It is that time of the week. Thoughts, ideas and questions are exchanged from blogger to author; writer to reader and vise versa.
If you missed last weeks discussion about author collaboration, it’s never too late. Whereas this weeks discussion is revolved around prophecies in a novel.
What are you thoughts on Prophecies?
In my opinion prophecies can add a fascinating direction to your novel. I admire prophecies that are well written, have depth, mystery and are intriguing. It also instills the story with a great sense of importance – as if the ages were just waiting for this one conjuncture of events, or particular character to come to prominence.
The author offers a safety net for the reader, where they can feel safe and trust the writer has a sense of direction through all the scenes and conquests the protagonist overcomes. For example in Lord Of The Rings:
- All that is gold does not glitter,
- Not all those who wander are lost;
- The old that is strong does not wither,
- Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
- From the ashes, a fire shall be woken,
- A light from the shadows shall spring;
- Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
- The crownless again shall be king.
Even though Frodo is destroying the ring, the prophecy is addressing Aragon to repair the broken blade of Anduril, return to the throne and reunited the Kingdoms of the Dúnedain in Middle-earth.
In an interview, George R. R. Martin claims not every prophecy is true; people always forget the many prophecies that turned out to be false, and the few that happen to coincidentally be true are held up as examples only in hindsight.
“Prophecy is a staple element in Fantasy, but it’s tricky…You want to play with the notion of prophecies coming true but in an unexpected way. You want to be unpredictable about it.”
Authors tend to use a prophecy as a foreshadowing literary technique but it does not belong in prophecies. Prophecies are supposed to serve a purpose. If your prophecy does not clearly call the people to repentance and clearly warn of the consequences, then it is useless. If the prophecy does not clearly identify and pave the way for the savior, then it is also useless.
As a reader: Do you like reading novels that have a prophecy?
As a writer/ author: Have you written a prophecy before? If so, why did you write one?
However, prophecies can show weakness in an authors creative practice. Some novels (not mentioning which books) tend to write prophecies for the sake of the fantasy genre, offering too much mystery with causes confusion, a direct outline of the plot or showcasing their poetry.
I wrote a prophecy for a fantasy short story years ago, what do you think?
A blue moon will freeze time.
Shadows shall move mountains
And burn rivers;
Beasts will flow
Through untrod land.
An end will begin
When a life is born.
Post your comments and answers below. If you think someone has an interesting point of view and answer, please invite them or share this post to them.