To be like Bilbo Baggins…

February 7, 2016

If you’ve never heard The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, go to YouTube and watch it now. Do it! Possibly one of the best things ever to come from the late, great Leonard Nimoy.

Back? Good.

Sometimes, we have to make those confessions that make people wonder about us. For me, it’s regarding a small hobbit by the name of Bilbo…

I’ve only read The Hobbit twice.

I just finished reading it for the second time. The first was back in 2001, shortly before the first Lord of the Rings movie came out.

What kind of writer am I? What kind of fantasy fan am I? Shouldn’t I have read The Hobbit in 7th grade, just like the rest of western civilization? I know, I know, turn in my nerd badge and go watch a football game, right?

Anyway, outrage aside, I did just finish reading it again. A few weeks ago, I was at the library looking through movies because I missed a bunch of movies last year (and the year before that, and the year before that…). My taxes pay for the library to get new books/movies/cd’s, so hey, why not? Anyway, I saw all three Hobbit movies and realized that not only have I not watched them, I should probably read the book again. It’s a classic, and pretty much sparked an entire genre.

Man, it’s a good book.

I mean seriously, it’s got everything. It isn’t just a fantasy epic, it’s an adventure story, a thriller, suspenseful, and even a little scary at times. Just look at all of the different conflicts in the book and you’ve got a pretty diverse array of events and characters. Pretty much how fantasy should be done, or at least the perfect stepping-off point.

Now I realize, the book isn’t without its flaws. Things just conveniently happen, for instance. The narrator, very friendly with the reader, waves off many things as “a story for another time.” While I get the expediency that Tolkein was going for, by today’s standards, that would get you a flat out rejection. Also, too much head-hopping, too many perspective shifts, and not enough detail shown. Seriously, when Bilbo and the dwarves are in Smaug’s mountain, can’t we get an in-depth description of what the mountains of treasure look like? “Some object” could easily become “a small chest, crusted with purple gems” or “a trophy dedicated to some long-forgotten lord.”

I know that critiquing the book now is beyond pointless, but as a writer, I notice these things. Something else, something much more important, however, is even more noticeable.

How awesome this book truly is.

I feel reinspired. I’m two-thirds of the way through writing a new book, and I actually want to finish it. Well, I always wanted to finish it, just when the time was right.

Why delay? The time is now! Go forth, and make fantasy!

 

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