Fantasy and Religion

I had another one of those lovely ideas that show up out of nowhere and takes over. I’ve fleshed it out for the past hour-and-a-half and now have a nice, if vague, plot and history. It’s like Arthurian Legend as mixed with Henry VIII’s shenanigans, with a dash of Hamlet.

I am trying to pick a scene to write out that can be introductory, doesn’t reveal everything, and still makes sense. Which is far harder than you would think it would be.

There’s also a lot of discussion about religion in this. Of course it pertains to my fictional faith, but many of the feelings and situations can be seen in reality. I’m not sure if that’s a subject I’m ready to tackle as an author. Of course this story isn’t planned to be next after the Larkspur series or anything, so I have lots of time to mull it over, but it’s still difficult to imagine.

I happen to be a devout Roman Catholic, by the way. I take my faith seriously. I believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, follow Canon Law (including the things that many believe are ‘outdated’), etc. With my presence as a writer online I don’t mention it too often, but I don’t deny it, and there are bits of Catholicism that have made their way into my writing and worldbuilding.

That said I’ve also incorporated many faiths and cultures into my world. I think they’re all very interesting, if not necessarily as True as I understand Catholicism. I’m trying to take a Tolkien approach to this- make sure folk get the fantasy part of the fantasy, while not writing anything against God, or endorsing it in reality. I may write about a divorce at some point, but I may add a subplot about annulments so that there is the understanding that a divorce after a valid marriage isn’t possible. This is also why I don’t write explicit sex scenes by the way.

Of course that’s all very technical and generally not what people are looking for when they pick up a fantasy book (then again, nerds, so technical may be great), but details are important and if nothing else it makes the world richer.

But yes, this particular story puts all of that up front. It’s no longer a neat background mention about religion, it’s center-stage. It’s an Old Norse type realm, only this isn’t Pagan vs Christian like one might assume, it’s more “The Pope vs Henry VIII” where in Noctuina there is one true religion that essentially everyone knows (and follows to varying degrees), but one person wants to tweak it because they think they can do better (also for their own personal reasons). And while this one faith is quite Christian, I also have parts of hinduism, greek mythology, wiccanism, etc tossed in it. I have to tread a fine line so it doesn’t go against what I believe, yet be different and fantasy-like.

I think I have a Scene I can type up, it came to mind as I was writing this, so I’ll work on that being the next one.

I’ll go into more detail about this in worldbuilding posts, specifics about each faith and what I do with it in writing. I’ll make Religion separate from Culture (I’ve dropped the “Playing With-” tag since I realized I had far too many variations for it to be worth using, and I’m just going with Language, Culture, etc.) and go from there.






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