The development of LTROI (from Fail Again, Fail Better)

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Siggdalos
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Re: The development of LTROI (from Fail Again, Fail Better)

Post by Siggdalos » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:05 pm

Two more notes I left out of the OP, where JAL pondered the rules of vampirism. Unclear how much of this applies to the final story, but they could be useful to fan fiction writers, if nothing else.

March 28, 2001:
At some point I also have to clarify the nature of Eli's hunger. Eli becomes hungrier and hungrier, needs more blood to keep his advanced form of existence going. Eventually Eli is capable of quick, extensive transformations and this also heralds the need for hibernation. The cells' intense activity, his body gets used up if he doesn't rest.
August 5, 2001 (the continuation of the part I quoted earlier about Oskar kissing his mirror image):
It starts with Eli standing out in the stairwell, explains that he needs a new invitation, because it's a new entrance.
"Sup."
"Hi."
Oskar goes into the apartment.
"Oskar. You have to... invite me."
"But you have... the window..."
"This is a new entrance."
"What happens if I don't?"
"Do you want to see?"
"... no."
Maybe something more on this. It's a vampire limitation that's very difficult to understand and it would be fun to come up with a good explanation. All the rooms that people perceive as theirs. Not public buildings.
The last two sentences are the relevant part. Of course, JAL didn't exactly apply this consistently given that Eli needs an invitation to the pool but not the hospital, while in the film it's the other way around, and both of those are public buildings.
De höll om varandra i tystnad. Oskar blundade och visste: detta var det största. Ljuset från lyktan i portvalvet trängde svagt in genom hans slutna ögonlock, la en hinna av rött för hans ögon. Det största.

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metoo
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Re: The development of LTROI (from Fail Again, Fail Better)

Post by metoo » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:02 am

Regarding the need for an invitation, I have assumed this for my fan fiction:
  • A vampire needs a separate invitation for each entrance into a protected space.
    This is explicitly stated in the novel, Eli says so and then proves it...
  • The invitation needs to be explicit and clear.
    This is implicit in the novel, compare the scene where Eli is about to enter the cancer sick woman's house.
  • The invitation needs to be spoken out loud.
    This is suggested in the novel by Håkans inner monologue, and corroborated by the fact the Eli remains outside the hospital window.
    Furthermore, it is an example of word magic, which is another reason I like to keep it.
Regarding what spaces are protected, I have set up these rules for myself:
  • A space claimed as home by someone has a full protection.
    This would include temporary spaces, such as summer houses or hotel rooms, but in this case limited to the time when the inhabitant actually lives there.
    When the inhabitant has moved out, the protection would wane gradually, the speed depending on factors such as occupation time and seriousness of the claim.
  • The space needs to be enclosed.
    I'm leaning towards a requirement that the enclosure needs to have some rigidity. A tent wouldn't have much of protection, if any at all. A cave might protect its owner, if the entrance is sufficiently closed off. A well-built house would offer good protection, but a ruined shackle would not.
  • Public spaces are not protected.
    This includes railway stations, hotel lobbys, etc.
    Semi-public spaces such as schools would be protected during teaching hours, but the effect would wane rapidly after the last teachers and students have left.
  • In general, the protection rule mirrors what is true for anybody - if you are not supposed to be there, then O&E wouldn't be either.
Last edited by metoo on Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
But from the beginning Eli was just Eli. Nothing. Anything. And he is still a mystery to me. John Ajvide Lindqvist

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dongregg
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Re: The development of LTROI (from Fail Again, Fail Better)

Post by dongregg » Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:31 pm

Here's the thing to remember: LTROI is a book of fiction. JAL is the author, but how the book took its final form depended on what the author (and his editor) deemed to be a good story. Ditto what JAL and TA deemed to be a good film script. JAL was not totally constrained by the book. His Eli-verse is not necessarily the Eli-verse of the reader or viewer. Similarly, our fan fictions will be what they will be.

