Writing About Writing – Two

I Have Faith

I am forging a template for these posts based on how I made the first one. It turns out that I will probably continue to share some things about myself and what is going on in my life and then get into a specific issue I’m having with writing.

I have been struggling the last few days with how to proceed with the three, actually four, projects that I am working on. I know what I want to write, but I don’t know how to write it or how comfortable I feel writing it.

As an aside, I want to pat myself on the back for not writing about the shooting in Texas and how some people have reacted to the fact that it was in a church and people who believe in a supreme Divine entity were victims of a cruel, selfish person. I am done with that conversation for now.

Getting back on track, I believe in the validity of the Torah and the Bible as a whole. I take its word seriously and engage in study of it 5 to 7 days a week, if I’m going to be honest about it. I teach my children about the Ancient of Days and seek to foster a connection between myself, my family and Him. I think it’s fairly common knowledge that there is, according to the Bible, only One and that no other gods should be acknowledged or worshipped. I agree with that and am happy to follow along. Here is my issue: I’m writing a fantasy novel and I think I want there to be more than one god in it. At first blush, it rings sacrilegious to me and I don’t like that.

Creating the Creators

The concept of having multiple gods in a fantasy story just kind of feels natural to me. I’ve never read Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit or much of any other classical fantasy, which may be an issue if I am indeed writing a fantasy novel. Maybe I will before this is all over, but I feel that there is some advantage in me not absorbing all these ideas about what a fantasy world should be from other authors and other works that are deemed to be tent poles or standards of the genre. I don’t want to have dwarves or elves or goblins in my fantasy story. All of those show up in a lot of fantasy stories. Why should I show them deference or the respect of having them in my work when I can instead create my own Fantastical creatures and peoples? Isn’t it more of an honor to Tolkien and other fantasy writers for me to create my own fantasy world that is imaginative and inventive? I think so and that is what I am going to do. I say all that because, to me it seems that Elvin magic comes from some sort of minor gods in The Lord of the Rings movies. They make very vague mentions of the light of this or that star and the magic or power of a star can be stored in a gym of some sort. Those sorts of things aren’t easily explained in a movie when there is so much else to get to and I can understand why those things were skipped, so I may have a totally incorrect interpretation of how things work in Middle Earth, but I am working with what I have. Another example of magic and mystical energies being tied to gods from fantasy is in the Legend of Zelda games. I know for a fact from the one and a half I have played that in the Zelda games, Link travels to different temples or holy sites and is often able to acquire power from fairies or goddesses there. None of the mechanics of this are really explained, but the game doesn’t really need to go into all the lore. The player only cares about getting the power up and being able to advance through the next bit of the game, and that’s okay. Being on the other side, I have encountered a quandary. How did those goddesses get their power to bequeath to the heroes? If these goddesses are members of a Pantheon, how did all of creation come into existence? My natural inclination, is to turn back to my faith and say that there was the One who, in the beginning, created everything. That puts me back to a place of not knowing what to do or how to proceed.

Putting all of this into words, has helped to push me in a certain direction that I will explore soon. It’s a compromise of sorts: what if the gods featured in my fantasy novel are all emanations of a single, central deity? Some Theologies understand angels as being emanations of the Divine and not entities unto themselves. Maybe I should take my lead from that school of thought. Perhaps I am just comfortable with that because it is so close to the mainstream. I wonder if I should go a little further than that, or if I might want to as I continue to think this over. It also occurs to me that I need to determine a system or mechanism by which power is distributed from the central source through these higher beings.

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