EXTENDED EDITION: J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Spar Over Christianity
Namárië! Today I have the first in a new series I’m calling “Extended Editions.”
“Extended Editions” is a new monthly feature I’m trying out where I add some behind the scenes details of how I came up with the idea for a post and share some details about the process of writing it! These “Extended Edition” posts will be, appropriately, for Extended Edition subscribers and mainly focus on the humor pieces in my LOLS of The Rings section of the newsletter.
Today I’m sending out a preview to everyone, so enjoy this peek behind-the-scenes at the process for coming up with this week’s post! In the future this will only go out via email to paid subscribers and I’ll include links to it in my monthly roundups for everyone else.
For this week’s newsletter, I knew when I sat down to write that I wanted to do another “Lewis versus Tolkien” sketch. I try to always plan out what my focus will be for the week’s newsletter before I sit down at the keyboard so that I can just dive in and not have to either come up with a whole new idea on the spot or decide either which draft or previous idea to execute.
It was time for a post that focused more on the lighter, humorous side of things and I’ve had this Tolkien/Lewis idea plus another Tolkien/Lewis one in the drafts for some time. However, this one was already more fully fleshed out. For the other one, basically all I have is the idea: I’m not quite sure about which direction to take it in and I fairly recently discussed the topic of that one in a paid subscriber essay, so best to let it marinate for a while.
The genesis of this week’s Tolkien versus Lewis sketch came grew out of the mental picture of what Tolkien’s reaction might have been when he found out that Lewis was becoming Anglican, not Catholic. I knew that would be the point that this one built towards and so I’d already laid it out that it would start with them discussing Lewis’ conversion and proceed through Tolkien’s gradual realization that Lewis had become Christian but not become Catholic. But though I’d written an outline and even some of the dialogue, Tolkien’s third, all-caps question (“WHICH CATHOLIC CHURCH WILL YOU BE ATTENDING??”) is as far as I’d gotten prior to this week.
So I had a sketch with a start and a middle but still in need of a punchline. Where to go from here?
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Jokien with Tolkien to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.