Thus metoo''s commendable gloss reflects his own choices of what is or is not part of his own Eli-verse. :think:
“For drama to deepen, we must see the loneliness of the monster and the cunning of the innocent.”

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Siggdalos
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Re: The development of LTROI (from Fail Again, Fail Better)

Post by Siggdalos » Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:25 pm

Yes, of course. When I wrote "useful to fan fiction writers", I meant more in the sense that someone who wants to write a FF but isn't sure how to portray a vampire's biological functions or the details of the invitation rule, could choose to use these preliminary behind-the-scenes thoughts of JAL as inspiration. Of course FF writers are also free to ignore these altogether and make up their own explanations.

Also, as I touched on earlier in the thread, John's writing process means that his speculations about a monster's functions halfway through writing won't necessarily line up with how he envisions the monster's functions by the time the book is published, and since he tends to keep explanations for his supernatural elements to a minimum in the finished text, there's a lot of wiggle room for alternate explanations and rule sets than the ones he had in mind while writing.
De höll om varandra i tystnad. Oskar blundade och visste: detta var det största. Ljuset från lyktan i portvalvet trängde svagt in genom hans slutna ögonlock, la en hinna av rött för hans ögon. Det största.

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Hassildor
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Re: The development of LTROI (from Fail Again, Fail Better)

Post by Hassildor » Sat Jan 30, 2021 6:44 am

Wow! Like others have said already, this is a veritable treasure trove of new info for me. Thanks so much for translating/posting this collection of trivia! :)
Siggdalos wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:08 pm

[*]The part of the story that presented the biggest challenge for JAL was also the most important one: the relationship between Eli and Oskar. He rewrote the two's early scenes more times than anything else from any of his books. The problem was quite simply: "Why does Eli care about Oskar?" (John has talked about this several times, so the following is a summary of what's said in Misslyckas igen, the 2015 afterword, and a 2019 interview with the podcast Udda Ting.) In early versions, JAL made Eli too "badass"; a proud, wise, and tragic figure, roughly the sort of supernatural friend John himself fantasized about when he was a bullied 12-year-old. When he read the Oskar/Eli scenes aloud to Mia, she kept pointing out that while it made total sense for Oskar to be fascinated with Eli, there was no reason for Eli to return the feelings since he stood so far above Oskar. It took a lot of rewrites back-and-forth and persistence from Mia—with grumpiness from John as a result—over the course of several months (the problem is brought up repeatedly in the notes, from April 30 to July 14) until John had sufficiently weakened Eli and put him on a level matching Oskar's, made him someone who is in essence a lonely and damaged child who hasn't gotten the chance to be a child in many years and longs for a playmate. This process also involved letting go of the normal vampire tropes to examine what a child vampire's gross and depressing existence would actually look like. JAL emphasizes that the success of the book and its adaptations all hinge on the early Oskar/Eli scenes, and if it wasn't for Mia's persistence he probably wouldn't have the career he does now.
I think this was the part that interested me most though. The relationship always fundamentally 'made sense' to me, and it's pretty amazing to find out that Eli and Oskar's dynamic both changed so significantly over the course of the writing process and appears to have been conjured up by JAL and Mia (which seems kind of fitting in a way :lol: ). I'm glad they were able to hash out the powerful relationship LTROI ended up with.
Siggdalos wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:04 pm

It's difficult to tell, though, since the book only brings up the hero once and he doesn't seem to have survived past the early planning stages.
I'd also love to know how differently the story's final showdown at the pool would have played out with this hero character in the story (if they didn't suffer the same fate as Lacke), but I imagine that will forever remain a mystery. Anyways, thanks again for posting all of this!!

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Siggdalos
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Re: The development of LTROI (from Fail Again, Fail Better)

Post by Siggdalos » Thu Feb 04, 2021 1:25 pm

My pleasure. :)
De höll om varandra i tystnad. Oskar blundade och visste: detta var det största. Ljuset från lyktan i portvalvet trängde svagt in genom hans slutna ögonlock, la en hinna av rött för hans ögon. Det största.

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