Creation Is the Crux


Time and again the Bible makes reference to God creating the world. Psalm 124: 8 is an example:

Our help is in the name of the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

It seems to me that denying creation immediately removes God from His throne. At best he would be co-equal with the universe, but not over it.

As Creator, God is clearly identified as transcendent. Moreover, His ownership of all is beyond dispute, since clearly what is made belongs to He who made it.

So is it any wonder that the very fact of creation has come under attack in the last couple hundred years? Think about it. If you want to cut down a tree, you don’t start with the top most branches. You slice away at the base, and if you really want to kill it, you go after the roots.

In essence this attack on creation is clear evidence that we are involved in a good-versus-evil struggle.

With no clear answer for the questions of life (why am I here, how do I know what is right and wrong, what will happen to me after, do I make a difference), those opposed to God nevertheless declared Him dead or irrelevant, and certainly not enthroned in the heavens. He is, to them, a fantasy, conjured up by poor fools too ignorant or to scared to read a science book.

But those opposed to God reach such conclusions without any basis. They dismiss God as Creator because they think life more likely came about because of spontaneous combustion and a few trillion years of positive change, though science says the universe has a propensity to destabilize, not organize.

Never mind that such belief leaves Mankind without a moral compass, without purpose, and without a destiny.

In other words, the silliness put out for people to believe in opposition to creation provides no answers to the key philosophical questions. Instead, by denying God His rightful place and stripping Man of the answers to the questions of life, this denial of creation creates a void.

No God on His throne. No meaning to life.

But voids, like vacuums, seem to fill of necessity. Of late, it seems that Man has stepped up to be his own god. After all, no one made him. He simply came about, then figured it out. And meaning? To be happy and die with the most toys.

Who would choose such a view of life over that provided by the Bible: that Man is made in the image of God, loved by Him to the point that He satisfied His own requirements, paying for our sin, to establish an unending kinship with us. We who know His Son as Savior have eternal significance and enduring security. Here and now we enjoy the love of our Creator who identifies Himself as our Father and we have the delight of community with our brothers and sisters of like mind. Add to that the hope we have of everlasting life in His presence.

Two views. On the one hand, belief that we came from nothing, with no purpose, and we’re going nowhere. On the other, the belief that we have been created for communion, assigned a mission, and will live forever. The two worldviews are stark, stark contrasts.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm  Comments (15)  
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Knee Deep in Books


I got four books in the mail this past week. Four. Well, some came via Fed Ex, so “mail” isn’t quite appropriate. And of course, I bought two yesterday on my Writer’s Field Trip. 😀 Add to this the fact that I still have out a book from my church library.

The thing is, I’m not a fast reader. Now if I set aside my other work and started in on all these books, maybe just maybe I could get through them in a timely fashion. Fortunately I have several weeks for most. The hardest for me are the books I have no deadline to read. I mean, they keep getting moved off the top of the To Be Read pile.

What’s a slow reader to do?

Honestly, this is a new experience for me. Before I became a writer, I usually devoured books, but then I only read fiction during the summer when I wasn’t teaching and I could stay up late at night without suffering serious repercussions.

Someone once described readers as nibblers or gulpers. I always described myself as a gulper because once I got caught in a fictive world, I didn’t want to leave it. But now I find myself caught less and less frequently, and of all the strange things, I find myself content to be a nibbler.

Except nibbling may not get all my books read on time!

The thing is, I still long to be caught in that rich, real world created by imagination—mine working with the author’s. Once in a while I still am caught, not wrestled-to-the-ground-in-an-inescapable-grip caught, but snagged a bit, and I turn into a gulper. I just come up for air a lot sooner than I used to.

I can’t help but wonder if becoming a writer hasn’t given me a choosier palate, so I’m not as ready to gulp as I once was.

Somehow, in the next couple weeks I have to at least find the bottom of the short stack—before more books start to arrive again.

Published in: on January 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm  Comments (1)  
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A Writer’s Field Trip


archiveshpOff we went, a good friend and I, up the 605 Freeway, then east on the 210 until we reached Pasadena. Our destination? Two different independent bookstores of some note. The one, I discovered, was selected by Publisher’s Weekly as the Independent bookseller of the year for 2008. The other identifies itself as “an independent, theological bookseller that carries over 75,000 new and used theological books.”

