File 0002.4: Meat is back on the menu boys

No, this is not an anti-vegan post. I honestly do not care what you’re eating preferences are. You do you do boo, don’t yuck on someone’s yum, I could not care less!

This is about writing.

One of my favorite writers is Timothy Zahn, he created one of the most magnificent villains called Grand Admiral Thrawn. After the three Star Wars films were released and there were no plans yet to film sequels to those films(which…you know maybe should have stayed that way…but opinions might vary) he was tasked with writing the sequel, in book form and out came three excellent books, commonly known as The Thrawn Trilogy. It expands on the known characters of Luke, Han Leia, and Lando and introduces new ones that even still have an impact, Mara Jade and most importantly: Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn was such a good character that even when Disney bought Star Wars and put every book into Legends (so basically de-canonized everything except the films and some tv shows) Timothy Zahn was asked to write a new trilogy specifically about Thrawn. He came back in the Rebels cartoon and now even in the Ahsoka TV series.

I’m telling you all this because A: I needed to get to my word count of the day but 2. Timothy Zahn is an amazing writer and I know you probably are not going to buy his books based on my recommendation but I think you should.

However! People had one big complaint when he wrote his Star Wars books! At the beginning of this book, after the introduction of Captain Pelleaon and Grand Admiral Thrawn we focus on Luke, who, after a troublesome dream tries to calm himself down by making a drink. Not just any drink, no Lothal Spicebrew, no Bantha Blaster, no Antakarian fire dancer…no I am not making this up! The Star Wars writers did! No, he made himself a cup of hot chocolate, a recipe mind you, he got from Lando.

People were upset because he dared to put in a drink that was known to people who were reading his book. I mean, they didn’t seem to have a problem with Corellian ale…which is just ale…from Corellia.

However…I can see why people would raise a slight eyebrow, after all, you are reading a fantasy novel (or sci-fi…I’m not getting into that discussion today, this post is already getting too long) and to see suddenly something as mundane as hot chocolate can take you out of the book…sooo would it have been better if he had called it Corellian Hot Chocolate?

Who knows…

In 2002, a little film came out in the theater…you probably haven’t heard of it, it was called The Two Towers. Admittedly, there were two towers in the film so no false advertising there. In this film, at one point one of the Uruk-hai (the evil orc-human hybrids) says, after killing one of his team, the title of this post. (without the File 0002.4, because…that would be weird…). This implies two things…1. Menus are a thing in Middle-Earth…and B. This Uruk-hai has known about them. Which is impressive if you consider him most likely only a couple of weeks old.

However…this line is purely an addition in the film and does not appear in the book, it does however illustrate the same issue that Timothy Zahn and the writers of the films had, adding modern language, terms, and names is potentially problematic because it will either take readers out of your book, they can’t suspend their disbelief anymore ooorrrrrrr…they make memes about it!

Mister Zahn really had to work to stop using every day phrases in his Star Wars books. “Hacking” became “Slicing”. “Hit and run” became “Hit and Fade” and there is also an expression that is named: “Hit the Hutt,” where I currently cannot remember what its modern-day equivalent would be.

As you may know because I either am telling you on every opportunity or you are reading this blog (the first more likely than the latter admittedly…) I’m currently writing a book and this book is set in a futuristic setting and I have already come across multiple situations where I’m struggling to find a word or a sentence that makes perfect sense in our current world but does not make any sense for these characters to know. Paper is not really still a thing in the universe I’m creating so I am pretty sure that they cannot follow a paper trail as these characters use tablets…not paper. They don’t eat bread, so where are the crumbs to follow? They cannot go as the crow flies as CROWS ARE NOT A THING!

So, I will need to come up with basically a whole set of new phrases that make it clear to the reader what I actually want to say, make sense for the characters to know, and also not take readers out of the story they are reading because it’s too obvious I’m just replacing words to make it fit better in a technology-centered word.

So yeah…that has been on my mind lately. Pfff, writing like this makes me hungry…good thing that:

File 0002.4: Meat is back on the menu boys

Also…are there no Uruk-hai girls? Not very inclusive now is it?

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