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Lewis and Tolkien

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Writing fantasy is a blast, and I’ve already touched on the wide array of influences in an earlier post. Today, I want to introduce the two men who paved the way for the fantasy genre and my writing, J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. (I know that a short post is an insult to their legacy, but this will serve as context for later.)

Tolkien and Lewis are both renowned fantasy writers who were friends and fellow members of the informal literary group known as the Inklings, but their writing styles and the themes they explored were quite different.

Tolkien is best known for his epic fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings, which is set in the fictional world of Middle-earth. He spent many years creating the history, languages, and cultures of this world, and his writing is characterized by a detailed and complex world-building. His stories encapsulate the struggle of good against evil, with a focus on the heroism and sacrifice of a small group of individuals.

Lewis, on the other hand, is best known for his Narnia series, which is set in the fantastical land of Narnia. Unlike Tolkien, Lewis’ writing is more allegorical, using overt Christian themes throughout the work such as redemption, sacrifice, and the consequences of sin. Both men use fantastical elements to explore deeper philosophical and religious ideas, as they wove their Christian faith throughout their works.  

In terms of writing style, Tolkien’s writing is often seen as more complex and dense, while Lewis’ is more accessible and straightforward. Tolkien’s characters are also more fully developed, with rich and complex motivations and backgrounds. Lewis’ characters are more archetypal and serve as symbols for broader themes. 

Despite these differences, they both believed in the power of fantasy to explore deeper truths and to challenge readers to think critically about the world around them. 

My style incorporates a mixture of the two renowned authors, with other ingredients thrown in, of course. You will definitely find Christian themes with some archetypal characters in my stories, though most characters have a developed motivation, which was important to me. 

I am grateful to both men for their work, influence, and faith, and I look forward to sharing my stories with you.

MSR
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