The Fellowship of Bingo, Trotter, And The Rings

Your first draft is just the beginning. Don’t be afraid just to get ideas on the page. 

J.R.R. Tolkein had some rough (ROUGH) drafts of his Lord of the Rings stories before they were finished. 

Frodo, the main Hobbit in the 3-part series, was originally called Bingo. I know – not so heroic right? He figured it out. 

Worse yet, Strider, the eventual king and overall mysterious, mystical, and amazing character, was originally called Trotter. 

In the words of Michael Bungay Stanier, “Somehow Bingo and Trotter go save the world doesn’t seem like it would have really caught on.” 

Tolkein talked it over with some friends, probably over a pint (or three), took his notes, and got his story together. 

The names may have started out silly, but the books eventually sold reasonably well I hear. 

Write the draft. Get the feedback. Write another. It just takes time, effort, and quality feedback to avoid whatever your Bingo and Trotter are. 

We always need a draft before we can start making edits.

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