But most important of all, Bilbo led John Ronald over the Misty Mountains,
through the Mirkwood Forest,
and across the Long Lake to the base of the Lonely Mountain.
~ Caroline McAlister: John Ronald’s Dragons. Illustrated by Eliza Wheeler.
Early in 1915 he turned back to his original Earendel verses and began to work their theme into a larger story. He had shown the original Earendel lines to G.B.Smith, who hat said that he liked them but asked what they were really about. Tolkien had replied: ‘I don’t know. I’ll try to find out.’ Not try to invent: TRY TO FIND OUT. He did not see himself as an inventor of story but as a discoverer of legend.
~ Humphrey Carpenter: J.R.R. Tolkien. A Biography.
I think the above quoted children’s picture book biography of J. R. R. Tolkien illustrates rather well what Carpenter points out concerning Tolkien’s attitude towards “story writing”.
Incidentally, I recommend this wonderful children’s book for all who wish to introduce their children to the author and to the genre of biography.