Saturday, February 15, 2014

Creative Writing Through UT Tyler #3

   This blog (previously entitled 'Adventures Through Creative Writing') is being changed up a little but to better apply to broader variety of creative writing projects. While I will still finish my next two World Building entries, the next entries will focus on blogging, poetry, Twitter, Tumblr, using other content forums (like Medium for example) and such things ....

This third entry in the World Building will focus on religion. This is a rather interesting thing to include in this series since the concept can encompass SO many ideas. For the larger part most world builders in Fantasy tend to follow certain trends that were laid out by earlier writers. These include ...


The more popular trend in creative writing for fantasy is to include a dualistic point of view for 'the divine' forces of the world. These tend to be labeled as '(The) Light' and '(The) Dark.' Light tends to present natural forces (plants, life, water, the sky, etc...) where the Dark represents the opposite (fire, volcanoes, ashes, etc...). These forces tend to oppose each other, often to the anguish of common folk who are caught in the middle (or, to their praise - it depends on if your version of Light cares for casualties?). The divine sometimes gets portioned out into deities who directly work together (sort'a like a divine Justice League) or they might include many independent entities who are good and evil, yet who largely work through people.

the faith of 'The Drowned God' in Westeros is ... creepy

While not as popular as the Black & White view of the divine, recent novels (mainly the works of G.R.R Martin) have started moving towards a world where the divine might not actually care about the people ... heck, the divine might be working against the best intents of the individual person/people. The idea that the divine might actually care nothing about the prayers of mortals is not "new" (CROM!) but it certainly has not gained as much traction in fantasy writing as certain notions.


In a sense this trend of writing might relate more to 'our' world than, say, Westeros. In our own world we seldom (if ever) hear direct voices of deities in our lives. Outside of older accounts we cannot directly commune with the divine in the same, direct sense as with Options #1-2. While this setting option in no way diminishes the impact of belief, it changes dynamics between those who SAY they are talking to the divine and those who a) think said person is liar or b) that person is the valid choice for interpreting the divine.


In the idea pioneered by the novel 'Chariots of the Gods' by Erich Von Däniken proposes that what we THINK are the 'gods' are ... well ... aliens. The idea that the 'divine' are just those with better technology has been popularized by films such as Stargate, Thor, and by novels like Lord of Light.

5. THE GODS ... ARE ...THEY ... I DON'T ...*sound of brain melting* ... !!! (UNKNOWABLE!)

Perhaps no other author pioneered a creeper view of the divine than H. P. Lovecraft. He posited the idea that man exists on a different, smaller level than the 'gods.' These entities are not so much divine in that they are better than us, they are just BIGGER ... STRANGER ... more unknowable. Any attempt for us 'lesser things' to even try and discern WHAT these 'things' even are normally results in madness in the best case scenarios! Worse, these 'gods' don't even know (or care) we exist.

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