe gentlemanly hunter type of an archer.

susan-narnia-archery4. Susan Pevensie
For a girl in the 1940s, getting up close and personal with a blade was not natural, but it was her duty as queen to assist in the defense of her kingdom. The bow was a way of being skilled in martial combat without having to get elbow deep in blood. She was remarkably skilled, and practiced often, but to the end did not enjoy using it to kill, only using it as such when absolutely pressed to defend those she loved.

katniss-everdeen-archery3. Katniss Everdeen
For her, the bow was a tool that put food on the table for her starving family. Hunting was a necessary part of life, like sleeping and breathing. When fighting for her life in the Arena, it was difficult to make the transition into becoming a killer, but she did what was necessary.

errol-flynn-robin-hood-archery2. Robin Hood
There have been many versions of the tale, from Robins suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to happy go-lucky men bouncing about Sherwood Forest. Their reasons for using a bow have varied through the years, but ultimately it is because of the “cool” factor. Robin Hood is inhuman in his perfection with the weapon, using it for serious and comedic effect.

green-arrow-oliver-queen-archery1. The Green Arrow
Whether due to archaeology studies or being stranded on an island,  somehow Oliver Queen learned how to use a bow. It usually started out of a need for pure survival, like Katniss, but it did not take long before he realized how helpful it was in crime fighting. A bow could easily be used to either kill, maim, blow something up, or simply entangle criminals, depending on what type of arrow and intent. It was also helpful for an impressive threatening posture. Who can forget “You Have Failed This City.”





Site Copyright © 2013 Alexa Chipman