OST Question #12 - Voodoo

by Tim Powers

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Buster
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Re: OST Question #12 - Voodoo

Unread postby Buster » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:28 am

I'd just like to reiterate that many religious practices (including each of ours, should we have any) can seem very peculiar to non-believers. Faith is a very interesting phenomenon, and it manifests itself in a bewildering array of options. Personally, I really enjoy learning about a wide variety of belief systems.

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Re: OST Question #12 - Voodoo

Unread postby moviemom » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:28 am

For me, the use of voodoo in this story gave it a lot of flavor. Some pirates simply used Mate Care-For while others dabbled in various voodoo practices. What's a good pirate story without magical or mysterious goings on anyway? Just an ordinary pirate swash-buckling story, that's all. :grin:

I'd never hear of "Mate Care For" prior to On Stranger Tides, so it's been educational.
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Re: OST Question #12 - Voodoo

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:32 pm

It certainly fit the locale and gave the story that mystical edge. moviemom, I'm with you on how it was used. I thought it was interesting that some knew a little and others knew a lot but no one really knew what they might be up against in the world of voodoo and magic. It kept the reader guessing as to what might come up next. Well done.
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Re: OST Question #12 - Voodoo

Unread postby TimPowers » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:08 am

nebraska wrote:It seems to me that Tim wrote the book expecting the reader already had a substantial amount of knowledge about voodoo and magic.


Hello, Nebraska! Sorry, I didn't mean to make it obscure! In fact I wrote it assuming that the reader would know nearly nothing about voodoo -- especially since I changed authentic voodoo around a good deal -- or magic -- since I mostly made up the magic out of whole cloth, or cobbled it together out of any mythology or folklore I could think of.

But as you say, it's hard to convey a whole alien system to the reader without pausing here and there for big explanatory lumps -- and Elmore Leonard said once (and it's one of the best pieces of writng-advice I've ever heard), "Leave out the bits that readers skip over." I'm afraid I'm always dropping unexplained bits into stories, with the implicit promise, Trust me, it'll get explained later! And I have to admit I make lists and tack them on the wall, to remind me of what hints & enigmas still need to be explained -- I hate to think I make the readers do the same!

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Re: OST Question #12 - Voodoo

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:46 am

Tim, I generally feel after Liz and DITHOT post tidbits, that I should read tidbits first and book second, so you are not the only author in this position.

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Re: OST Question #12 - Voodoo

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:43 pm

I had little knowledge of actual voodoo practices other than what one sees in movies or reads in books which may or may not be factual. Can voodoo be factual? :grin: Anyway, I always felt it varied from culture to culture. Some of you may have been around for our discussion of Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates (loved it!). Funny what you learn here on the Zone. :lol:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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