Showing God Through Fantasy/Made-up Worlds. Help!

Forums Fiction Research and Worldbuilding Showing God Through Fantasy/Made-up Worlds. Help!

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  • #54359
    Andrew Schmidt
    @andrew

      I really like experimenting with different things, such as making up different worlds and all that… but some feedback about how to put God into crazy fiction like this would be nice.

      Since its a made-up world, I usually have something that interprets God; such as the King, the Maker, and so on. I may also rely on symbolism like in The Lord of the Rings, too.

      But the main thing is, how do I write a story with all these cool yet distracting elements and focus on God entirely. Should I just cut them out of the story, or have them in the background…

      I was thinking about using them to point towards Him (because they need a purpose to serve in the story.) But still, I usually have lots of stuff that I fill my stories with… Should I just cut them out?

      What to you prefer. I’m open to options.

      Thanks for the time.

      – Andrew

      ISFP. Artistic, redheaded, nature-loving, crazy writer! The Red Fox - favorite animal of mine in Indiana.

      #54387
      Sarah Inkdragon
      @sarah-inkdragon

      Okay, so here’s my take on things. When I write fantasy, I generally try to make it original as possible(just because I can’t stand reading anymore Alexander Lloyd, J.R.R. Tolkein, and C.S. Lewis rip offs.), and that causes me a whole lot of trouble trying to fit God in there somewhere.

      Let me rephrase that last sentence–it causes me trouble trying to put God in without making the story just another fantasy re-telling of the Bible. @hope-ann(want to drop some advice for us newbies?) does this wonderfully, but it’s not something I think I could pull off as masterfully as she does and still come off as not cliche.

      So, first off, let’s talk about those cool and distracting elements you’ve got. Who doesn’t like cool stuff? I sure do. In my WIP, elves can use energy like chakra in Naruto to walk up walls like Spiderman, people have bloodline affinities to elements and can weild them, and people have giant wolf familiars. I think that’s all pretty cool.

      I’m guessing your main problem is is that you want this be an allegory, or something similar. So you have to fit the message of the Bible in there somewhere, but you don’t want to preach. Am I right? Let’s assume I am.

      First off, when you’re writing fantasy, the thing I like to link to God is the magic system. Magic, in fantasy, can be a God-given gift. So if you have this in your WIP, I’d suggest linking it to him somehow. In my WIP, there are ten bloodline affinities, or ten types of magic. This magic was originally given to the “disciples” of Jesus to use to protect the world against Satan, or Inferi(working name, may be changed) and his armies, the Valra. The magic was passed down through each family over the years, but some used it for evil and terrorized the world, which is why magic grew to be hated and those who held it were killed. (Which is where our story starts.)

      So, that’s how my magic system links to God. If your magic system is man-made(scientific, dark magic, stolen magic[as in, learned from elves or something],etc.) still try to tie God in somehow. Whether He approves of the magic is your choice(as in, does God consider the magic good or bad?), but ultimately, don’t forget to add His ruling to  the matter.

      So, that’s my opinion is you’re talking about magic. If not, I’ll need a little more info on what you mean—-what genre are you writing(I’m guessing it’s fantasy…)? What are a few of these cool elements? Are they magical, or not? Are they considered good or bad by God? If you answer those I might be able to give you a little bit more of what I think. 😉

      Veritas Nunquam Perit. (The truth never perishes.)

      - Seneca

      #54620
      Andrew Schmidt
      @andrew

        @sarah-inkdragon, thanks! Yeah, when I say ‘cool yet distracting elements,’ I mean all sorts of things; whether it be magic, horned-dolphins that spray glittering gold acid, and so on in the crazy world of fantasy. Some of them may be consider bad, the others considered good.

        Basically, what I think it all comes down to is trying to link/point all these things to God.

        Hope that helped.

        ISFP. Artistic, redheaded, nature-loving, crazy writer! The Red Fox - favorite animal of mine in Indiana.

