How shall I start this post? How about this book is fabulous, interesting, encouraging and a must read for Inkling fans and writers? Yes, let’s start there!
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings met each week to read and discuss each other’s work-in-progress, offering both encouragement and blistering critique. How did these conversations shape the books they were writing? How does creative collaboration enhance individual talent? And what can we learn from their example?
Featuring full-page illustrations by James A. Owen, Bandersnatch offers an inside look at the Inklings of Oxford, and a seat at their table at the Eagle and Child pub. It shows how encouragement and criticism made all the difference in The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and dozens of other books written by the members of their circle. You’ll learn what made these writers tick, and more: inspired by their example, you’ll discover how collaboration can help your own creative process and lead to genius breakthroughs in whatever work you do.
I’m going to continue by saying I absolutely loved this book. This is a fabulous read for Inklings fans as well as writers. Let me get back to the Inklings part. The insiders look into the key members of the Inklings is fascinating to read (like what Tolkien and Lewis thought of each other’s works). I really enjoyed learning more about how they thought, what they liked, etc and how that all played a role in the ways they critiqued. How they meet, how the group grew and how they encouraged and critiqued each other is a lesson anyone can use (no matter the industry they work). I loved that this book was written for all readers and reminds readers why we love story in the first place.
There are also key takeaways of what it looks like to collaborate. Praise and criticism are necessary because they help you grow as a writer. I enjoyed all of it, but especially enjoyed reading Tolkien and Lewis’ responses and encouragement to both praise and criticism. I’m sure that has to do with the fact that I’m a bit of a “fan” of the two, but no matter – this book is a must read for collaborators!
The Inklings were by no means a perfect group, not always delivering criticism with perfection or anything like that, but they worked through it and truly everyone was a better writer because of it.
Oh and y’all she’s met and talked with Christopher Tolkien. Wha???
Have you had the chance to study or learn from some of your favorite authors?
(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)