New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

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Re: New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

Unread postby Sun Fin » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:18 pm

greencactaur wrote:I look forward to reading your novel :).


Thanks buddy! I'm looking forward to it being ready for you to read as well :D.
Last edited by Sun Fin on Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:53 pm

I've finished reading East of the River!

It's a mammoth book, telling the Sun clan's story from the Yellow Turban campaign to the death of Yuan Shu. There is a lot of positives - I loved the presentation of so many of the characters (like Sun Ce, Zhou Yu, Sun Jian and he captured Sun Quan perfectly in my opinion!) and it's well researched. It's very much written for a fan of the 3K era, anyone else would get lot in the list of names, which is great for me and most of you! However that is also it's weakness. In my opinion he tries to do to much and doesn't give his wider cast or individual events the time I would like!

I'm planning on asking for Yellow Sky for Christmas which is an indicator of enjoyment I guess. I definitely preferred this one to his book about Zhuge Liang. In all fairness that's likely to be because the lives of Sun Jian and Ce are my favourite part of the 3K era whereas I find the period after Liu Bei's death lacking in drama and excitement.
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Re: New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

Unread postby TPMThorne » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:47 am

Hello all,

I've had a quick read of the comments on my work, generally positive which is nice. Much appreciated.

Sun Fin
Thank you for informing me about this thread.

The principal reason for responding to you quickly is because I don't know whether you wanted to hold off on getting hold of "Yellow Sky" if the Sun clan's story is of more interest to you (I only say this because I noticed that you said that you didn't get as much out of Crouching Dragon and find the later years of the era less engaging). I am close to releasing a second book about the Suns that covers 199-210CE: I hope to have the admin side of it dealt with by end of January at the latest, so if you wanted to wait...

Also, I'm glad that you generally enjoyed East of the River. That was completed during a bit of a 'busy time', shall we say, so there are a lot of things that I might have done differently, but expanding on individual characters (except, perhaps, a 'Gan Ning in Yi' episode to better set him up for later) any more than I have is not one of them, if only for sanity's sake.

Oh, and I look forward to seeing your work next year!


capnnereflr
You asked what form my work takes:

My work is generally close to the history, but I do occasionally include anecdotal stories that are probably outright fiction (the Cao Cao/Lu Boshe & Cao Cao/Qin Bonan episodes spring to mind) if they lend to the character development, since I am writing historical fiction. I include a lot of characters, some of whom could be 'condensed into compsite characters': that is something that is criticised a fair bit, I notice, but since I am writing the history of the era rather than any one figure at this point, I want to give the whole thing a sense of scope and show the small figures and how they sometimes have a big impact on history for one single action (or, at times, unfairly pass by without recognition).

So maybe I'd be daring and say that I strive for 85-90% adherence to history?

Again, I look forward to seeing your work out there.


Xu Yuan
I will, at some point, answer you properly as befits your extensive and constructive scrutiny (some of my answers to Sun Fin and capnnereflr may be relevant): for now, though, I will just confirm that my structuring choices (page count especially) are a combination of 'shelf feng shui' -- if they are all the same size they sit nicely next to each other -- with the restrictions of self-publishing, i.e. book size v.s. margin of profit.

Thank you for your thoughts on my character development: that is the main drive for me, as history is just 'a collection of things that happened' otherwise. Your mentioning working the Battle of Guandu into a play reminds me that 'Crouching Dragon' started out as a script for an entirely different type of project and had to be reworked: turning what was, in effect, stage direction into blocks of narrative was a chore. I do still write reams of the dialogue cold and work the narrative in afterwards a lot, even now. Old habits die hard!

My choices for dialogue presentation are not to everyone's tastes, I know, but I was looking to eliminate ambiguity with regards to the tone, context, and (sound) volume of the dialogue, and it adds unique behaviour to characters that is clear, if a little 'untidy'. Bold = regular shouting, e.g. during a battle scene or raised voices in an argument, CAPS+bold = hysterical screaming due to distress/anger or, less often, strained shouting between, say, a man on the ground and a man on the wall of a city with other background noise. It helps me sustain the mood in the narrative.

----

Thanks again to all for taking the time to comment: I'd better get back to the proof-reading on what I shall tentatively refer to here as 'Sun clan part II'. I also have the fourth and final part of the 'Fall of the Han' set to get back to and a website restructuring to complete, and time is not my friend!

Regards,

T. P. M. Thorne
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Re: New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

Unread postby Sun Fin » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:07 pm

Thanks for letting me know, I'm sure I will pick up Sun clan part 2 as well, as I intend to read all your works at some point I'll still grab Yellow Sky this Christmas :D

I have to say its a novel experience writing a review about a book and having the author respond to it :lol:.
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Re: New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

Unread postby TPMThorne » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:30 am

Sun Fin said:
I have to say its a novel experience writing a review about a book and having the author respond to it


Some people have suggested that I shouldn't respond personally because it becomes increasingly impossible to do so as you do better: you'll have the same dilemma in the future, right?