        #55022
        Hope Ann
        @hope-ann

        @sarah-inkdragon @andrew

        Linking the magic system to theology can work well. It is important to have God in your story in some form, because He is the foundation of morality and all the rest. But basically, you want your story itself to point to your theme/message. And everything in your story should forward the plot and that theme as well. So it’s not that horned dolphins in and of themselves point back to God, but if they are in the story then they need to have a point in your story and that’s where your work will need to be done to make everything point to where you need it to.

        The most important step a man can take is always the next one.

        #55041
        Andrew Schmidt
        @andrew

          @hope-ann Okay. Thanks!

          ISFP. Artistic, redheaded, nature-loving, crazy writer! The Red Fox - favorite animal of mine in Indiana.

          #71685
          Bekah
          @bekah

          I’m going to chime in here because I have thought about this A LOT lately. Basically, I’m looking into the following things myself:

          1) WHERE does the magic come from? You can name God anything you like in your world. If there is dark and light magic, I’d say be sure there is a little bit of gray area. How does your system/world tie into…

          2) THEME. The whole point of fiction is to make us FEEL something, to experience something, and that is usually through the characters and themes that  stick with us. What do you want readers to experience or feel? What do you want characters to learn and, by the end, what we readers learn about ourselves along the way? I’d say that the magic or “distractions” are what draw readers to the speculative genre in the first place. Perhaps they are not distractions so much as tools to show us something that you the author want to show us.

           

          3) Is your system biblically sound? By that I mean looking at the many verses where the bible discusses sorcery, divination, and sorcery etc.

          Is your story or theme the display of a particular bible verse? I find that helps! I also find a list of three general themes to help with world building and plot.

          Perhaps going through this list might help! https://www.sfwa.org/2009/08/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/

           

           

          mom. writer. always needs coffee.

          #71773
          Andrew Schmidt
          @andrew

            @beka, okay. Thank you.

            For different stories I  may have entirely different settings… well, sometimes. Whenever I’m doing fantasy/genres-to-that-fantasy, they always seem filled with many different elements, sometimes to beatify the story or for symbolism, or some other purpose, (obviously).

            A particular bible verse would be helpful too (like you said 🙂 ).

            I remember once writing a story about anger, but then, later on, I myself still remembered struggling with anger. I do not usually write stories anymore about stuff I don’t do myself, but try to teach certain stuff which I have learned from experience… Though I don’t do that all the time, if I know some other various theme I want to teach.

            But thanks for your time!

            ISFP. Artistic, redheaded, nature-loving, crazy writer! The Red Fox - favorite animal of mine in Indiana.

            #71779
            Andrew Schmidt
            @andrew

              @bekah

              ISFP. Artistic, redheaded, nature-loving, crazy writer! The Red Fox - favorite animal of mine in Indiana.

              #76094
              Michaela
              @mgtask

                @andrew In the case of the horned dolphins, how about this: you have a Maker (who represents God) makes all kinds of amazing creatures (including the dolphins and any others you come up with). Then, there could be something representing the Fall, where the creatures turn evil (and the dolphins start spraying acid instead of glitter). Another idea: the dolphins represent temptation – they spray glittery-acid, which (like stemptation) looks good until you get burned by it, so to speak.

                "May it be mercy I show for it is mercy I've been shown." - Written to Speak

                #76278
                Andrew Schmidt
                @andrew

                  @mgtask: Thanks! Good ideas. I like how you said the dolphins spraying acid instead of glitter thing. Creative. And cool. And true. Thanks again. 🙂

                  ISFP. Artistic, redheaded, nature-loving, crazy writer! The Red Fox - favorite animal of mine in Indiana.

                  #104331
                  Michaela
                  @mgtask

                    My pleasure! I love brainstorming these sorts of things!

                    "May it be mercy I show for it is mercy I've been shown." - Written to Speak

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