Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Hobbit Post

A couple of times in the last few months, Nathan Bransford (an agent in the US - see his link on the right) has held a competition for people to submit articles to be posted on his blog. Initially, this was to cover a gap while he went away for a week, but the whole thing worked so well he decided to hold the competition again. On a whim, I thought I might submit a post I wrote way back in May - a pretend agent letter from a fictitious agent to JRR Tolkien, rejecting his submission for the Hobbit. I woke up on Saturday morning to find Nathan had selected the article, and all being well, it will appear on his blog on Thursday (late in the evening our time). Please check it out - as well as the other guest blog articles that will be running all this week - if they're as good as they were last time, we're in for a fun ride!


Professor Tolkien is said to have used the agent's letter to light his pipe.

10 comments:

  1. I'm not a big Tolkien fan, but your guest blog entry was lovely!! Good luck with the writing... :)))

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  2. "All that is gold does not glitter", eh? Great post! A good source of pipe fuel :-)

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  3. Your post was brilliant! Very witty ;-).

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  4. I enjoyed your entry. You know, the 'no-female-characters thing never occurred to me in 'The Hobbit', but it did bother me that Bilbo wasn't actually a hero. I think that's why I like TLR better. Frodo does something:) -Kelly Bryson

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  5. I just read your post at Nathan's blog and am amazed at the variety of responses. I suppose it shows that one man's treasure is another man's trash, or vice versa. Anyway, I thought it well-conceived and extremely entertaining. Thanks!

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  6. I'm really glad people enjoyed it so much! I have to say, hats-off to Nathan for being willing to publish something that could be construed as a swipe at agents (which it certainly wasn't intended to be). For me, the real intent of the post was to make the point that different people can view the same piece of writing in wildly different ways - one person might see a list of broken conventions, another a wonderful story. It's important in this business not to take rejection too hard, but to keep trying to write the best book we can.

    I should probably also say - the Hobbit is my favourite book. Up until I read it at age 13 I never guessed a book could so effectively transport its reader on a journey of wonder.

    P.

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  7. After reading your post on Nathan's Blog, I shaved my beard and got a pedicure.
    You did a great job on the post.

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  8. I left a comment over on Nathan's blog. It was more a reaction to the LOTR sexism claims some other people were discussing, so I just wanted to let you know HERE how much I enjoyed your post. It was so funny, and such a witty look at today's publishing market. I loved it. And now I'm off to subscribe to your blog. Thanks!

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  9. Great post, Peter! I'm glad to hear that you actually like THE HOBBIT. I wasn't certain from your post on Nathan's blog... but your "fake" letter is even more intriguing now that I know you like the book. Such knowledge reaffirms your intention - to show how a book can be interpreted differently depending on the agent. No matter how popular or well-received a book might be, there will always be someone who doesn't "get" it. Thanks for giving us unpublished novelists a ray of hope!

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  10. Thanks Robert and Karyn, and thanks to you Laura, you summed it up nicely!

    I do indeed love the hobbit, and at one point I used to read it annually - Maybe that's why I learned all it's "faults" :-)

    We need more faulty books like that.....

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