Sunday, June 20, 2010

MacDonald, Tolkien, and Lewis: Their Influence On Me

These three men are the ones who have influenced my writing the most. Period. Of course, every fantasy writer out there says that Tolkien influenced them in one way or another. But what about MacDonald? What about Lewis? They all have their unique additions.

George MacDonald taught me that you don't have to beat someone over the head with the spiritual side of the book. It can be deep, so deep that no one but you might ever understand it, but it still makes them long for it. But it's still there. Once my friend Rachel and I were talking about a MacDonald story we'd recently read, The Grey Wolf. Rachel said, "It drives me crazy! I know there's something in that story-something deep, something I should grasp--but it's buried and I can't get at it, and all the time my brain is saying, 'You should know this. You should know this.'" Every time I read a MacDonald, I keep trying to dig into the spiritual side of the story. It makes each visit to the book unique because each time I discover something new.

J. R. R. Tolkien taught me that my world doesn't need limits on its stories as long as my passion continues with that world. Look at Tolkien. He spent his entire life designing, redoing, writing, and drawing Middle Earth. He even wrote a semi-autobiographical story about himself working so much on one world (called Leaf By Niggle, a fabulous short story). Tolkin even intertwines some of his stories together. So, if the master of fantasy should do it, why should I be satisfied with less?

C. S. Lewis taught me that no matter what, your faith will shine through. He didn't set out to write allegories. In fact, he denied that his Narnia books (especially The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) were allegory. But tons of people see Lewis' strong faith through those books, and as a result of them he had the opportunity to minister to many people.

Which of these authors are your favorite? Who influenced you the most?

3 responses:

Galadriel said...

I love Tolkien and Lewis, but I've only been able to find one George MacDonald--At the Back of the North Wind. That one, however, cemented his place as a great writer in my mind.

Sir Emeth Mimetes said...

Those are three of my favorite authors. Definitely.

We got the entire hardback collection of his works... and loved every one.

Limwen said...

I love all these guys. But Tolkien is my absolute favorite.

Btw, I awarded you!


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