Understanding the ‘Tolkien effect’ – and making it work for you

Matthew Wright

One of the plus sides of a contest like National November Writing Month is the enforced deadline. Writers have to finish to time – which is the nature of writing, once you have a publisher and contract deadlines. Mostly.

1197094932257185876johnny_automatic_books_svg_medThe greatest challenge when writing anything is knowing when it’s over – knowing when to stop working on your project. Some authors don’t, including J R R Tolkien who kept revising his material even after it was published. The quality kept going up with every iteration, with stunning results (I am a HUGE Tolkien fan). We can’t complain about that. But it meant very few of Tolkien’s books and stories were published in his lifetime.

Winston Churchill crashed into the other problem. He was finally persuaded to send his history of the Second World War to his publishers – they were screaming for it – but he pursued the manuscript with…

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