I welcome you to December 2012 and another year which is very quickly winding down to a hopefully satisfying close. It’s certainly been a whirlwind for me and full of exciting new discoveries in the world of novels, writing and general everyday life in between.
But it isn’t over yet.
We still have thirty-one days! A blissful thirty-one days at that, which I will be using to complete (hopefully, if all goes to plan) my novel! Not just three minutes ago the NaNoWriMo writing competition closed its doors for another year, and I may not have reached the target 50,000 (in fact I couldn’t even throw a rock that far from my actual achievement, a measly 13,752), but I did achieve something new. And that’s what the competition is all about. It’s not about winning, it’s about achievement and enjoying the ride, and I certainly did that.
I intend to finish off what I started, and then hopefully clean it up from it’s state of currently perpetual word-spew (that’s a technical writing term, really it is) to a more socially acceptable format, and submit it to a publisher of some kind. This will also be a completely new experience for me, as I have never even met a publisher before. But, like Stephen King tells us in On Writing, no matter how many rejection slips you nail to your bedroom wall, you just have to keep trying. It’s the optimism that counts.
Again, you can find out more about my novel on http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/admiralcarter, which is my profile. You can navigate to the novel information from there.
Next year, I plan on creating another novel. But this one will have all the planning done and dusted well before November starts, so at least I can have a fighting chance on top of my usual university exams.
Anyway, enough blab about me! What you really came for was the bit about the dragons, wasn’t it? I have been squeezing in some time to feed my insatiable need to read, and have nearly completed The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien. I think I may have misjudged it at first as a piece solely dedicated to a fable-type history of Middle Earth, but in fact it has turned out to be something much more complex. In it there are many links to Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (see the previous post), as well as Tolkien’s own literary genius. If you’ve seen the movies of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or have read the books, you will be able to see many different links and even some parallels in The Silmarillion, though sadly no Hobbits yet. Emphasis on the yet.
One downfall of The Silmarillion is that it’s quite easy to get confused in, especially because of the vast number of characters in there with strange names. Sometimes it’s hard to tell between them all, and it took me a while to get the pronunciations right in my head. But it was a minor setback which was thankfully decreased by the addition of a large appendix, showing lineages, maps, and an encyclopedic assemblage of facts to help identify different facets of the work.
Besides these points, overall The Silmarillion provides quite a solid grounding in the land and lore of Middle Earth, and allows readers to get a glimpse into the world before The Hobbit and make more sense of what goes on in the books. Including the evolution of the dragons, which surprised me because I never thought they could be quite so cunning or downright nasty. Hardly as mediocre as I thought at first. If you have time, and you plan on seeing The Hobbit as a fan of the Lord of the Rings series, I highly suggest you read it if you have not done so already. It will be well worth your time and money (or the wrath of your librarian for reading all day in the most comfortable chair in the place), and hopefully show you just how wonderful fantasy writing can be.
And on that note, fellow travellers, I bid thee farewell until our next meeting, may the parting not be so swift.