There and Back Again

Howdy Folks,

This post will be a mix of news about me, a writing update, and a quick writing tip. And I might even throw in some links from around these intertubes.

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been away. I went to New Zealand (a real quick trip, way too short) to visit my husband’s family. While there, I visited Hobbiton. I’ll post specifically about the movie set in the future, but for now, know that it was something else to see someone’s fictional vision in reality. It felt surreal. The images from both my reader’s mind and the movie merged and coalesced into dirt, grass, and wood. It felt so real, I didn’t want to leave. I’ve concluded that Peter Jackson has no choice but to build a theme park.

Anyway, for now, here’s a picture:

The Green Dragon at Hobbiton
The Green Dragon at Hobbiton

Now that I’m back, I am even more committed to writing my stories.

Yeah, I know that my stories will never end up as a theme park, but seeing the Hobbiton movie set made me think of what would the venerable J. R. R. Tolkien think?

He’d probably think we were nuts. But right after that, he’d be awed by how many people he touched with his stories. I want to touch the heart of at least one reader. It may not be today, or tomorrow, but someday I will write a story that someone will enjoy and cherish.

So with that new found motivation, I finished some edits on my latest short story. It is currently going through four beta readers. The initial prognosis isn’t great, but I think their suggestions will result in a better story. I hope to have something ready to submit to a market by early next month.

While at Hobbiton, I also noticed something about the sort of folks who visit places like Hobbiton. For one thing, they are a lot like you and I – as varied as the stars. But they all had one thing in common: character.

No, they were not actual characters from the movie nor did they dress as Hobbits (though a few would have if they had costumes and there was one group that insisted on acting out scenes from the movie…). What I’m talking about is that each person had a favorite character from either The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit.

Most were not English-speakers, so they all conversed to their cohorts in a language I didn’t understand, but their speech was peppered with names we all know: Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Golem, Aragorn, Legolas, and more. One thing I quickly realized was that not only were these folks enamored with the setting of Tolkien’s story, but the characters.

We’ve heard it a thousand times, if not a million, character is key to any story. Nail a great character and half your work is done.

In parting, allow me to spam you with links to posts that have something mine don’t – content!

Until next time, write characters that will reach out and poke someone.



9 thoughts on “There and Back Again

  1. As I mentioned earlier, I’m so jealous. That is definitely on my bucket list.

    Good points on character development.

  2. I am envious, I would love to visit there someday. It just looks absolutely charming. I agree, the characters are what make the story. When I finished reading the books I was sad because I felt like I was leaving old friends! At least with books you can always visit those friends again 🙂

    1. My husband’s family is from New Zealand, so we make a point of saving money (and vacation time) to make the trip back home every few years. I got lucky, my in-laws retired to a community only a few minutes from the movie set. But you are right. You can visit Hobbiton and the characters anytime. What a gift Tolkien gave the world, huh?

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