“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Thank goodness for men and women who have plodded over that road ahead of me. There are times when being a fantasy writer could make me cringe if I didn’t know and respect the men and women who have traveled this same road. I might not be as good a writer as they, and certainly not as well known, but when I read their work I know we’re kindred spirits.
It was the mysterious closet that drew me in. The land of Middle Earth that kept me. The wand of the magician that inspired me, and the turning Wheel of Time that kept me going. I did not just recently fall in love with the parables known as fairy tales. When I was little, Pinocchio taught me not to lie, Snow White taught me to be kind, Cinderella taught me to be home by midnight, and Aladdin taught me there was someone who granted wishes.
You can tell someone the truth to their face, and they might not hear you. But if you show them the truth in a tale, it might cause them to think. Even Jesus spoke, as did all Rabbis, in parables. Concerning Bathsheba, rather than accusing his friend of murder, Nathan gave David a story that cut him to his core and brought him to his knees. A story. Would just accusing him outright been as effective?
Which is more intelligent, I ask you? To just lay out the facts and point the finger? Or to show a world that rots from within until the protagonist comes to terms with his flaws, completes his story arc, and because of the change he makes, saves those he’s responsible for?
I am forever in defense of fantasy and fantasy writers. They are all too often shunned by those who think it is only a child’s game. And yet so much truth lies within the child.