I went to Borders again last weekend, and I found a book on J.R.R. Tolkien's world building. As though that wasn't enough, my family and I also watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy during the Labor Day weekend. All this Lord of the Rings inundation firmly implanted this knowledge inside me: Tolkien is a storytelling master!
J.R.R. Tolkien is my idea of the greatest storyteller. Not only did he create the most glorious and epic tale of heroic deeds and ultimate sacrifice, he was also nit-picky regarding the details of his world. Did you know that there's a chapter in The Two Towers where Samwise Gamgee is cooking his "conies", and Tolkien had to take a break from writing because he had to make sure the moon that was appearing in that chapter was the same as the moon that was appearing in a different chapter but on the same timeline? You've got to admire that kind of dedication.
I love his language, too. I love the way he wrote the Elvish languages of Quenya and Sindarin, and used Old English for his Rohirrim. Even the Nùmenòreans had a language all their own. Don't you just adore that kind of passion, that drives you to really make your world rooted in people's imagination?
I know there are some people that think his kind of language, his style, his dedication to description and culture is over-the-top. Some people get bored with that in-depth grounding. But me, I share a little bit of that passion. You have an actual world, not just a cardboard cutout.
His kind of writing is something I aspire to.
However, along with that kind of inspiring writing, I also want to write like Diana Wynne Jones. You will never meet two very different fantasy writers. He's so epic, and she's so... funny!!
Last, I wanted to let you know that Ruth Schiffman is hosting a giveaway over at her blog, Out on a Limb. Come on down and participate! There are some lovely books being given away. You will have fun joining in on the giveaway. I promise!