Comment on Ushmar Mukhas

  1. Guess I wasn't clear on Bilbo's aging. As a hobbit-deer, his aging has slowed so he now lives double his average lifespan. He is age 40, looks to be age 20 if he were 100% hobbit, thus he will come off age at age 66, double the normal hobbit coming of age at age 33.

    Yeah, the summary does need revision and that's not my strong point. Any suggestions?

    I wasn't to happy with chapter 1 either, but don't know how to expand on it. Spend more time with Bilbo pondering the voices that woke him, his struggles to find food, his skittishness at possibly being discovered by a passing caravan? Are those good ideas? There is already so much lack of dialogue and I don't want to make it "drier" than it already is.

    Thanks for your input, it helps, but I don't really know where I want to go with this story right now. Eventually the quest to Erebor, but I'm drawing a blank on the in between years.

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    1. A picture of a comic-like skull?

      I understand what you're saying about Bilbo's age, however I respectfully disagree. Just because his body's aging is slowed down does not mean his mental processes are, too. Mentally, he would be of a greater age than your average hobbit, in fact. Plus, since he regains the memories of his previous life, I would contest that he's of age no matter how old his physical body is. Besides, as you say, half-deer creatures in the story are stuff of legend, I doubt anyone would have thought to calculate what the hypothetical coming of age of one would be.

      About the summary, I suppose something about how "Bilbo has to carry out a celestial mission armed with naught but his memories and two new pairs of legs, of all things", would be a good start. It encapsulates the driving point of the story, and you can dress it up with some of the original questions like "how did he protect them?" and "Did they even want to be protected?".

      As for expanding chapter 1, there are many things you can write in. For example, the following paragraph:

      "A few months had passed, and Bilbo had settled into a routine, after he'd figured out how to stand, walk, run, and avoid getting his antlers from getting caught on tree branches. Yes, he had antlers… and deer ears instead of hobbit ones! Find food, drink, and wood, take back to the thicket bed or cave, eat, sleep, and repeat in no particular order. A few times a caravan had come by, but Bilbo remained hidden. He didn't want to accidentally be mistaken for a real deer and killed for dinner."

      can be expanded into at least another chapter all on its own. You could write about his initial attempts at walking and running, finding out about the antlers in some ridiculously funny way, finding an appropriate thicket bed or cave in the fussy hobbit way, searching for food and water, maybe add in some adventure by hiding or running from predators, write about the weather and how it affects him, does he find animal companions, a few paragraphs about finding his way out of the forest and onto the big dusty road that caravans use, seeing one in the distance and hiding from it, perhaps listening in so that he can gather information on where exactly he is, and so on, and so forth. There is truly so much you can "show, not tell", as they say. Just because there's a lack of dialogue does not mean you can't make it fun to read. :)

      I know that writing a big story is a daunting adventure, so if you'd like any help, or tips, or just a mind to bounce ideas off of, just send me a PM, I'd be glad to be of service! ^.^

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      1. Okay, need to clarify that Bilbo looks to be about twenty years old, not forty. He instinctly knew he was forty, but has the physical body of a twenty year old hobbit, save the legs. Despite his 131 year old mentality, (which is all blurred until he sees something that triggers a memory), his young physical age is how he is going to be treated, despite how he may wish otherwise.

        Good ideas for the summary and chapter expanding, I'll certainly give it a try.

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        1. A picture of a comic-like skull?

          Ohhh, now that makes sense! Thanks for all the clarification and good luck with the story!

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