Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Power Source.

Moonlight and Light - Leon Spilliaert

I had an interesting experience today. I took about ten minutes out of my busy college life, snuck into the local woods and took a deep breath to pray. I love where I am at Patrick Henry College, don't get me wrong. But sometimes it does seem like an endless list of things that need to be done and doing. Sometimes you need a rest. Let yourself cool down a bit. Get some perspective on things.

Novels work basically like that. Every novel has a different specific energy level that it requires of it's readers. Some novels are intense and work the reader up and get them excited. Others relax the reader and bring their emotional level down. Both serve a purpose, and both contribute to Godly edification.

The writing at a high energy level is what you might call 'serious' work. It's not designed to entertain, at least not primarily, it's designed to educate. All Quiet on the Western Front would be one example, anything by George Orwell would be another.Just looking through my books shelf I find that I really don't have many other example at hand.  I guess I don't like novels that require a lot of emotional energy. I tend to find that there's enough pain in life as there is. But these novels have a place. They help tackle the tougher issues. Pain, War, Disease, Confusion. Those sort of things. For some reason these novels tend to win Newberry awards.

The writing at low energy levels would include really non serious works. Comic books would be low energy level. Other works such as Percy Jackson and Artemis Fowl would be other examples. Now when I say 'non-serious' this isn't to disparage these works. Personally I'm glad that not every work of fiction is on deep and painful experiences. Sometimes we need a break. Life is full of hardships. And personally, though my life experiences has caused me to be more grateful for high energy literature, they also have caused me to appreciate the escapism the non serious works brings. God intends rest for us. And we should rejoice in that.

A caveat to finish up here. Most works of fictions can't easily be classified as 'high energy' or 'low energy'. Most are somewhat of a mix. In reality most novels tend to fall somewhere between high and low. Most of the books we read  tend to be somewhere between Lord of the Flies and Superman vs the Avengers. I personally prefer my works to be a mix of silly and serious. That's what I like to read and that's what I like to write.

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