You're walking through the mall or past the local bakery and it hits you...That tempting smell that sets your taste buds aflame! Your mouth begins salivating as your mind starts churning out the memories of that scrumptious taste. Maybe your self-control wins out...Maybe you just keep walking...But the hunger lingers.
Now, you're walking through the mall or past your local bookstore and it hits you...That glimpse of a knight, castle, spaceship, alien, or monster on a book jacket that sets your literary taste buds aflame! Your mind begins salivating as it recounts the last adventure or scare you experienced after your last book store visit. Maybe your self-control wins out...Maybe you just keep walking...but the hunger lingers.
We crave adventure. We crave excitement. We crave the "fantasy" that Speculative Fiction affords. Like some secret addictive ingredient, Speculative Fiction is embedded with the very stuff that keeps us coming back for more...That makes our literary pallets water.
((Okay, now before anyone jumps the gun and suggests I am comparing our craft to some kind of drug, I am not. Just creating a vague similarity for the sake of the topic.))
Now, back to it...Fiction by definition is a lie. Regardless of whether you write fantasy, science-fi, horror, romance, or even historical fiction...Fiction is just that...Fiction. You are creating a momentary escape from reality for your reader. And what better escape can there be than to venture to a whole new world, or explore the unknown or supernatural? How much farther from reality can you venture than a place entirely removed from it?
For Speculative Fiction fans...THAT is the secret sauce that keeps us coming back for more.
Everyday life is mired down with "reality." And we should never seek to entirely escape reality. Our very souls hang in the balance of what we do and say in reality. Others' very souls lie in the balance of what we do and say in reality. But as with everything in life, everyone needs those moments outside of reality where they can "recharge."
For Spec Fic fans, there aren't many places better to recharge than in another world, on another planet, in some creepy house, etc. And for those of us who chose to write Biblical Spec Fic (and definitions of Biblical Spec Fic, its purposes, etc, are all fodder for another post) even those escapes can strengthen our souls as we experience characters' redemptions or see Christ shining through their lives.
It all comes down to hunger. We are a hungry race...We hunger for knowledge...We hunger for experience...We hunger for redemption...We hunger for our God's embrace. We hunger to know Him more...
And that hunger is what makes our work so much more important. There are those out there that don't know Him. There are those that have found their satisfaction in other places. And for them, I will continue to serve up another helping of the Colonel's secret recipe and keep them coming back for more so that through my work, some might see His Light.
Daniel I Weaver
--Fiction to scare the Jesus into you--