Process: The Hobbit, or How I Do What I Do
Today I’ll share a bit about the process of creating a page of the hobbit. The example I’m using is a bit unusual, as it is the Misty Mountain poem; for the prose of the hobbit everything is the same except the ROUGH DRAFT stage.
- ELECTRONIC COPY: When I first started the project I was trying to copy directly out of the book. I soon found, however, that between holding the book open, writing with a quill and the constant re-dipping that is required with a quill, this method was rather too complicated. I have since written out the first chapter of the book into Word, and copy the story directly from the computer.
- MAKING THE QUILL: Honestly this is probably the most tricky part, making a quill is rather finicky. I found this here when I first decided I wanted to use a quill, and have pretty much just followed its instructions. I do both soak the quill in water over-night and temper it in hot sand prior to cutting.
- PAGE LAYOUT: I decided at the beginning of the project on the margins I would use throughout: 2.5mm on the left side (to leave room to bind the book when I’m done); then 2mm in from that 2.5mm mark, 2mm in from the right side of the page, the upper margin is 2mm as well, and I leave 4mm on the bottom.
- LINES: I have made lines that match the hand I’m using at this very handy calligraphy line generator and keep them under the paper while I write.
- ROUGH DRAFT: This step only happens when I am writing out poetry because I want the poem to be as centered on the page as I can make it. With the rough draft I can see how long each line of the poem is and can do a better job centering them on the final copy.
FINAL DRAFT: Then, using my quill and looking up every now and again at the computer, I am able to write out The Hobbit.
THE OTHER SIDE: When I finish one side it’s time to put the margins on the other side! The margins are basically the same except that the 2.5mm “book-binding margin” is on the right instead of the left.
- FINAL TOUCHES: When I finish writing both sides I erase the penciled margins (but I leave the 2.5 “book-binding margin”), and touch up any letters that need it.
- PRESERVATION: When I’ve finished the page I scan it into the computer (so I can share it with you all [and also it’s another way to preserve a copy]). Then I put it into a plastic sleeve in my Hobbit Binder!
- NUMBERING: I do plan on numbering all the pages, but as I plan also on putting in Tolkien’s originally illustrations I am going to hold off on the numbering until I finish the book.
Well I think that pretty much covers it all. If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below!