Wise words – JRR Tolkien

I’m currently reading an article in Writing Magazine by a novelist called Paula Coston who exchanged letters with JRR Tolkien when she was a child. He critiqued her work and provided writing advice, such as the following:

Verse is…in many ways like games – a skill that can delight both the player and the onlooker (or reader)…The net is just a nuisance; the white lines are silly and unreasonable: all they do is make some lovely hard hit count as ‘out’. But without them? I suppose you could just swipe the ball where you felt inclined…or you could walk up to your opponent and knock her down with your racket..But actually the most beautiful, graceful and determined strokes are made by those who have learned to obey the rules and still hit the ball with force.

Seems like good advice to me!


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