Tolkien’s Ten Tips for Writers

Culled from JRR Tolkien’s letters, S.M. Worth has collected ten writing tips from the grandfather of fantasy fiction himself. I found this one particularly interesting:

5.  Poetry As A Road to Prose – When Tolkien couldn’t express his thoughts in prose he “wrote much of it in verse.”  He writes “The first version of the song of Strider concerning Luthien,… originally appeared in the Leeds University magazine, but the whole tale, as sketched by Aragorn, was written in a poem of great length” (346).  If you cannot write the prose in a convincing manner, try composing your thoughts in the form of verse.  It will cause your brain to think deeply about the phrasing, the structure and the literary devices needed to excel in writing prose.  Possibly this is why much of Tolkien’s writing reads in the form of a cadence.  I have personally practiced this technique and it makes a profound difference in the quality of my prose once it finally makes it to the page.

You can read the rest of them here: Tolkien’s Ten Tips for Writers

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