Discerning Mythopoeic Design in Creative Nonfiction

By S. Dorman A few years after my beginning efforts at formal creative nonfiction, a high school English teacher informed me that, categorically, there was no creative nonfiction. I supposed he meant nonfiction with fiction sifted into it. I did not argue. However, one may use the techniques of novelists in a totally factual way.…

Father Word

What is it about that word? Aroostook. The County, they call it here in Maine. A word is a tiny thing, a written word. It is smaller than a leaf—a word printed on a page. Rarely as big as a blade of grass. Don’t even bother comparing its size to a tree. And yet…. Words…

If J.R.R. Tolkien liked to write satire…

If J.R.R. Tolkien liked to write satire, the satire he wrote was secured in what he loved. He loved languages, of course, importantly. But I’m not learned enough to say if his languages are in anyway satirical. I can say however that he employed his love of language in his satires. What did he love…

Mapping JRRT Fan Fiction

  How best to go about telling a Bildungsroman for the son of Arathorn II, for a youth who would become the Good King Elessar? Achieving qualities Tolkien so carefully evoked in his great cosmology and Lord of the Rings stories, the landscape, map, and texts of Middle-earth provide answers, addressing formal and structural concerns…

Literary Dark Device

Article by S. Dorman Tevildo Prince of Cats was the first imaginative incarnation of Sauron the Dark Lord, whose power was destroyed in the unmaking of his Ring in the Third Age of Middle-earth. As many know, the process of writing is drafting and redrafting, a sort of making and remaking. An early incarnation of…

‘The Valley Is Jolly!’

This intriguing article is by S. Dorman The supporting characters mentioned in this piece are wrong. But are they wrong for their stories? I’ve talked before about wrong characters and how they can be wrong about particular things, or wrong overall in a peculiar way. This piece is a variation, or perhaps further explication, of…

High Diction

Article by S.Dorman   Author and journalist John Garth taught a course at Signum University on Tolkien’s War-time experience and its influence on language and creativity. J.R.R. Tolkien seems always to have been a lover of high diction, in communion with his love of philology and making languages, but Mr. Garth points out that Tolkien’s…

Article by S. Dorman   Is there a right—or wrong—way to fictionalize C.S. Lewis? I cannot say the question was considered when I began tearing into the materials for Fantastic Travelogue, a speculative fiction in which C.S. Lewis and Mark Twain talk things over in the hereafter. Fictionalizing questions that I came to later—in order…