Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee

There is a world where all emotions have been genetically removed from our brains…except fear. Fear keeps everyone in line but it also means everyone is little more than walking corpses.

Into this world comes the ability for a few to experience the full range of emotions. To become alive again.

“‘The Day of Rebirth,’ the old man quietly said at last.

‘Ah, he speaks,’ she said. ‘I had begun to wonder if you were the same manic man I met in the dungeon.’

‘You do realize there hasn’t been a real Rebirth yet.’

‘So say insurgent heretics.’

‘That we are all dead,’ he continued. ‘That at this very moment you and I stand here, hardly more than breathing corpses.’

She unfolded her arms and walked to a small table that held a silver pot of hot tea. ‘And here I was worried you’d gone mad.’

‘Oh, I’m quite mad, I assure you. I have been for a while. Try carrying the truth that the world is dead around with you for nearly a century. To be one of the last of your kind. Too much to say, so much to talk about. Only yourself to talk to. It’ll make you mad.’

She poured the steaming liquid into a porcelain cup. It’s twin sat on the small table nearest the keeper, already to bed and untouched. ‘And yet you believe that I am the one who is mad,’ she said. ‘That in reality you are among the few sane still living.’

‘No, not living.’

She took a sip without tasting it, and then abruptly set the cup down.

‘Peace has reigned for hundreds of years. The Age of Chaos was filled with so much war and pain. Why would you even dream of returning to such a state?’

‘Only corpses rest in peace.’

‘Then leave us dead! Let the living crave what I already have. The world is at peace!’

‘A corpse may rest in peace, but make no mistake, it has no life. No true humanity. No true love or joy, not even true peace, any more than a rock has peace.’

‘And no anguish or ambition or greed or all of the pain that comes with your kind of love.'” pg274-275

What do you think? What does true peace cost?

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The Theme of My Song

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.

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Enter The Dragonslayer

opening-crawl

This is the beginning of a project that has been forming and shaping and changing for almost ten years now. Maybe, at some point, I’ll share the story of how this story has become what it is, but that is for another day.

Right now, you need to know that this story is a return to time when superheroes had less baggage. The old movie serials. George Reeves Superman. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and John Carter. Indiana Jones. Star Wars.

A time when there was good and evil and the lines weren’t blurred. There is a place for ambiguity and asking questions like “What is good?” and “What is evil?” but that place is not here. Here is an appreciation of everything good and the fact that, in the end, it will triumph over evil.

I’m pretty excited about this journey. I hope you’ll join me.

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