“It is difficult to say anything without saying too much: the attempt to say a few words opens a floodgate of excitement, the egoist and artist at once desires to say how the stuff has grown, what it is like, and what (he thinks) he means or is trying to represent by it all.” -J. R. R. Tolkien
These are the opening words in a letter written by Tolkien to a friend who inquired about his created world, Middle-Earth, in which his high fantasy epic “The Lord of the Rings” takes place. Few things did Tolkien say in his life to which I relate more than these words.
Writing a story is an extremely intimate ordeal. An author plumbs the depth of his soul to find characters who can come alive on the page, to tell their story in such a way that others will find themselves enthralled. A part of your very self goes into the creation of a story, and that makes it intimidating to put out to the public, exposing yourself to stinging barbs of criticism.
On the flip side of that, it becomes an utter joy to talk about your work. A simple question about a character’s motivations or the inspiration for a particular scene, in Tolkien’s words, has the potential to open a floodgate of excitement. Like a parent bragging about their children, an author can easily lose himself in regaling a reader with tales of his characters and their story.
That’s why I’ve made blog posts in the past about characters in my His Name Was Zach series. I was simply too impatient to wait for questions, so I gave the answers beforehand!
I’ll definitely be doing that again for the characters in my new series entitled Creed, after the titular character Conner Creed.
Speaking of that, I’ve almost finished with yet another round of edits! After receiving feedback from a beta reader, I’ve gone through and made some suggested changes with which I agreed, and I think the story as a whole has improved drastically. Once it’s finished, I’d be interested in one or two more beta readers to give the new, polished version a look.
Let me know in the comments if you’d consider reading my manuscript for Creed: Mandate of Heaven and sending me your thoughts, or shoot me an email at email@example.com. It’s only about 75,000 words long so it wouldn’t be a terribly daunting project!