Category Archives: Tolkien

That Distinctive Voice

It doesn’t happen very often, but I had the pleasure of seeing a modern Porsche 911 drive past whilst I was walking to work this morning. Whatever you may think about the German sports car maker, they do make very distinctive looking cars. I came across a promotion film on Youtube that Porsche made years ago about their 928: even in the late 1970’s, the Porsche 928 really stood out as different amongst the other cars.

In the sea of car makes and models, it seems to be really difficult to design and build a shape that stands out. Few manage it and those that do tend to hold on to their distinctive shapes for decades. Porsche clearly does. Lamborghini does, too. The Lamborghini Countach is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable car shapes ever.  And it has influenced their cars ever since. By contrast, the new sportscar from Toyota and Subaru (called the 86 from one and the BRZ from the other) is rather underwhelming, to say the least.

But wait – isn’t this a blog about writing? So why all the car talk? Because just like car shapes, your writing needs to be distinctive, too. You might have captivating dialogue, fascinating characters, scintillating descriptions and a killer story – but if your writing is no different from the next five authors in your genre, you’re going to struggle.

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Filed under David Eddings, Douglas Adams, storytelling, Terry Pratchett, Tolkien, writing

Grab Your Readers By The

The start of any piece of writing is important. It sets the tone and feel for what comes after. Getting the start right is sometimes held up as being a difficult as planning the entire remainer of the work.

So what was considered a good start to a novel fifty years ago?

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Filed under David Eddings, storytelling, Tolkien, writing

Making your own map

Why would you ever start a story without knowing where it’s going to end? Isn’t that like getting in your car for a drive and just choosing turns that look interesting? It’s possible to get quite a long way and see many interesting things, but sooner or later you’re going to get stuck. Or lost. And you may well find yourself miles from home come nightfall. Perhaps you can just turn around and see if you can find your way back home. You’ve just gone basically nowhere.

And a story that goes nowhere is not a story. Middle Earth's The Shire Continue reading


Filed under David Eddings, NaNoWriMo, storytelling, Tolkien, writing