Wednesday, June 21, 2006

SF/Fantasy Blog Tour Day3 - (Magic in Christian Fantasy?)

First off, I may have to delay the announcement planned for Friday. I am waiting on Barnes & Noble to get back to me and I do not want to announce too much. Barnes & Noble out of all the rest, has been awesome to me. They pretty much have paid for the printing costs alone to allow me to do this crazy promotion, so I will wait on them. If anything, on Friday I will explain my last year's journey on trying to get a larger Christian publisher and how it looks like I must push forward alone, more aggressive than I have ever been.

But now, back to the original show at hand...

Part one and two: Magic in Christian Fantasy?
I wasn't going to touch on this subject, but I saw Rebecca LuElla Miller's interview question with Ms. Paul about 'wizard backlash' and decided to. I have to say, I like the term as well. I have talked about dragons in Christian fantasy, but I think the M-word is probably an even a hotter subject with Christians. I like Ms. Paul's explanation on how her wizards are only commanding God created elements. To tie in with my previous posts, I would consider those elements as 'neutral', but how they were used would determine whether they were used for good or bad. I however come from reading mainstream fantasy, most Christians do not.

In The Foundations of Hope Trilogy, I personally stuck with 'gifts' given to the followers of God. It is one way the characters know that although it has been awhile, they have not been forgotten, a.k.a Faith of the Unforgotten. I tried to stick with events I could back up from the Bible, 'sword of fire', lightning, and some others are pushing it though. I almost pulled all the events out totally(there are very few so it wouldn't have been too difficult) because the story can stand on its own without them. The strangest thing however, is that the Christians readers are the ones that really like it because only the faithful have been receiving these special abilities. I also have very anti-fantasy editors, so anything I write has to be able to get past them.

Many others are also starting to use the 'gifts' way around using magic. But it can only be used so many times. I have already used it up, so I will have to think of another option. Although my next series will rely on solely prayer fighting I believe.

And I like Donita's comment that it is only fiction. I am a very scientific based person. Until somebody starts floating books around my head by waving a wand, I pretty much will not worry about magic in the real world. I recently went through a Spiritual Warfare class at church. It was rather interesting to see the different views of how Christians perceive the same events from both sides of the scale. I am kind of guessing those same individuals would also perceive magic in the real world differently as well. Ok, no Spiritual Warfare comments, we can get into that at a later date if you want :-)

So magic in Christian fantasy? This is still one subject that Christian writers will have to tread lightly. The Bible does not clearly state what sorcery is, but now a days, most people's views about sorcery pretty much covers anything magical. So for a Christian writer to touch on anything magical will then be perceived as sorcery, which the Bible clearly states to stay away from. Your thoughts?


Blogger Rebecca said...

Great thoughts here.

As for using one idea (such as gifts) again and again, I do believe it can be done. I'm not saying it *should* be done. But look here for a bit on avoiding cliché: Harry Potter in My Water Closet

9:33 AM  
Blogger Leathel Grody said...

I think the 'gifts' idea will be used more often, but the gifts will start to stretch. I know I did a little stretching. But one lesson I have learned throughout my journey is that you will not, no matter what, please everybody. Even using biblical based gifts in my story, I have had those Christians who do not believe that miracles happen anymore and so have a slight problem with gifts being used(no comments please, just making a point).

BTW, the link does not work.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I agree that there is no way to please everyone. I've had similar experiences as well.

The link, yes, this is what happens when I try to post while my kids are chanting, "We want popsicles!" in the background.

This should be better. I hope. Harry Potter Link

10:14 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

Lethel, I discussed magic at the beginning of my 25 day discussion of Fantasy and a Christian Worldview. Check out the Fantasy link in the sidebar at my site.

I didn't mention ways around the old "magic trap." That's why I was fascinated with Donita's straight ahead approach--we have wizards and they have power.

The thing I liked about her answer was, It's not real. No one cries "Magic" when Pooh talks to Christopher Robin.

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in realism, we forget that fiction is ... well, someone's made up story.


3:06 PM  

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