Archives Bookshop north of the freeway. Vroman’s Bookstore south.

What an experience of contrasts.

Vroman’s has been in business since 1894 and is apparently going strong. In fact they have opened up another location for textbooks and one for cards and gifts. They’ve built a reputation as a happening place, daily offering speaking and booksigning opportunities to authors. In fact, they have a special location upstairs, with chairs set up, a table for sales, and a table and chair and mic for the author to use.

It’s a beautiful store, with a delightful patio, complete with colorful, artistically positioned tiles, places to sit outside, and well-cultivated plants. There are lots of books in lots of categories—fiction and non-fiction alike.

Speculative fiction was prominent, though the section was called Science Fiction, with a small shelf label of “Horror” displayed here and there. I didn’t see any section for fantasy, though there were some well-known fantasies on the shelves.

Off in a separate room away from most of the other books was a shelf identified as Religion. One shelf carried books obviously dealing with Christianity, though I didn’t recognize a single author. Not one. Most, if not all of these, were non-fiction. About half were books dealing with Catholicism. The next shelf had books labeled Eastern Orthodox. Beside that were selves containing works identified as dealing with Judaism, Islam, Eastern Mysticism. I wondered if perhaps the other side of the shelf held the fiction. No. There was a section for Astrology, the Occult, and Inspirational, though the books in the latter section didn’t seem to necessarily have anything to do with the spiritual.

Keep in mind, this is Vroman’s:

    Vroman’s Bookstore | Publishers Weekly Bookseller Of The Year 2008

Fortunately we had just come from Archives, the theological bookseller. What a contrast. It’s a store pastors in particular would love. Lots of books on the Bible, Old and New Testaments. Lots more commentaries. Whole encyclopedia-like series of commentaries. Biographies. A section on the Puritan writings. Books on preaching and on ministry. And a small, very small section on literature, where C. S. Lewis dominated.

The beauty of the store, however, is the discount section and the used-book section, just off the parking lot. In this storage-like shed, used books are a dollar a piece. In these sections, there’s quite a variety. There was a Richard Russo novel, hardback, I almost bought, but then I thought how I didn’t really want to own that book and how I could get it from the library for free, so I put it back. There were several others like that, but I did end up getting one volume on the history of protestantism that looks quite thorough. A good resource, I hope. For a dollar. 😉

I also bought Lewis’s The Great Divorce. I should have added a copy of Mere Christianity, but I thought I already owned it. Turns out I don’t.

Anyway, the experiences in the two bookstores were quite different because the books were quite different. One virtually godless. The other God-centric. And we wonder why there seems to be a cultural rift in society.

Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm  Comments (2)  
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Truth and Error – When Is a Lie a Lie?


Just something I’m thinking about. When is a lie a lie? I mean, what if a person has a strongly held belief based on information someone gave them and they pass it along, but in fact it isn’t true. Has that person lied?

If a person says one thing, but his actions don’t match the words, is that a lie?

Let me give you a for instance. Let’s say Joanna Doe says she received hateful emails in response to an article she wrote, and so she made a policy not to respond to any of those. But you wrote her an email that was not hateful. Critical of her article’s content, yes, but in no way a personal attack and certainly nothing hateful, yet she did not answer your email. Is she lying?

Or are these people simply making a generalization and perhaps a mistake? Maybe Joanna simply deleted your email before formulating her policy, then forgot when she made the blanket statement that she did not respond to hateful emails.

And the person who strongly believes what someone else told him, isn’t intentionally misleading others. But is he responsible before God for the accuracy of his information?

I tend to think, in a situation that would show someone else in a negative light, the person is responsible before God for the accuracy of his information. Doesn’t wisdom dictate a forbearing spirit? Shouldn’t we be more inclined to think well of people than evil?

Of course, that means that I should also not jump to the conclusion that others are lying when they say things I know to be factually untrue. (And would I be lying to say that I know they are lying when they voice their inaccurate statements? 😮 )

Maybe the secret is for me not to worry about whether someone else is lying or not. Maybe I need only to focus on my own words.

But I can’t help but wonder …

Published in: on January 27, 2009 at 11:22 am  Comments (6)  

Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2009


Christian Writer's Market Guide 2009I have the privilege of participating in a blog tour for the prestigious Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2009 (compiled by Sally Stuart and published by WaterBrook Press), the indispensable tool for the serious writer aiming for publication with Christian periodicals or publishing companies.

Why indispensable? One look at the table of contents answers that question. Inside this book is a list of book publishers categorized by the topics they say they’re looking for, followed by an alphabetical list with important details: contact information, how many titles they publish in a year, denominational affiliation, what percent of their books are from first-time authors, whether they accept work through agents or require such, whether they accept simultaneous submissions, what their current needs are, any preference on length, information about advances and royalties, special tips, and more.

This kind of information is necessary for an author when trying to determine which publisher to contact.

But there’s more. Following a listing of subsidy publishers is a list of distributors and a market analysis of books. Then the Periodicals section begins. Organized in the same way, this begins with a topical listing of periodicals, so for example, an author wanting to write about child rearing can look under the “Parenting” section for publications open to such articles. That listing is followed by an alphabetical list of periodicals with the important detail information and a market analysis.

This year, those sections take up eighty percent of the book. The final twenty percent includes greeting card/gift/specialty markets, helps for writers (including a list of agents, contests, and conferences), and a glossary and index.

At first glance, this 2009 edition seems to be a slimmed down version of the Christian Writers’ Market Guide since it is nearly one hundred pages shorter than last year’s issue. But the table of contents explains this, too. The final section—Resources for Writers—is exclusively on the accompanying CD. Of course the entire book is also on the CD, so a writer can search with ease on the computer for a particular topic, publisher, denomination, editor, or whatever else might be of interest.

At first I wondered about putting the Resources section exclusively on CD. But there are some practical reasons this works. First, the Market Guide itself was getting to be a rather hefty book. Now it is a trimmer, more user-friendly version. In addition, I would suppose this change helps to keep costs down while allowing for an expansion of the Resources section. And the section is growing. There are new categories and new listings. Like this one for instance:

+LATEST IN SPEC. A newsletter for Christian speculative fiction writers wishing to promote their most recent news, including book signings, speaking or teaching engagements, interviews, book reviews, Web chats, podcasts, contests, awards, and more. E-mail: rebeccaluellamiller at [rest of address removed]. Website: http://latestinspec.org. 😉

No review would be complete without an eye on what might be better, so I’ll mention two things. I would like to see a Table of Contents on the Resources CD. As it was, I had to refer to the book’s Table of Contents to know what I might find in the Resources section. I did discover that I could use the Navigation Pane in Word to … well, navigate through the categories, but I would still recommend including a Table of Contents.

A second thing I would recommend is an indication in the Topical Listing of Periodicals which of the paying markets are for Webzines (which generally pay only a token fee) and which are for print magazines (which might pay considerably more). I know that additional codes can get unwieldy, but if the “paying market” indicator is to be useful for freelancers, I think some differentiation is needed.

That’s it. Christian Writers’ Market Guide 2009 is a wonderful resource, an indispensable tool.

By the way, Sally Stuart’s blog, the Christian Writers’ Marketplace, gives you updates throughout the year, so no longer is a print resource out of date as soon as it hits the shelves.

And as a second by the way, Sally Stuart will be answering marketing questions this Wednesday, Janaury 28, 2009, on Terry Whalin’s LIVE telewebcast at 4 p.m. PDT / 7:00 p.m. EDT (I learned that at her blog 😀 ).

Published in: on January 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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A Few More Thoughts on Darkness


We had such a great discussion during the blog tour about what constitutes “too dark” when it comes to fiction. A few comments used Scripture to buoy an argument, though one person mentioned that the Bible is not fiction and therefore operates with a different set of rules.

In other words, we can’t use the idea that the Bible didn’t graphically show evil as an indicator that our fiction shouldn’t graphically show evil. The Bible wasn’t written using “fiction techniques.” It doesn’t follow fictional rules of dialogue, for example, so fiction writers shouldn’t use the Bible and its treatment of evil as a model. I hope I have expressed those views accurately.

The point was a good one I thought. Anyway, the comment got me to thinking about evil in the Bible. The Psalms are full of reflection on evildoers and the wicked. In some, the Psalmist asks God why the wicked prosper. In others the godly are admonished to stay clear of the wicked. David wrote a good deal about the wicked, often pleading with God to to save him from the wicked. But are these Psalms dark?

