This is day two of twenty-one days of posts between January 10th and January 30th of 2021. Hello again to those who read Day 1, and hello to those of you who may have stumbled across this post “out of order”. You should go back and read from Day 1, for a few reasons. It explains why I am doing this. It is the first one, and I may make reference to something in it in this post or a later one. It also has a list with each day’s post (once they are available) and you can jump to whatever topic you are interested in. Thanks for reading!
Welcome to day two! Today’s topic is under the main topic of writing, but specifically about my active project, my fantasy novel.
NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month happens every year in November, and I participated again this year. I decided to be a NaNoWriMo rebel this year and continue to write on an existing work in progress. I picked my fantasy novel, which had a solid 50,000 words already from two years ago. After adding another 50,000 words to it this past November, I realize it will take yet another 50,000, minimum, to finish it.
A fantasy novel is an ambitious project, depending upon how much fantasy you want to infuse into the story. Do you want to build a whole new world? Then you have some work to do. Fantasy worlds have their own rules, elements, measurements, things, races, natural laws, seasons, calendars, languages and more. How much will you copy from the real world to simplify the process? How bound to the real world’s natural laws, time, flora, fauna, natural cycles, seasons, and other aspects do you want to be?
You don’t have to remake everything, as successful authors have proven. Look at George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. There were seasons we knew, summer, spring and winter, but how long each lasted was unique to the world of Westeros. J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings cycle infused a somewhat familiar world as far as flora and even fauna, with fantastic races of orcs, elves, hobbits, dwarves and even wizards. Even with these exotic races, perhaps the most significant creation in Tolkien’s world was language. Every race had their own, and each language was deeply developed. I would wager that Tolkien spent as much or more time developing the languages for his books as writing the books themselves.
I’ve attempted to strike a balance in my fantasy world. Humans exist and are the dominant species, with no other sentient beings to compete with. Most animals are the same, but with different names. There are some plants carried from the real world into my world, but there are also several completely new plants. Measurements are different, as is time in general. Politics are…well, politics are interesting. The rules of the metaphysical are quite different. I’ll talk more specifically about these and other differences in a future post. Just these changes are proving to be daunting to conceive and to make consistent, as well as difficult to make sure they are…interesting.
Why tackle such a huge project? Part of it is the freedom to make all new rules, new plants, new animals, new metaphysical realities. Do I want ghostly spirits wandering around my fantasy world? Fine, create them and write the rules. Do I want time to flow differently? What if I didn’t want to count time in weeks, just days, months, and years? Sure. It’s my world. I can do what I want. The very challenge to decide what gets carried over from the real world to the fantasy world is exciting. It is a chance for a mere mortal to create life, time, worlds, people, animals, plants, minerals and elements.
Because in the real world, I don’t get to make the rules. I am bound by gravity, government, resources, time and more. There is no changing some aspects of my reality. I must do with what I have as I strive to get more. I am mortal. I can’t stop time, or the progression of the seasons. I don’t know everything, I can’t be everywhere, or see everything. Only in the fantasy world of my book can I do that.
However, God can see everything. Hebrews 4:13 says this:
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Amazing, isn’t it? Consider the idea of knowing everything, even what others desperately try to hide. The idea of God knowing everything and seeing everything should make me pause and think about my actions, or even just think more carefully about my thoughts. I am known by God. I have been from before I was conceived. This world I call the real world is known by God. He even knows more about my fantasy world than I do. That’s something to think about.
So my reaction to this fact is this:
Lord, help me to remember that You know everything and I will someday have to give account of everything that I do or fail to do. Help me to focus on that fact and let it motivate me to not only make sure I draw closer to You, but that I help others to do the same.
Thanks for reading!