“All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
Source: “The Last Battle” (1956)
As C.S. Lewis Tells It
Sometimes, I wonder if my real-life experiences influence my fictional works, or if my fictional efforts influence my everyday life.
For example, once I was writing about a really goofy character in a fairy-tale setting. I had fun writing him, but I had to dig deep to unearth my own goofy-factor in order to give the character justice.
I might have a great sense of humor – shut up, yes I do – but goofy I am not. If I was, it was quite by accident.
Anyway, you can read my stories about this goofy character, Simple Simon, here https://myreadingpoet.com/category/fiction-and-short-stories/
After I had finished for the day, I was still in goofy mode for a few hours, so much so that I bumbled around in my kitchen when cooking dinner.
I wouldn’t say that I am the most graceful person, but I am not clumsy either.
Here’s how it went: I accidentally hit my knuckles a few times with the knife’s handle; I almost forgot to put oil on the frying pan before frying, Then, I almost forgot to put salt in the food (I like salt in my food, yes I do), and I didn’t even notice the dirty dishes piling up in the sink until I ran out of room to wash a dirty cup.
It was a bizarre moment, trust me on that.
Well, thank goodness everything ended well and the food was edible, so it wasn’t a lost cause.
I dread to even think about it, because I do take my cooking and my food seriously, the more you know.
That however does beg the question, that if I take my food seriously, than how was the preparation of it almost affected by my fictional character?
It’s all in the mind, you see. It also goes to show how much a writer takes her works seriously.
I do not know about other writers or what their whole game-plans consist of, but I have myself figured out. For all that I have decided to not force my thoughts, I do always find that once I immerse myself into writing, it will take a lot to drag me out of my head-space.
However, the lesson of ‘the food which was almost ruined’ awaken me to the fact that I must draw the line between reality and fiction.
Imagination Which Inspires
If I recall correctly, I believe I read once that Stephen King, the Master of Horror, was so into his own horror-filled books that he sometimes had nightmares. There was an interview he did where he said that he was afraid to go to sleep sometimes; and there were incidences where he saw a few of his more malevolent creations during his waking hours.
I cannot imagine a man being so frightened and influenced by his own creation, he lived a nightmare because of it. Why didn’t he stopped? One could argue that he loved writing horror stories. One could also argue that he didn’t know how or when to stop. And one could say that this was his life.
I do apologize to Mister King if I read wrongly, and that he in fact only had good dreams and not nightmares.
I love C.S. Lewis’ books The Chronicles Of Narnia. These are among my favorite all-time books to read, and I watched all the movie adaptions made by Hollywood.
When I was a child and reading the books for the first time, I fantasized about living in Narnia and making friends with the Talking Animals. I imagined riding on the back of a Flying Horse, or talking to a Unicorn, or fighting beside a ferocious but brave Mouse. Also, I thought of the Sea Folks, the Nymphs and Dryads and wished that they actually did exist on Earth. I imagined being at The Last Battle.
It is a great moment, getting lost in the pages of Lewis’s fantastical books. He created a great Place which appeals to the perpetual child within the reader whom wishes to live in a Fantasy World.
And a Fantasy World it is too, amazing and wonderful, but still a fantasy. Once I close the book, I see my World, and it is not Narnia. That makes the act of reading the books more enjoyable. It is different, for all that it is strange and unreal.
It is so with writing the fictional stories. You are inspired by reality and how you want things to be, or how you imagine them to be, and you put them in your stories. All the while, you keep both feet firmly on the ground.
Grounded in reality
So, yes, do what you love, but live. Live in what you love, whom you love, with what you love, with whom you love.
Let it be also, that that which you love will not give you nightmares, but is a conduit in reality by which you release your thoughts and creativity, by building a home for them within the pages of your books. Then once you close the book, you see your real world.
Reality stays, fiction is made up. One you hold on to, the other you learn to let go when the time comes. This also, is your responsibility to yourself. Let your mind be fresh and clean, so when a new day comes, you can begin a new chapter.
I might not necessarily be talking about a literal book, but one’s specific life in its entirety.
And now on with my story.