Find us on Google+

Monday, July 30, 2012

Why I Waste Time Writing Stories

Clive Staples Lewis was born in Ireland and trained at Oxford, but one of the most valuable lessons he learned came from the far north. It was in his love and pursuit of Norse legend (then in the Greek and Irish mythology), that he learned how to sway the world.

Lewis wrote academic, logical, thoughtful books. Mere Christianity, The Problem of Pain and The Great Divorce are all excellent. His well-reasoned approach fit nicely in the culture of scholarship. But that's not why he's so well loved today.

It's the stories.

"Jack" Lewis created a new world for us to explore. Narnia invited us to think, play and wonder at talking animals, white witches and the struggle between good and evil. It's in this fresh, vibrant world that Lewis was able to speak truth that bypassed logic and engaged our hearts.

Story does that. It's always done that. That's why our mythic tales are so powerful and repeated. There are only a few basic plots in all of fiction, but we don't get tired of them. It's because we use them to explore ourselves and our world. We play in another realm to learn more about our own.

In some small way, that's what I'm doing with my novel World Song. It's one of the most common plots - a young boy leaves home, where he's neglected and abused, to find his power and destiny is greater than he'd ever imagined.

But within that story I'm working to explore faith, reason, traditionalism and the basis of all our beliefs.

Sometimes we need to escape our world so we can see it more clearly.

No comments: