God in Fantasy– Guest Post by Kendra E. Ardnek

Kendra E. Ardnek’s new book is here! Presenting…

My Kingdom for a Quest (The Bookania Quests #3)
Isn’t the cover just beautiful? Click on it to get to the Goodreads page.

Back Cover Blurb: Arthur is the rightful king of Briton, but his Uncle Mordreth refuses to give up the regency.   Arthur and Grandfather are now returning with allies to wrestle the kingdom from his uncle’s grasp.  But not all is as it seems among his allies, and everyone has secrets.  New loves, old loves, lost loves, kingdoms conquered and kingdoms stolen.   Who is the real “rightful heir” and will the nearly forgotten sword in the stone finally answer this question?

 

My Photo

Author Person:
Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairy tales and twisting them in new and exciting ways.  She’s been practicing her skills on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years, “Finish your story, Kendra”, is frequently heard at family gatherings.  Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that also glorify God and his Word. You can read more about her on her blog, knittedbygodsplan.blogspot.com.

 

As part of the blog tour for her book, I invited Kendra to do a guest post. And now, without further ado, Kendra’s post. Enjoy!

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Whenever a Christian author sits down to write a fantasy novel, they are confronted with a very important question. What are they going to do with God? After all, God is the focus of our lives, so shouldn’t he be the focus of our writing as well?

It isn’t such an issue when writing historical fiction, and especially not in contemporary. Even sci-fi lends itself naturally, so long as you don’t have any aliens involved. But what do you do in a fantasy story? How do you include God without being cliche – or worse, sacrilegious?

Gone are the days when a simple allegory will suffice. While there is nothing wrong with them, indeed, I’ve written that sort myself, there are so many that it’s become rather cliched. Most non-Christians will steer clear of any book that even looks like it might have such a scene.

But don’t despair! You can include God in your fantasy without making it an allegory! How, you ask? Well, pretty much the same way you include him if you use an allegory.

First, decide what aspect of God’s character that you would like to emphasize. The beauty and purpose of fantasy is that it can show the smaller facets of truths so readers can better understand the whole. For instance, in my Bookania Quests, I call Him the Author, and focus on His role of Creator and director of people’s lives. In the Rizkaland Legends, which I shall be launching later this year, I call Him Alphego, and focus on His eternal nature and how he makes all things work together for good.

Second, choose what you will call Him. I’ve seen some well-written fantasies where his is called “God” just as we do ourselves, but this is an opportunity to show which facet you will be showing. If you go back to the ancient Hebrew, you’ll find a collection of names that you can draw inspiration from. Elohim, El Shaddai, Yaweh, Adoni, even Yeshua, the Hebrew spelling of Jesus.

Or you can name an aspect of God, such as Creator, Infinite, or Lord.

Thirdly, be respectful. This is God, our Creator and Sovereign. Just because your story is set in another world does not give you opportunity to pull God out of character. Just because you’re focusing on His grace and love does not give you opportunity to ignore His justice and anger. Read the Bible, study the words of God, both in the Old Testament and New. Let your characters get to know him, and through them, your readers.

Thanks so much for having me over, Robyn Hoode!

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Kendra has some of her e-books up for free today!

Sew, It’s a Quest

The Woodcutter Quince

The Ankulen 

Do You Take This Quest?

Sew, It’s a Quest and Do You Take This Quest? are Books 1 & 2 of the Bookania Quests and I highly recommend them. So, shoo! Go and get them (and the others) while they’re free! And if you like them, buy My Kingdom for a Quest. You can get it as an e-book or in paperback.

DFTBA!

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6 thoughts on “God in Fantasy– Guest Post by Kendra E. Ardnek

  1. This is a wonderful guest post, Kendra. You tackled such a difficult topic in this post because infusing Christian ideals into our work is difficult when writing sci-fi or fantasy. I like to present ideals relating to God’s grace in subtle ways so that my story doesn’t end up as cheesy. However, I do have aliens in my sci-fi book, so I’m not sure if that is not optimal or what. I always thought it was sort of like having fantastical creatures in fantasy, as long as they don’t perform sorcery, which I’m against in my writing. Do you have any advice for incorporating aliens into my book?

    • I have aliens in my own sci-fi WIP’s, so I suppose I do have a tip or two. The biggest issue with aliens in Christian Sci-fi is the fact that they would suffer the curse of sin, but have no method of redemption, and thus you need to find a way to deal with that. In Lewis’ Space Trilogy, the issue was skirted around by the declaration that Earth was cut off from the rest of the universe even before its fall. In the books my sister and I are working on together, our aliens have been told that they must find the Firstborn (i.e. humans) and through them they can find their own salvation. It’s complicated, but an issue you have to deal with.

  2. Good thoughts, Kendra. Having discovered a love for writing fantasy, I naturally want to find a good way to include God and His Truth in it. And re: Aliens: I agree with Ana in that they’re kind of like mythical/fantastical Creatures. They’re all just different sorts of folk to add interest to one’s work. And the whole lot can be a rather sticky wicket when you start getting down to the nitty-gritty of Salvation. During my own journey, God has convicted me that saying the Elves, Centaurs, Halflings and aliens can be saved through Jesus’ sacrifice is like saying He died for them, too…which, as my brother pointed out, is like writing another Gospel. About which God has some VERY harsh things to say. *Gulp!*
    So after some serious prayer, soul-searching and discussions with the family, I’ve decided that, yes, some of them can be “saved,” if you will, but it’s not for Adam’s Race (Humans) to know how (and likewise, the Creatures and aliens can’t delve into how Humans are saved, either. They all just trust that Elyon [the Name I use for God in my main fantasy world] will save those He chooses, and in His own way. They all must just obey Him themselves and not worry about the other folk).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kendra, and thanks to Robyn Hoode for hosting this guest post!
    God bless and happy writing,
    ~”Tom Wild Rose”~

    • I really like this, too, and especially that last part that says “They all must just obey Him themselves and not worry about the other folk.” That is such a good way of wording it and thinking about the story. I remember when I was little I always used to ask my parents about little kids in other place who might not know about Jesus and how it could be fair that they wouldn’t go to Heaven because they didn’t have faith because they didn’t know about it. My parents basically said what you said above in that last sentence and that God will save the people he chooses to save. So yes. Very good explanation right there.

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