I was submitting a writing sample today and thought I’d put it up here. The example needed to be about a book that I would highly recommend. Although being a prolific fantasy reader and now writing a fantasy novel, I knew the genre I’d pick from would be fantasy – but I didn’t know exactly which book.
I found myself going to book series instead of individual books; “Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter,” etc. But I did eventually singled out one book, a classic: “The Hobbit,” by JRR Tolkien.
Here is the writing I submitted (note that I had to keep it within 150-200 words, which came in right at 200!):
Regardless of age and reading preference, there are some requisite fantasy authors whose stories, considered classics, are a must-read at any age. One among them is JRR Tolkien. His book, “The Hobbit,” is a great introduction not only into the mind of this fantastically creative author but into the genre of fantasy itself.
Fantasy is a genre that elicits imaginings of mystical creatures lurking in dark shadows, of sweeping landscapes of unknown origins, and of protagonists that will begin their journey not understanding to what depths their resolves, beliefs, and inner cores will be tested. Often the main character is thrown or stumbles into the unfolding quest.
In “The Hobbit,” JRR Tolkien takes a hobbit, Bilbo, who is living a quietly contented existence in his community, The Shire and throws him into a journey that he initially resists. But a wizard, Gandolf, has other ideas. Thus, begins a beautiful tale of hardship, friendship, and the ever-existing fight of good vs. evil.
What singles out JRR Tolkien’s books, including “The Hobbit,” is how the story unfolds lyrically. His writing is uniquely gifted with poetic and linguistic prowess. Yet even with its sophistication can be read by both young and not-so-young alike.