Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Realms of Faerie: Oceans

Oceans are wild and restless creatures, full of mystery, danger, and strange allure. As Fanny Crosby said, "Can ye fathom the ocean, dark and deep, / where the mighty waves and the grandeur sweep?"

Because of their power and strength, combined with delicate mystery, oceans have been popular throughout the history of fantasy. Almost every fantastic world has one; chances are, the one you're writing now contains at least one stormy deep. Perhaps this may be because our own world is so full of oceans--they cover 70 percent of the earth, after all.

Now what about writing oceans in light of Christian truth?

First, when God created the world, Genesis 1:2 tells us, "The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." So, during creation, the world was watery and shapeless.

We also know that God judged the world through water once, with the Flood. Genesis 7:19, 22 says, "The water prevailed more and more upon the land, so that all the high hills everywhere under the sky were covered. ... Of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died."

However, God promised never again to send such a flood {Genesis 8:21}. When His final judgment comes, it will be with fire--but more on that next time :) .

Additionally, Jesus is our living water; those who drink of Him shall no longer thirst, but find spiritual refreshment, renewal, and life through Him {see John 7:37-39}.

What do all these verses add up to? How can we apply them to our writing? Well, if you're really interested, I suggest you dig deeper into the topic of Biblical water--believe me, there's lots more to discover! However, in general, water is our life-source, and, in a physical way, provides continued survival. None of us would last long without water. In the same way, on a spiritual level, we all need Christ's living waters to quench our inner thirst and to survive with life eternally. Pretty deep stuff, certainly, but crucial.

So, when writing oceans, be sure to reflect Jesus' life-sustaining spiritual waters through them!

Now for the nitty-gritty of imagining and writing oceans:

1. Color! {always consider color when creating anything. it stimulates the imagination immensely} Does your ocean come in typical shades of aqua to teal to grey to green? Or is it more of a reddish-orange ocean? Is it pure white? Any symbolic significance of the color?

2. Weather Patterns: what does a flat sea symbolize or reveal about your world? Do the waves form patterns? For example, what if secret messages were written in the waves that only certain birds could see and decipher?

3. Life: What creatures make your ocean their home? Is it the usual suspects of clownfish, turtles, and mermaids, or did you throw in a few bird/fish creatures, plus a kraken or two? Mostly tropical marine life? Deep water darkness creepy sharp teeth fishy creatures? Come up with some water-creature of your own to reflect your ideas about the ocean!

Enjoy writing!

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