Monday, February 14, 2005

Walking the tight rope

The biggest challenge I'm facing thus far in the new fantasy story I'm developing is the religion. I've been struggling over this for more than a month now, trying to piece together a fake true religion. No wonder I'm confused!

I'm basing my main character's homeland very loosely on Israel in the Old Testament. It is a legalistic country with the religious and governmental aspects irrevocably entwined. It is also pre-Messianic, and the people of Khairdazh have, of course, vastly re-interpreted their prophecies to line up with how they would like to see the future. They are about to declare war on the country next door.

Although I have not duplicated the system to include animal sacrifice as was practiced by the Jews, still I expect that one of my themes for the novel will be Psalm 51:16-17 (or its Khairdazhian equivalent): "You (God) do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (New International Version)

I feel like a tightrope walker, and my physical balance has never been very good, probably because of my poor eyesight. I'm not sure my mental balance is any better. I've received a bit of advice from a couple of pro writers who have already built these kinds of worlds and religious orders. I'm feeding my crit group pieces as they take shape, and I'm evaluating their very valuable responses. I'm reading more in the Old Testament, and I'm praying. Slowly, gingerly, I slide one foot further out onto the tightrope, and try to keep my balance. This aspect is a huge part of the foundation of this new novel, and I don't dare get too far into the other areas of pre-planning until this is solid.

I suppose that's good. Not only was Rome not built in one day, but it's not like I don't have a writing project already on the go. Sigh. Time to stop philosophizing and go for word count on my current novel.


Marci said...

Keep walking that tightrope, Valerie - eventually you'll get to the other side and be amazed at how much you learned and how God directed.
Blessings, Marcia
ps - check out my new blog for writers -

Paula said...

Thanks Valerie!This expresses so well what many of us go through. BTW, did you know there is no way to access your actual blog from your profile? There's no web page listed and no blog listed, so when you leave comments there is really no way for people to click on your name and end up at your blog. We just get your profile. I accessed your blog from Pat's, but you will grow faster on the blog if we can access it from your profile. :o) (unless I missed something and don't know what I'm talking about, which is possible.) Lots of people list their blog where it says web page. Mine is set up where you can access some of my enteries or my blog or my website, which is different. . .. I would have emailed you privately about this, but there wasn't an email available either . . .

Valerie Comer said...

LOL. I guess I'm hiding in plain sight! I'll take your advice, Pat, and set my profile up that way. Thank you both for your kind comments. Valerie