Anyway, I'm here very briefly to announce 'Eastern Wu: Realm of the Sun Clan' as available before I go back to work: I actually released it on the 2nd Feb, but I've a lot of administration to take care of. I'll be back at a later date to keep my promise about answering critique properly, but the "About" pages that I've added to my site might go some way to doing so.

Best to all

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Re: New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:39 am

TPMThorne wrote:
Some people have suggested that I shouldn't respond personally because it becomes increasingly impossible to do so as you do better: you'll have the same dilemma in the future, right?


That's the hope :lol: Well I love that you talk to us at the moment but I understand that someday that might need to come to an end!

TPMThorne wrote:Anyway, I'm here very briefly to announce 'Eastern Wu: Realm of the Sun Clan' as available before I go back to work: I actually released it on the 2nd Feb, but I've a lot of administration to take care of. I'll be back at a later date to keep my promise about answering critique properly, but the "About" pages that I've added to my site might go some way to doing so.

Best to all

T. P. M. Thorne


Awesome news! Well done on finishing another of your mammoth books! I'll add it to my to read list!

I've read a few of your 'About' pages and you mention your sources, I was just wondering if you might be wiling to share a list of names of books that you use?
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Re: New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

Unread postby TPMThorne » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:47 pm

Sun Fin wrote:
Well I love that you talk to us at the moment but I understand that someday that might need to come to an end!


And that's the irony: greater success would mean that I'd want to engage and thank people for supporting me, but I wouldn't have the time to do so. I'd hate to be one of those people that has someone administrating a social media account on their behalf while they're off creating more work, but I can see how it happens.

Sun Fin wrote:
I've read a few of your 'About' pages and you mention your sources, I was just wondering if you might be wiling to share a list of names of books that you use?


I can see that you're now compiling a research source list: it's already very extensive, and that will certainly make the task of working on something less of a burden for future authors, so I salute you for the idea.

You've covered pretty much all of the sources that I use(d): I'm now working mostly from self-written notes compiled over what must be 7 years now (that's a sobering realisation), mostly by me personally, from various translations of the ZZTJ, SGZ, works by De Crespigny, etc.

The only thing that I can offer in the way of extra sources is an illustrated work, "Imperial Chinese Armies (1) 200BC-AD589" by C J Peers (Osprey Publishing, ISBN 978-1-85532-514-2) that I happened upon when I was writing "Yellow Sky". It uses a less popular naming convention (Ts'ao Ts'ao, Chu-ko Liang, Sun Ch'uan etc), contains concise historical information and a couple of anecdotes, and it really drained all of the magic out of Zhuge Liang's implementation of 'wooden oxen and horses' for me (I remember thinking "I am so glad that I imagined something grander when writing 'Crouching Dragon', even if it probably wasn't accurate" -- it's hard to have a serious dramatic reveal of a horde of soldiers pushing wheelbarrows), but I mention it because you asked, and the Michael Perry paintings are nice pieces.

If I think of anything other books that I've used or get a chance to talk to anyone else about it I'll let you know.

All the best

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Re: New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:14 pm

That's good to know but thought it was worth asking. :D

TPMThorne wrote:
Also, I'm glad that you generally enjoyed East of the River. That was completed during a bit of a 'busy time', shall we say, so there are a lot of things that I might have done differently, but expanding on individual characters (except, perhaps, a 'Gan Ning in Yi' episode to better set him up for later) any more than I have is not one of them, if only for sanity's sake.


Realised I never replied to this! I wasn't suggesting you solved it by adding more content really, I was more thinking with less characters and arcs you could spend more time focusing on the really important ones. However I know that including lots of people is a big stylistic choice for you and it wouldn't be the book you wanted to write if you cut them down!
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Re: New Three Kingdoms Novels written by T.P.M Thorne

Unread postby TPMThorne » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:55 pm

Sun Fin wrote:
I wasn't suggesting you solved it by adding more content really, I was more thinking with less characters and arcs you could spend more time focusing on the really important ones. However I know that including lots of people is a big stylistic choice for you and it wouldn't be the book you wanted to write if you cut them down!


You're quite right, I am aiming for covering a lot as a stylistic choice, but it has become more difficult as the number of factions has expanded (which it has by going chronologically backwards), so I admit that I don't entirely dislike the idea of restricting scope (although I am now pretty much committed to this structure now).

Thanks for your feedback! I'll revisit the forum soon, but until then, all the best to everyone once more.

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