A friend sent me this engaging presentation by Brandon Rhodes. It’s great viewing for anyone who loves Tolkien’s work, and would like to know more about the process, hard work, motivation and discussions that went into his writings.
The talk draws material from the excellent work of Diana Pavlac Glyer, who has published several works on the community of scholarship, creativity and friendship among the Oxford writing group, Inklings. Even if you’re not a Tolkien fan, there is sound advice here about writing, the importance of sharing your work and getting feedback. There is also great insight into the art of giving good, constructive criticism on others’ work. The talk is entertaining too 🙂
Here is the written summary for the presentation:
“While Tolkien had friends who could devise ingenious ways to critique his work without sounding critical, he had others whose remarks were merciless and direct — to the point that Tolkien simply stopped sharing new chapters as he wrote The Lord of the Rings…From Tolkien’s experience we will draw lessons about how to make critique generous instead of damaging, and actionable instead of personal.”