I don’t think so. As a general rule, even Psalms that start out bemoaning difficult circumstances end up praising God. Sure, the writers question and confess and call for God’s judgment, but that’s the thing. God is present in these Psalms. He is the one the writer is addressing or He is the Saving Hand who receives praise in the end.

So the question. Are any books of the Bible really dark?

I can think of one. It’s the book whose theme is, Everyone did what was right in his own eyes, with They did evil in the sight of the Lord as the counter melody. This is a dark, dark message. And the book illustrates it with stories about betrayal and murder, gang rape, civil war, idolatry, broken vows, kidnapping, prostitution, vandalism, torture.

Yes, all in one book of the Bible—Judges. It’s the darkest one, as far as I’m concerned. God does show up, time and time again, to provide a judge who will rescue His people, but just as often His people revert to their wicked ways.

And that is the human condition. Seems to me we must acknowledge that before we can grasp our need for our Redeemer-King.

That’s not to say every work of fiction needs to include betrayal and murder, gang rape, civil war, idolatry, broken vows, kidnapping, prostitution, vandalism, and torture. 😉

Published in: on January 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm  Comments (3)  
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Who Is this King of Glory?


While the world swooned at the feet of our new President, I was immersed in a wonderful blog tour, but the national events didn’t slide by unnoticed. How could they, with every news broadcast filled with coverage of the events surrounding the inauguration, and nearly every other program preempted by news broadcasts?

The thing that struck me most was the way the media referred to President Obama in king-like terms. Comparisons were made, not for the first time, to President Kennedy and his wife Jackie, and some may remember that Washington during his “reign” was dubbed Camelot.

I understand. People long for a savior, and those who don’t have one are constantly on the search. Maybe this person, this program, this ideology, this system, this organization will be what I long for.

No. There is only One who satisfies.

From Psalm 24.

    The earth is the LORD’s and all it contains,
    The world, and those who dwell in it.
    For He has founded it upon the seas,
    And established it upon the rivers …
    Lift up your heads, O gate,
    And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
    That the King of glory may come in!
    Who is the King of glory?
    The LORD strong and mighty,
    The LORD mighty in battle.
    Lift up your heads, O gates,
    And lift them up, O ancient doors,
    That the King of glory may come in!
    Who is this King of glory?
    The LORD of hosts,
    He is the King of glory.
Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm  Comments (7)  
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CSFF Blog Tour – The Book of Names, Part 3


theland2

Karac Tor—a place of wisdom and terror, magic, healing and darkness. Here, Aion, the Champion of Olfadr-Across-the-Sea, established the Three Holy Orders: Black, Gray and White Abbeys. He appointed the Three Taines, as well—festivals of Land, Fire and Water—to preserve the people and establish virtue. Here, Kr’Nunos the Devourer has ever labored to bring corruption and tyranny, though he has been held back for a time. Here, mortal Champions serve the purpose of the King, to assure that his deep connection to the land remains vital and just. Here, the Book of Names keeps staggering record of every person ever born under the bright sun of Karac Tor—not only those already born, but also those yet to be, past, present and future, for all time—until the War of Swords.

So goes the description of The Land in The Book of Names at author D. Barkley Briggs’ (Dean) Web site.

Though I’d love to continue the discussion about how much darkness is too much (great comments in the last two posts, by the way 😉 ), I’m opting today to review our CSFF feature, as is my custom during tours.

The Story. The Book of Names brings the Barlow brothers to the mysterious Hidden Lands of Karac Tor, a place of magic and conflict and power. While Hadyn and Ewan desire to return home above all else, they have been marked by forces of evil who wish to capture and destroy them. When one of them falls into enemy hands, the adventure is on.

Strengths. The two main characters, Hadyn and Ewan Barlow, are sympathetic. Their mother has recently died, they’ve moved to a new place, and they’re hurting.

The fantasy world is dense, as you can tell from the above quote describing the land. It has a somewhat complex religious system, ripe with strife; layers of evil; a governmental structure complete with political intrigue; and numerous magical forces, some rather ambiguous. There is a detailed history and traditions and geography. In other words, Karac Tor has fabric, as a real place would have.

The story is the classic fantasy tale of people from one land transporting to another in the throes of a good-versus-evil struggle. But at risk in this new world are the children, and consequently all of Karac Tor. In that regard, The Book of Names may be viewed as a parable of our world today.

The themes aren’t presented through allegory, but are woven into the story with symbols and allusion. As you would expect, names are important, and Briggs includes names that allude to the Arthurian tales, Celtic and Norse mythology, and Scripture.

