Writing with Hobbits
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Writing with Hobbits

(2 customer reviews)


Author and professor Jonathan Rogers of Grammar for Writers teaches high school students how to improve their own creative writing by examining Tolkien’s literary elements in The Hobbit.

Part of the Creative Writing with Jonathan Rogers series. This product is only available in a streaming digital format.

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Writing with Hobbits instructs students in creative writing through compelling lectures. Jonathan Rogers will guide you on a journey through The Hobbit to learn how to create distinct character voices from Gollum’s grammatical peculiarities, observe how a single scene sets up and solves plot puzzles, and incorporate other genres—like travel writing—into your fiction. Dr. Rogers has written The Wilderking Trilogy, The World According to Narnia, and other books.

Writing with Hobbits is part of the new series Creative Writing Through Literature. Purchase the whole series or explore one of the lecture sets for your homeschool:

License: This product is licensed for use by one family. For group, co-op, or school use, each family will need to purchase a copy or purchase licenses for each student. For more information, visit our group license page.

Additional information




, ,


Jonathan Rogers



Lesson Length

about 24 minutes



Addl Mtls

Supplemental Writing Exercises (PDF)


6 hrs 51 minutes


  1. Scene-Setting and the Inciting Incident (33:25)
  2. Dialogue (22:22)
  3. Travel Writing (23:36)
  4. Narration and Point of View (22:42)
  5. Grammar and Sentence Structure (19:17)
  6. Creating Distinct Voices (15:15)
  7. Some Thoughts About Plot (21:54)
  8. Freytag’s Pyramid (19:43)
  9. Character Development (28:52)
  10. Creating Problems, Solving Problems (34:16)
  11. Managing the Reader’s Attention (20:54)
  12. Choosing to Tell Instead of Show (29:38)
  13. Conversational Dynamics (Part 1) (23:00)
  14. Conversational Dynamics (Part 2) (18:22)
  15. Some Thoughts About Description (24:10)
  16. From Rising Action to Crisis (24:07)
  17. Disordered Loves, Reordered Loves (30:07)

Sample Lessons

Sample Exercises

Writing Exercise #1

It is not unusual for external, non-character-driven events to happen to the characters in a story. But a good story can’t be driven only by external events. It’s not enough to have things “happen to” your characters. Your reader always wants to know  what the characters are going to do—how they will exert their wills, pursue their desires, alleviate their fears. That is the essence of character-driven action.

For this lesson’s writing exercise, you will practice mixing external action with character-driven action. Write a scene in which two characters experience the same external event, but act very differently in response to that event.

Writing Exercise #2

Write a scene in which dialogue leads directly to physical action.

2 reviews for Writing with Hobbits

  1. danielle.nesteby

    My 12th-grade son and 10th-grade daughter just finished this course, and I watched along with them. We all loved it! There are so many ways you could adapt this course. We actually started with The Wardrobe course. In that course, we started off doing all the writing assignments, towards the end we started doing only about 1 in 4, only because we wanted to speed up the course so we could finish The Hobbits course this year as well. For us, this was a supplement to our other English course, which is why we didn’t have time for everything, but with all four in the series, it could easily be an amazing 1-credit course. Not only do we get to learn fun writing tips, but we also got some amazing insight and new appreciation for two of our favorite books. Well done!

  2. Brandy

    We’ve been through all of the Creative Writing with Jonathan Rogers series, and each course offers something special. One of the most helpful aspects of Writing with Hobbitses was learning to move from distant narration to close narration (not to mention learning about the strange grammar construction of Gollum). As we read stories together as a family, we’re starting to recognize many of the techniques used in each author’s writing. And it’s causing us to love literature even more! Read more about our experience with this course at https://www.halfahundredacrewood.com/writing-through-the-wardrobe-writing-with-hobbits/

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