Fad Fiction


Author John DeWitt has good marketing instincts; his project Opal Stone Trilogy Project is attempting to cash in on the Hobbit fervor that is sure to surface over the next few weeks. DeWitt is writing a trilogy of e-books that will chronicle the history of Sting, Bilbo Baggins’ legendary dagger.

Initially I was going to lampoon DeWitt for his pitch video, which was a video of him stroking his two little dogs and talking into the camera in a vague way about the project, but as you can see, he’s replaced it with this masterpiece:

So I was forced to dig a little deeper. I didn’t have to dig very deep. The first sentence on the project page amazes:

When the animated version of The Hobbit came out in the 1970s I was amazed.

Hmm…he does realizes it was a book first, right? Either way, DeWitt is clearly very excited about this project:

Set in Middle Earth, The Opal Stone Trilogy includes a dwarf Prince, an elf Princess and her Master of Arms as well as wizards, cannibalistic witches, dragons, giants and more!

And if you were worried about writer’s block preventing the completion of this project, worry not:

I have no problem coming up with content for the story. I even went so far as to read a book about how JK Rawlings develped her characters in the Harry Potter juggernaut.

Whew. That’s a relief.

What is a worry, however, are DeWitt’s editing skills. Check the first sentence on his blog:

6,000 years before the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins came across the magical sword, Sting.

Is that before The Hobbit the book or the animated movie? Or is this just a punctuation error? I’m pretty sure there’s just a missing comma or two, but on first read I found myself wondering whether Bilbo was 6000 years old when he discovered Sting. And if there are commas misplaced, then that would make this a sentence fragment: not a good way to start.

DeWitt clearly has an interesting idea for a project, but his video replacement, the Updates which suggest that he did work on the cover art for the book after launching the Kickstarter project, and the sentence errors suggest that he hasn’t put enough time into this yet: This shit is half-baked and not ready for primetime Kickstarter just yet.

He’s not totally unaware, though; he recognizes some of the limitations he faces:

My wife thinks I should just do the illustrations but, since I want to have it all finished before Christmas, I have serious time constraints.

Yes, some serious time constraints indeed.


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