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Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Goodness

I mention all the time how much I love Tolkien. It's a lifelong love affair with Middle-Earth, and since Peter Jackson started making movie adaptations thirteen years ago, Tolkien's works have been synonymous with the Christmas season. Yesterday was the perfect rainy day to make the trek to the theater and see the last Hobbit installment. I wish, in a lot of ways, that this last jewel in the crown had been more true to the book, but overall, I loved it. And thankfully, the 3D glasses hid the fact that I was crying for the last twenty minutes of the movie. Martin Freeman was, as always, wonderful.

Tolkien is my muse. I say that often. He's one of the great influences on my writing, and the thing about great influences - they exert their power in subtle ways that we don't always notice at first glance. From Tolkien, I will always take away the need for a certain inherent goodness in our heroes. Characters can be interesting, can be dynamic, can be entertaining, but it's that thin streak of something good and loyal and loving that boosts them over the edge, and makes them lovable. Even if that goodness isn't always visible at first glance.

A great lesson, and a reminder for me, as I set out to write Michael and Holly's story. It's not about redemption, for them, but about bringing out that goodness. It's about giving a character a chance to shine, no matter who or what he is.

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