Monday, February 22, 2010

Hesitation, epithany, and the gift of inspiration

As many of you guys know I am a green stripe in Tang Soo Do testing to be a green #2 in a few weeks. I am also LDS.

A couple of days ago my hubby found a discussion on a very conservative LDS board about how evil martial arts are. He forwarded the discussion to me because he knew I would be interested. I read it and for a few minutes sat in shock. How could something that has been amazingly wonderful for me be seen as so evil by some.

I can see some of their points, some people who become involved in the art become disillusioned and tend to fall away from the church. That they begin to substitute the adversary's power for the priesthood and open themselves up to the bad influences that come with it.

This train of thought came to a dreadful realization for me, if people can think that this is bad, then the magic system (or power system) I have set up for my world and characters can be also perceived as evil by some. That is definately not what I want. Like I said I am LDS and live in Utah, I don't want something I write to be constrewed wrong. Granted some people are going to think badly of it inspite of every precaution I make. I can't controll that. But I can make sure that what I write is positive and good.

I spent many hours that morning in quiet contemplation over what I had read, what I had created in my book, and what I believe. Curtains drawn I sat at my computer and contemplated changing my entire second book. Then quietly in the silence of serious meditation it came to me as it always does.

In every magic system you create there has to be rules and consequences. Both good and bad. You can't have somebody just storming through your book creating either unending good or unending chaos. The reader is not going to buy it or your next book for that matter.

AND just like real life if there's a an evil side to something there has to be a good. God's laws are like that. So If my main character uses good powers. There must be a dark and bad side to emphasize the good. So if my MC is good, then I should give the opposite to my antagonist.

I sat back as a wave of relief washed over me and I realized that I had just recieved my answer. All I needed to do, is make my bad guy the opposite of my good guy and make the reader aware of how evil what my bad guy believes and practices is. (for those who are interested in what I am talking about, on the bad side, look up De' mauk.)

Simple and easy, at least the thought is.

Now I need to revise the whole book.



Angie said...

That's a great epiphany. I always try to write what is pleasing to Heavenly Father and to me, but you never know how other people might take it. I've never heard anyone say anything negative about martial arts before. That's kind of strange. Good luck with the book!

Mistress of Fantasy said...

You said it yourself: "...if people can think that this is bad, then the magic system (or power system) I have set up for my world and characters can be also perceived as evil by some."

You also stated you cannot control what others think. We were given Free Will for a reason. If someone chooses to think your work is evil (and no amount of revising will make them think otherwise) you do not have control over that.

Being an author means putting yourself out there, no matter what people think. You will have those who love your book, obsess over it even. Look at Stephanie Meyers, "Twilight" and what a fan base it created. Some might even perceive that as "Cultish".

You write what you write because God gave you this gift. He also tries to teach you lessons and perhaps this one would fall under the category of will you continue with what you have or bend to the will of those who deem it evil? You know your characters and stories better than anyone. If changing or revising it to suit someone else's needs does not feel right, don't change it. If it does, then change it.

Personally, I feel that there are far too many people in the world who try to deem something evil simply because they either cannot understand it or they cannot change it.

Sorry, didn't mean to rant on your blog. :D

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm so glad you got your answer. (And I loved that you said it came after thoughtful meditation.) Sorry for the revisions but it sounds awesome!

Shari said...

It sounds to me like your epiphany is going to make your story stronger. That's a good thing, right? So go to it! Make it a stronger and even better story. I'm rooting for you!