I sat in the coffee shop this morning mulling over the story that wrote back in November. A lot changed from my original idea in that month and I felt like I needed to go back through my planning process with this new story, to make sure everything still works together.
The first part of the story that I thought about was the theme. Ted Dekker (my favorite fiction writer) says that theme is what keeps the story together. Everything, the plot, the characters, the setting, has to support the theme.
So, I started thinking about the theme of this first Dragonslayer story. The whole reason I wanted to write this story is to ask the question: can there be a compelling story about good and evil where the good is unabashedly good and the evil is unabashedly evil?
So many of the stories out there today don’t allow for this possibility. The lines have to be blurred. The grey area is our sweet spot. The good is not really good and the evil is not really evil. But that’s a new trend in our cultural thought.
Classic literature, classic cinema, even classic radio and television held a different idea of good and evil. This is one of my favorite quotes from Walt Disney:
“Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil.”
I think its important to teach adults at this point as well. Is there a place for anti-heroes and protagonists who wrestle with what is right and what is wrong? Absolutely. But I’m afraid we’ve reached a point where that’s all there is. Consider Henry Cavill’s Superman compared to Christopher Reeve’s Superman. But if that’s all there is, we’ll begin to forget that good and evil, right and wrong, can be known and that good will win in the end.
That’s what I want my story to be. A reminder.