Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Other Worlds and Escaping

I am reading a title called I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing by A. D. Jameson and he give a short overview of the concept (popular now in fantasy and young adult writing) known as world building. And he used Tolkien's ideas in connecting escapism and plausibility together. He said, 

"Tolkien further argued that in order for this experience to succeed, in order for the faerie to be able to work its magic, the secondary worlds must be credible enough that we fall completely under their spell, to which end authors must give them "the inner consistency of reality."" 

This is a fascinating concept that brings the idea that world building is based on things that are different, but consistent with the basic working of reality. I was more interested in the Star Wars elements of this book, however, there are some fascinating asides that really have been notable. 

In many ways, this is how we view truth in fiction. Yes, it is fiction and completely made up, but the theme, the possibility of the action, and the plausibility all come back to this idea of "consistency of reality." Can we learn something fictional and find it based on truth? Of course, we can. It is the possibility that is so compelling in fiction. It isn't how exotic the realm is, but how compelling we find the characters. We know winter is coming in The Game of Thrones because we've seen the northern wall, hell, we know people who have fought there. And winter is coming. How do I know that? Because I've seen it myself. 

In the end, world-building as an idea is vast and creative. It is attractive to writers. But to me, it feels like the most important part of world-building is that we can still find ourselves, even in the most exotic or different realms. 


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