Before I get booed off the stage, I'll hand you guys over to her. ;)
*straps Mary onto a ferris wheel*
*happily takes over her blog*
WELL now that THAT is out of the way.
Hi guys, I’m Savannah! As you can see, I have taken over Mary’s blog today *cackles*.
Yeah, anyways. You’re probably wanting me to get to the real reason I’m here, so let’s get right to it.
Three writing lessons from Lord Of The Rings.
I’m a Lord Of The Rings geek (not geek enough to thoroughly read the Silmarillion, but still. If you’ve ever done that, I applaud you.). If you haven’t read Lord Of The Rings … you’re insane. If you say that you don’t like Lord Of The Rings … I’ll pretend you never said that.
So for today EVERYONE LOVES LORD OF THE RINGS. (also, don’t read the post if you hate Lord Of The Rings. You’ll probably go mad XD)
We can learn a lot from one of the founders of fantasy, can’t we? J.R.R. Tolkien crafted an incredible world with WONDERFUL characters and an amazing plot. But do you want to know the coolest bit?
Lord Of The Rings survived the test of time.
Now, I’m no expert (HA understatement), but I love thinking about what makes Lord Of The Rings so epic and how I can incorporate all of that into my own writing. And you want to know what I know, don’t you (JUST PRETEND, YOU GUYS)?
If anyone tells me that J.R.R. Tolkien is terrible at world building, I’ll be pretty sure that said person is going mental. Because REALLY?!
J.R.R. Tolkien is a master when it comes to world building. End of story.
Guys. Have you ever looked at a map of Middle Earth?
Okay, there. Now you’ve seen one. Incredible, no? Not only did he think of names for every. Single. Place (come on you guys, that’s a lot of places), but he fleshed most of them out too.
If you’re writing epic fantasy (or high fantasy, whatever strikes your fancy), or any story that has a
map, you don’t want all your different places to become one big chunk of land. I’ve read stories where it’s like that – all the places seem … well, just the same. Even if they’re technically supposed to be different.
Lord Of The Rings certainly isn’t like that. Do Mirkwood and the Shire seem alike to you?
… didn’t think so.
2. High Stakes + No Cheating
The whole stinkin’ WORLD was going to fall to bits if the Ring wasn’t destroyed in Mordor.
I would say those are pretty high stakes.
And J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t cheat. He didn’t randomly pop some magical wand into Frodo’s hands during the middle of the story that could make all his troubles go poof! He didn’t give Aragorn invincible powers (well, okay, so Aragorn is ALMOST invincible. But not all the way XD).
He didn’t let the characters have an easy way out.
And we were rooting for the characters every step of the way as they fought their battles. Which actually leads us to the next point …
3. Likeable Characters
Yeah yeah, I know you’re all thinking ‘pfft, duh’, but SERIOUSLY. This is important.
I can’t be the only one who has ever read a story and gone ‘WHY am I even reading this? I WANT TO HIT ALL THE CHARACTERS OVER THE HEAD WITH A FRYING PAN’ (not that I can remember exactly which books were like that, but I know I’ve read books like that).
Who wouldn’t be able to root for Frodo as he climbs Mount Doom, or cheer when Legolas does all his fancy elf-tricks? We like J.R.R. Tolkien's characters, and we want to be right beside them as they fight to save Middle Earth. They’re relatable. They’ve got their flaws, but they fight through them just like we fight through our own. They’re likeable, and guess what? We like them. Which means we like the story they’re in.
You need people to like your characters too. And another thing about characters – don’t make them entirely perfect. IT’S JUST REALLY ANNOYING. Also, don’t make them too flawed to even be realistic. Sure, I like having a tragic character or two in a story, but it sure can be overdone.
SO hopefully you learned a thing or three (and if not, hopefully the post was amusing in one form or another).
Now, I must be off to get Mary down, and then it’s back to Middle Earth for this elf.
*takes a bow*
*stumbles off the ferris wheel* Phew, it's good to be back on stable ground again. *stares pointedly at Savannah* Thanks. :P
Wasn't this post great? ACK. Thanks oodles for agreeing to guest post, Savannah! It was even worth being strapped to a ferris wheel. XD Ooh, and now I can actually link to her blog! The fairies who used to protect it have run out of pixie dust. ;D SO GO. CHECK OUT HER BLOG. IT IS AWESOME. (Totally not because it has the word "scribblings" in it...)