Writing Advice

Tolkien’s Writing Tips

Most of you may not know, because I’ve never mentioned it before, but Tolkien is one of my all time favorite writers. Lord of the Rings is one of my ‘inspiration’ books. One of the books I read as a kid (I say kid, but I was really like 18) that made me want to be a writer.

I adore his books – the adventure, the magic, the emotions, the scenery – EVERYTHING. He made me want to live in Middle Earth. And that gave me the desire to have people want to live in worlds that I create.

Since I admire the man so much, imagine my joy at finding his writing tips. I now give them to you…brought to all of us by the fabulous easymama.com –

P.S. – at the end of the post I included how I incorporate these tips into my own writing.

P.S.S. – I still want to live in Middle Earth.


  1. VANITY IS USELESS – This is something I really don’t have to worry about. I’m my own worst critic and never feel like my work is worth anything except lining for a litter box (I’m working on this issue).
  2. KEEP A STIFF UPPER LIP – Much like Tolkien I have to balance a day job with my desire to write epic stories. And there are A LOT of life issues that get in the way of my writing. But I trudge on…slow as a sloth in mud, sometimes…but I trudge.
  3. LISTEN TO CRITICS – I think it’s very important, as a writer, to have a large and trusted group of critics around you (family, friends, peers from a writer’s group). Find people you trust and know will give you an honest opinion. Listen to what they have to say. Let them help you. I have a great group of critics in my life and they’ve helped drive my work.
  4. LET YOUR INSTINCTS DRIVE YOUR WRITING – This…this…this! Listen to your instincts. Believe in them. When I first wrote the Protectors Saga I had a few agents tell me the market was too saturated with fantasy, that the writing was good but the story wasn’t marketable. But I LOVED the story and I knew others would too. Magic/fantasy/other worlds/kick-ass female heroines – that’s what was in my heart. That’s what I was interested in. I wrote it, released it, and a lot of people liked it – and that did my heart good.
  5. POETRY AS A ROAD TO PROSE – I write poetry all the time. I love it. It helps get my writing wheels turning. I’ve even used some poetry in a few of my YA novels.
  6. HAPPY ACCIDENTS – Yeah, I got nothing for this. But boy oh boy, would it be marvelous for a happy accident to lead me to a giant publishing house!
  7. DREAMS GIVE US INSPIRATION – Yes they do! In fact, The Protectors Saga is based off of a dream I had while deathly ill, hopped up on Dayquil.
  8. REAL PEOPLE MAKE GREAT CHARACTERS – They sure do! Most of my characters are loosely based off of people in my real life. They make up the bare bones, and then my imagination is the muscle, sinew, fat and skin (what a lovely image that is!).
  9. YOU MAY BE THE NEXT BEST SELLING AUTHOR – Ummmmm…let’s hope. Hey, with hard work dreams can come true!
  10. BOOKS YOU WRITE MAY SEEM TRITE – I feel this way about EVERY book I’ve written. I love them, and they’re my babies, but I never really feel like they’re any good. I think that’s how most writers are…and that ain’t gonna change anytime soon.

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