Three Reasons why Lord of the Rings and Narnia survived the Test of Time: A Guest Post by Savannah Grace

Happy Monday, readers!  As you can see, we have our first-ever guest post today, by the lovely Savannah Grace!  So enjoy the post, and hop over to Savannah’s beautiful blog, Scattered Scribblings, here.

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them …”

“Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy.”

I think almost every writer or reader of fantasy would know which books these two quotes are from – and neither of the books are modern! Both of them are over sixty years old – so what helped Lord Of The Rings and Narnia survive the test of time? And how can we help our stories do the same?

1. Both Authors Took Risks

Fantasy was still a new thing when J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis wrote their stories – a lot of people consider them the ‘Founding Fathers Of Fantasy’. Fantasy wasn’t a popular thing back then like it is today, so it was a little risky to write a story like Lord Of The Rings or Narnia. But, looking back at these authors, and other authors whose books have lasted, I’ve learned that it can really pay off to take risks.

It’s hard to really hard “go out on a limb” with our stories nowadays – it feels like every idea has already been thought of and used! But one of the important things to learn about writing is that no one writes the same way. Two people could write a story with the same premise, and the stories would still be so different. Which means that it might not just be an idea that you can take risks with – it can be your writing style plus the idea that is a risk. And sometimes risks seriously pay off ;).

2. The Characters Are All Unique, Realistic, And Easy To Relate To

The Pevensie siblings are some of the most realistic characters – the childlike innocence of Lucy, the feeling of responsibility for his siblings that Peter had, Edmund’s jealousy, and Susan’s caution. All of the siblings are unique from each other, and they’re all easy to relate to.

Same thing goes for Lord Of The Rings. Not only are the character different from each other in personality (I don’t think anyone would mistake Gimli’s personality for Gandalf’s!), but J.R.R Tolkien has different races of people in his story, which makes each character even more different from the others.

One of the easiest ways to make sure all of your characters are different is to put them side-by-side and see if the story would change much if you cut one. If the answer is ‘no’, then you’ve probably got a character or two that isn’t quite needed in the story. And if the answer is ‘yes’, then well done! Keep your story-people realistic, unique, and easy-to- relate-to, and you’ll have a cast of winning characters on your hands.

3. The Books’ Themes

Honestly, I think this one is the most important. Books always stick around when they have powerful themes, because – no matter what time we live in, or what the circumstances are -there are just some themes that we’ll always be able to relate to. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe (the most well-known Narnia book, in my opinion), has themes of redemption and sacrifice. The Lord Of The Rings has themes of courage and hope.

It’s easy for books to survive when they have themes that everyone can relate to, no matter how long ago the book was written. Some themes, like bravery and love and never-giving- up, are never going to run out of steam, because they’re some of the themes that will always play a big part in real life.

Let’s take risks, writers. Your story could be the next one to survive the test of time.

“Courage, dear heart.”

~ Savannah Grace

Which is your favorite, Narnia or Lord Of The Rings? What are your favorite themes to read/write about?
Feel free to ask Savannah any questions you have in the comments.  Also, you can read a post by yours truly on her blog today, so go check it out!

A Post for Pip

From December, 2016

He had no name then–at least, no one had told me if he did or not.  He had no face, no mental picture, no name.  But I knew he had a soul, and I knew that every hard “situation” is made up of people–beautiful, hurting humans beings, made in the image of God.  I knew it must become personal, because he was a real person, back then too.

So I called him Pip. . .

~~~~~

They told me, and I was shocked.  I didn’t know how to cope with this.  But I knew I had to do something; even if I just had to care.

And care I did.  I prayed–hard.  I dreamed and imagined; and I hurt–with every inch of my heart.

And I called him Pip.

Then he had a face.  And then a name.  As a matter of fact, several names.  Pip wasn’t any of them.  But that was alright; all I ever wanted for him was them.  But a piece of him will always be mine too.

And in a corner of my heart, he’ll always be Pip.

I recently prayed a friend through a terrible illness, and felt the widening rings of the enthusiasm and joy that spread from her recovery, and I thanked God and let my full heart over flow.

And I bled my heart out in a dark basement, while we watched recovery fade out of sight and felt health slip through our fingers (but not hope).  I came face to face with death and felt the contact burn sear my heart.

And then I threw myself on my knees and pleaded for life.

The answer to that prayer was no.

I don’t understand why God would spark life, and then end it so soon.  I don’t understand, but I know God is good.  In the pain, in the mystery, in life, in death, in the tears, the blood, the sweat, the fire, the storms, the brokenness.  He’s good.

And I believe He loves him more than I do.  More than any of us could love Pip.

So I trust.  And I stay; and I care, and I pray.  And my mind reels and my heart bleeds, and I feel the brokenness become a part of me; like it became a part of Him as the nails drove into His skin.

I watched the funeral on the live stream, and I let the pain soak through their saturated hearts and drip onto mine.

And I loved Pip.

He opened my eyes to a new angle of the world I had always been blind to.  He touched me, and others; and broke our hearts for a crippled world.

I’ve learned to love my world, and I’ve learned there’s nothing wrong with that love: God created us in it for a reason, and He called it good.  But it’s not really my home, none of us really belong here.

Pip’s time was shorter here, but there’s still a reason for it, and God is still good.  He didn’t belong here any more than I do, and God took him home early.

This world was not his home.  There’s a reason God let us meet him, but there’s also a reason He took him back.  This was not the place for Pip.  But in heaven, there a place for him, that’s where God knew he had to go.  A place that’s perfect.

For the little boy called Pip.

Pirate Ships

Greetings, friends!  Just dropping a quick note to say that I’m brainstorming a new story idea, and I need to name some pirate ships (and some not-pirate ships, actually).

Image from thegraphicsfairy.com

So, if anyone has any ideas for ship names, I’d be grateful.

Happy Friday!

I hope to be back soon.