Reply To: Conflict and the End of Fiction

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R.M. Archer

This is fascinating. I’m not especially familiar with the differences between Eastern and Western storytelling, but it was encouraging to read about Eastern structure and be reminded (again) that there’s nothing wrong with my current novel being more focused on the world and the impact of a Conflict on character relationships than on the Conflict itself. There is plenty of conflict–I suspect this book would fall somewhere in between Eastern and Western structure? If such a middle-ground exists–but it’s more for the sake of showing character than pushing the story.

It’s interesting, though… I do think I agree with your assessment that beauty and wonder are valuable, particularly alongside conflict. If you compare these concepts of conflict and beauty and whatnot to the overarching Biblical narrative, it makes perfect sense that we would seek both these things in story. The world is in conflict ever since the fall; our story is, in a sense, defined by conflict; it’s inescapable, whether it be external Conflict (war, argument, etc.) or even just the change we go through in our lives (the conflict of our old self vs. the new being a large part of that). But at the same time, when we acknowledge the realities of God and salvation and a coming paradise Kingdom, we know to look for the order and beauty of things. And I think we instinctively look for them even if we’re not aware of them, since they’re fundamental realities of the world. But as Christian authors, I think we’re in the best position to leverage both conflict and wonder, because we have an understanding of where both come from. We understand that they’re both inescapable facts of life (they’re shared experiences), and we also understand why.

Anyway. Thank you for sharing! This was a really well-written and thought-provoking article. 🙂

Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. Worldbuilding enthusiast. Singer. Fan of classic literat

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