Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Songwriting

Author: StarSpray
Nominator: Elleth
2011 Award Category: Drabble: Elves - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Drabble : Length: True Drabble
Rating: General -- Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: 100, written for Tolkien_Weekly's Elrond observes Lindir writing a song and remembers another minstrel from his childhood.


Reviewed by: Elleth -- Score: 10

[Songwriting] is a ficlet that once more emphasizes the connective character of Elrond as the only person who occurs in all three major works of Tolkien's legendarium. Here, StarSpray makes good use of an, at the first glance, deceptively simple scene of Elrond observing Lindir's frustration with a difficult song to precipitate childhood memories of Elrond's foster-father, Maglor, at work in the First Age. What makes this drabble shine is not just the sheer wealth of memory residing with Elrond brought to the forefront here similar to his words at the Council of Elrond in the book. Rather, it is the surprising leap from the homey environment of (presumably) Rivendell back to the First Age (and this alone can speak volumes about the relationship Elrond had with his foster-father) and then the return to the present with the most striking image and idea of the drabble: Perhaps Maglor is wandering [on some long forgotten shore] with his [songs that always sounded like the sea]. Beautiful words that evoke an even more beautiful, if tragic, image. The idea itself of Maglor continuing his wanderings well into the future is nothing new, but the way the author introduces and renders it most definitely is. Definitely not something that I would have associated with the prompt 'cut', but very fitting and touching nonetheless, for more than one reason.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale -- Score: 6

There is a mode of thinking which holds that no one reader reads the same story the same way. This is especially true of drabbles, which require restraint on the part of the author (you can't put in just everything) and inference on the part of the reader. Watching poor Lindir with his crossed-out stanzas, we think of our own creative efforts and those bits (good as well as bad, sometimes) that must be left on the cutting room floor. As for Elrond, he watches Lindir and remembers his foster-father, and wonders if Maglor himself still sings [on some long forgotten shore...] I've seen a few stories about Maglor and Daeron - that makes sense since they were contemporaries, but it's a nice change to see a connection made between him and Lindir instead. Living with Lindir as Elrond does, I imagine it is a comparison he would indeed find himself making from time to time.

-- Thank you for the review! I too think Elrond would be reminded of Maglor quite often in Rivendell, which seems to always be filled with music.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel -- Score: 5

I loved how the author staged this piece. Here: a common, everday occurence triggers a memory of other times; this is a very true to life situation, and I'm glad StarSpray chose to write it like that, as it gives the drabble a great deal more weight than it might have had previously, either with Elrond witnessing Lindir's struggle or remembering Maglor--it's the perfect combination of past and present. The author's wording, too, is very good, particularly here: [writing songs that always sounded like the sea]--a wonderful simile that offers the reader quite the sensual experience.

-- The series of which this drabble is a part focuses on things triggering memories in Elrond. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, thank you for the review!

Reviewed by: Oshun -- Score: 5

I am fascinated by the connection of the great singers of Tolkien legendarium: Maglor, Daeron, and Lindir. Elrond is also one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I came to this drabble very late in the MEFAs and am scrambling to write a few words before they close. I love of the concept of Elrond being reminded of Maglor by observing Lindir. I love in general stories which connection the widely separated Ages of Arda by the use of the few connecting characters. I like this drabble because it touches on all of those elements. Thanks for sharing.

-- Thank you for the review! Elrond and the singers are my favorites as well.

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 4

Dear StarSpray, this is a beautiful drabble, a little gem of a moment. You capture so convincingly the tribulations of the writer – in the days before word processing, what else could one do but cut out the offending passages? That Elrond would see this and be reminded of Maglor – yes, this is very natural and convincing, and the final half-sentence gives the whole drabble a particularly melancholy spin. Well done indeed.

-- Thank you so much, Virtuella!

Reviewed by: Darkover -- Score: 3

This is a nicely-written drabble that reminds us of the long memories of Elves and how even something seemingly-insignificant can trigger thoughts and feelings, especially of those who have long been missed. Well done.

-- Thank you!

Reviewed by: Tanaqui -- Score: 3

I really love the sense of struggle and tension of different kinds—creativity, curiosity, memory and emotion--created in this drabble. A different and interesting take on the prompt and very nicely done.

-- Thank you!

Reviewed by: Liadan -- Score: 2

Art, whether musical, written or painting and sculpture, is much harder than others can possibly imagine.