Wednesday, July 30, 2014

One to Rule Them All

This October will mark the 60th anniversary of the publication of The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. Not many would argue with the idea that Tolkien invented the epic fantasy genre. Not only did he inspire millions to read the genre, but a lot of writers got into to the game because of him. Tolkien wrote the kind of stories he liked to read, an important lesson for all of us.

He did things with languages, like inventing them, that is beyond my dreams and capabilities. His day job was teaching languages. In his books he used a number of Old English Words such as Ent and Orc. Did you know he made up the plurals of elf and dwarf that we use today? The runes that were used for the elves and dwarves were an alphabet he created. That all wows me.

Perhaps the thing I have most in common with Tolkien is that he really was a pantser and not a plotter. Meaning he had to revise like crazy. Sounds familiar to me. I'll keep working trying to catch up to him in those other areas. Maybe someday we'll have a Gourley Society but in the meantime, you can check out The Tolkien Society.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
The Fellowship of the Ring

I'll be using my time this week to write the first rough draft. Tomorrow if you have time, Pat Hatt at It's Rhyme Time is using a word I challenged him with a while ago.  Visit him to see what he does with it.

Do you know Pat? Are you a Tolkien lover? Did any of the facts about him I shared surprise you? Do you think anyone will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of your writing in the future?


  1. Maybe that's why Spellcheck still protests the word dwarves....
    That sounds like more revision than my mind could handle.
    Big fan of Pat's - will check out his site tomorrow!

  2. He didn't plan out his books? That blows my mind.

  3. Tolkien was my first introduction into fantasy - such an amazing story teller! Love!

  4. Tolkien was so meticulous about the details of his books, I bet he mapped them out in his head instead of on paper. :)

  5. I did not know that about Tolkien. Good to know. Seriously. =)

  6. Tolkien had an amazing mind! I feel like having a LOTR movie marathon now. :)

  7. it just me, or does your blog suddenly look very, very different? Did I miss something big? I feel a little silly...I'm sorry if I missed something, but I love the look!

    Yes, I am a huge Tolkien fan, too. I have been since I was a very small child - I'm forever grateful to my father for introducing me to the Hobbit, and then to the LOTR. They've inspired me endlessly.

  8. It really is amazing when you think of an author inventing a language for his books. Of course, LOTR took him something like fifteen years to finish. A real labor of love.

  9. Never knew that about the words. He did awesome indeed without even planning, even more impressive.

  10. Hi Susan - sadly no! I suspect I'll be a long forgotten relative with no children .. but who knows what amazing feats I can accomplish before I hit the daisies!

    I really must get into Tolkien and take my time reading some of his works - I went to an amazing talk on The Hobbit at 75 years at the British Library ... and wish I'd taken notes - but I didn't .. it was really good. I see I wrote a blog post ... including the aspects of the film released at the end of 2012.

    I'd no idea about his use of languages .. I know he was highly intelligent and spent time with fellow writers in the Eagle and Child pub, Oxford .. where I've been on numerous occasions.

    Great post and thoughts though - love the comments too .. cheers Hilary