The writing is good and in places, fun. Giving a nod to Lloyd Alexander’s character Fflewddur Fflam in the Chronicles of Prydain, Briggs introduces Cruedwyn Creed who plays a significant role in the story but also provides some comic relief.

Weaknesses. The fantasy world is dense. Yes, I view this fact as a strength and a weakness because much of the first half of the book was devoted to setting up the parts of this extensive world. For fantasy writers, set up is always an albatross—we fail if we don’t set the world up in a way that makes it seem real, but we slow the story down too much if we do. The ideal, of course, is a story that includes the depth of The Book of Names but at a pace closer to today’s commercial fiction.

Others will disagree with me on this next point, but I felt jerked about with the omniscient point of view. Because the story took me to numerous scenes away from the Barlow brothers and because I didn’t firmly identify with one brother over the other, I had trouble connecting with the characters until the halfway point. However, when the one protagonist expressed a clear desire and took steps to achieve it, I strongly identified with him from that point on. I can only wish that had taken place sooner.

Recommendation. The Legends of Karac Tor is a crossover series—from YA to adult. The Book of Names is, in some ways, an introductory book. Though it has stand-alone features, including a satisfying resolution, it begins the tale that obviously will continue in the next book, Corus the Champion, due out in April. I am so grateful for this rich fantasy, the closest thing to epic Christian fantasy I’ve read in a long time. For those who love the genre as I do, this is a must read.

I also recommend you take time to read these other articles from blog tour participants:

John Otte discusses the theme in conjunction with the power in a name.

Andrea Graham addresses the topic of magic and spiritual gifts as well as the eschatology of Karac Tor.

Phyllis Wheeler examines the portrayal of the Christian walk in Christian fantasy, in light of the Tolkien/Lewis models.

At Speculative Faith I did a wrap up of the discussion here about what constitutes too dark in fantasy.

See Part 1 for the entire list of participant posts.

Published in: on January 21, 2009 at 1:15 pm  Comments (3)  
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CSFF Blog Tour – The Book of Names, Part 2


How much darkness is too much? I began this discussion yesterday as part of the CSFF Blog Tour for D. Barkley Briggs’ debut novel The Book of Names. I really appreciate all the comments addressing this subject. Each one has helped to clarify my thinking.

A little background is in order to explain why I think this question is so significant. When I first started writing my fantasy, now entitled The Lore of Efrathah, I included a section of backstory that “explained” the evil. I had a friend read it, and she said in no uncertain terms that if I included that section in the book, she wouldn’t read it. Oh, well, I thought, one reader lost. I kept the info.

Later, I asked an educator, who had said he was willing to endorse my work, to read. When he returned the manuscript, he said he couldn’t give me the endorsement in part because of the same material my friend had reacted to.

So years later, when I’d studied fiction and taken the scene out, not because of the darkness but because of the poor technique, I considered writing a prequel based on that background information. As I moved on in the story and wrote book two, I came upon a place that demanded more darkness.

Now I had a choice. Do I put the darkness in, knowing that I may find some readers like my friend, like that educator, or do I take it out? I prayed. I entered into discussions with other writers about “edgy Christian fiction,” and in the end, I wrote the chapters that are dark.

Why? I’d have to say, I did so because I needed evil to be credibly dangerous. If there was no threat, there was no need to fight it.

So now you know a little bit where I’m coming from. I have written dark scenes (I think my aunt stopped reading my books for that reason, but she’s too polite to say so).

Here’s where my thinking is now. Depicting darkness in and of itself is not wrong—the world is a dark place. In stories, depicting darkness may even be necessary to show the opposition to good. Darkness, however, to a certain degree is in the eye of the beholder. To God, all our disobedience is dark, heinous, a stain that separates us from Him. But to us? We see darkness every day, and quite frankly have developed tough skin to much of it. What makes us look away today, what would we label as revolting? The answers to those questions will vary from person to person.

So what’s a writer to do? How can you write to an audience that varies from person to person in the darkness tolerance level? Or should we write to God’s standards and show none of it because it is all revolting to Him?

Quite frankly, parts of my darkest scenes are revolting to me. I had a hard, hard time writing them. But I wanted them to be revolting. I wanted the darkness to look dark. But that’s the thing—I didn’t want anyone to mistake the dark for light.

