Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena
unclehyena

Meta-Fiction

Which is to say, things peripheral to fiction I am working on.

In the "Well, duh!" category, we have the fact that it took me nearly 50 years to figure out that an ox is not an animal in its own right, but rather a cow (or more probably a steer) that has been trained as a draft animal. Amazing how basic questions can go unasked for so long.

A couple of people who have read the "Filch" fragment had questions:

"I think it might read as a little clearer to stick a sentence or two worth of explanation about the child - things that might suggest that an elf mother about to be dragged off would sedate and hide an infant. (Alternatively, that whoever raided the caravan would be anxious for it to appear that way.)"

And:

"I agree with whomever up there said something about more explanation as to why the female elf magicked the child."

The meta-story answer is that if she hadn't, the baby wouldn't have been there for Filch to find. The rationalization is that the mother felt it was better to contribute to the defense of the caravan than to cower with and comfort the baby, and since she had the ability to render the child unconscious and out of harm's way, she used it. There is no way to work that information into the story at this point, though, without taking the camera off of Filch's shoulder, and I don't want to do that. I am inclined to just say, "Trust me; I don't just pull this stuff out of thin air", but I won't, because I WANT to get caught if I throw in something that doesn't make sense. I try very hard not to do so, but things go wrong...

Lastly... I am looking for gnoll names. I could just go to a thesaurus, but this will be more fun. The general pattern I want is single syllable verbs, with a focus on stealth or theft for males, and violence for females.

Examples:

Filch, Flype, Kipe (Kype? I remember this from my childhood, but have never seen it in print.), Slink, Skulk, Gyp, Sneak, Lurk...

Rip, Rend, Tear, Flense, Flay, Strike, Slash, Shred...

Obviously, some are better names than others...

I was thinking about the relationship between "flay" and "flense", and have decided (on nothing more than instinct) that the difference is one of scope; one would "flense" an arm, but "flay" a person. Yes, I suppose I will get around to consulting a dictionary at some point; I suspect the dictionary will tell me that the words are absolute synonyms, which is of course not true...

Finally... I am greatly inclined to name Filch's mentor (a wizard perverse enough to take on a gnoll as apprentice/servant) "Greyfeld", but that would require permission. (This is a request. Please?)

Uncle Hyena
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