Creation of Secondary Belief
This was the type of research, speculation and interpretation I engaged in while writing my own story about Bilbo, Frodo and sexuality in the Shire. The only thing I am reasonably certain of is that I have only scraped the surface of what is there to be explored. The question remains as to whether I have been able to translate facts and speculation into a compelling story – only the readers can decide that.
However, as an exercise in what goes into creating a credible world, this was an amazing experience. Things that I had originally sketched and outlined as part of the story could not be included because they simply could not exist in this world, and I am certain the story is stronger because of it. Other elements, such as the ghostly influence of the Old Took, took on greater importance and have led to very fruitful speculation that appear in subsequent stories. What was most enlightening was to discover how writing within Tolkien’s own details and hints did not restrain me from telling the story I wished to tell. Accepting the limitations of his world is a spur to creativity, not a constraint upon it. I urge other fanfiction writers to reflect carefully upon verisimilitude in their slash JRRT writing – it can be done, and you may just write a better story because of it.
I learned a good deal about extraordinary care Tolkien took in constructing this world, and can only wonder at the details that never made it to paper, existing only in his amazing imagination. His Secondary World truly is “elvish craft”, inspiring Secondary Belief yet again in this reader. I hope that my readers have as much enjoyment reading Legacy as I had in writing it.