So here’s what I came to for my writing:

  • I wouldn’t glorify evil by making it look appealing
  • I wouldn’t write in the evil character’s point of view to avoid appearing to endorse his thinking and to avoid bringing readers that close
  • I would focus the story on the fight against evil not on evil
  • Obviously other writers handle the subject differently. D. Barkley Briggs (Dean) is one. He has segments in The Book of Names that he wrote in the evil characters points of view. Here’s a short sample:

    “They will enter the bay soon,” Nemesia informed the shadowed man before her. He [The Devourer] was a towering figure, horned and helmeted with iron, caped in purple the color of spilled wine. He wore shimmering chain mail. A huge sword was slung at his back …

    The Devourer smiled dangerously. “My time is near.”

    “Well, my time is now,” Nemesia hissed. “I prepared the way before you. I weaken the will of both land and people …”

    As she spoke, the air around Nemesia became gray and blurry. She seemed to grow in both stature and terror. The Devourer, cloaked as a man, watched from the shadows, arms folded, unmoved. When he stepped into the beams of light, his dark eyes narrowed threateningly. He had a scarred face that was fierce and seductively handsome. Almost imperceptibly, he stretched two fingers toward her. The air in the room became a marinade of power.

    Nemesia convulsed. Her body shook. Her exalted stature shrunk as if melting. Within moments she was on her knees, limp, bowed over, gasping for air.

    So is that scene too dark? Or is too dark more than reading about evil acting as evil acts?

    To see the updated list of blog participants who I know have posted see yesterday’s post.

    I would like to draw attention to a couple articles I think you might especially be interested in:

    Jason Isbell has an interview with Dean.

    Rachel Star Thomson posited a thought-provoking question based on the opening of Book 2 in the Legends of Karac Tor.

    Chawna Schroeder reviews the book and gives her thoughts on its darkness.

    CSFF Blog Tour – The Book of Names, Part 1


    bookofnames-199x300 I don’t know about you, but all I needed to be intrigued by The Book of Names by D. Barkley Briggs (NavPress) is the cover. (Special kudos to NavPress for doing such a terrific job). My first thought was of Edgar Allen Poe, for fairly obvious reasons to anyone familiar with his famous poem, “The Raven.” (And coincidentally, today is the 200th anniversary of Poe’s birthday! 😮 )

    I tend to think the imagery is intentional, though I have no inside information regarding that. But the possibility raises an interesting question: how dark is too dark when it comes to fantasy?

    If you haven’t read any Poe, you may wonder how I got from him to too dark. Poe’s contributions to American literature—including short stories such as “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”—are fraught with the macabre and embraced by the Goth. Too dark is perhaps understated.

    But what constitutes too dark?

    Ted Dekker is famous for his restatement of the idea that fiction, in order to show the diamond of God’s glory, must show the black backdrop against which it stands. In that context, the question seems to be, How black is too black?

    I’m reminded of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Return of the King, a very dark book in my estimation. And the closer Frodo went to Mt. Doom, the darker the story became. Yet it is unlikely that book would make anyone’s too-dark list.

    So I’m back to the original question, a very practical one for me as a writer … a fantasy writer … with a central good-versus-evil struggle: what constitutes too dark?

    Is it true that evil must be drawn clearly in order to showcase good? Dekker said that too much Christian fiction grays evil. If evil doesn’t really look all that bad, then who’s to say Mankind really needs a Savior, so his reasoning goes.

    But must we dwell on evil? And what constitutes “dwelling” on it? Is entering into the evil character’s point of view “dwelling” on the evil?

    Does this question even have an answer? I believe there is an objective standard of beauty, but is there the same for evil? And if there is, how much is “acceptable” in a piece of fiction?

    Here’s the thing. I have a sense that there is a line that authors may cross that would take a story too far into evil, but I don’t know if I can articulate where that line is.

    What are your thoughts?

    Tomorrow I’ll tie the discussion more specifically in with The Book of Names.

    For today, I encourage you to stop by the other participating bloggers who have posted on the book. I’m trying something new. If you click on the check mark that indicates a post is up, it should take you to the specific article. That way, some weeks later, people can still find these articles with ease. (Who knows, if it gets too time consuming, I may have to abandon the idea, but for this month, you’ll have access to the direct links – 😉 ).

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