1. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Religious Ties....

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Leaka, Jan 24, 2009.

    How do you we make something less tied to religion? What if a story you have the supernatural being has been created through the inspiration of the Bible. How do you wiggle out the religion part of it?
    Many religious people will be able to recognize the story even though most of the holiness has been rung out dry. So that would automatically make it a story about religion again because that is the way some religious people think.
     
  2. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Lots of media borrows from Biblical symbols and metaphor but a lot of them can be seen as having no real religious meaning. The Xenosaga series of games is a good example. It borrows heavily from biblical symbols but actually isn't about the bible. The story is very Nietzshe and only borrows from the Bible to to get it's theme across (and likewise Nietzche often used biblical metaphors to get his own points across even when the point was completely disconnected from Religion).

    It will probably depend on how you've organized the story and in what way you use the symbols. Religious person probably will try to connect the story to religion no matter what you do while others will probably be able to figure that you're just borrowing a character or story line and completely ignoring any religious context.

    You probably can't use Michael and Archangel as a character or the Walls of Jericho and disconnect him entirely from Religion, but you can use him in a way that religion is not the focus of his role. It's all about how you use it, what you mention what you put emphasis on etc. EDIT: Then again you kind of have to wonder why use the character or story line at all if you don't want it connected to religion? Is there no way for you to take this hypothetical story line and turn it in such a way that the Bible connection is no longer relevant?
     
  3. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    All right well you know the story of God and the First born. God created the first man, but it was to much like him and he casted away. It's something like that.


    But in my story there is two men.
    A man who was created by the bacteria who made the dinosaurs. So a man who lived with the dinosaurs. Just a man.
    The man lived with the dinosaurs, but became bored because the animals could not worship him.
    He finds he has abilities to create life. He creates a children just like him.
    And he realize because he gave the children tools to be as powerful as him the children couldn't worship him when it grows up. It would overthrow him. A child can always pass its mentor.
    So he sends the children through a rift and creates a second child. This second child only has bits of power, which makes this man very happy.
    Then another man springs up, but this is the man that evolved from the apes.
    The Ape man mixes with the children of the man of bacteria. They breed and on rare occasions a man was born with special abilities.

    In the rift the children breed through incests. One day the rift is a bit broken so a few children go out to see the world. To their rage is the child who shall worship his father.
    The children of the rift are so furious they give, the breed of Ape man and second children of dinosaur man, illness, nightmares, madness, etc. to the new breeds of human.

    The development of human medicine makes them go against the rift children and the rift children somehow have to find a way out of the rift.
    An idea hits them and they create their own man. And this man creates counseling, therapy for the madness of the mind.
    Truth is they just need men mad enough to open the rift, so this man they created is collecting the maddest of the mad in an insane asylum.


    Though something goes wrong and the rift children's hatred, anger, and madness gave birth to a second man of the rift children. And this second man ascended beyond it's creators casted it's brother away and closed the rift of its father.

    The man of the rift children the one who was casted away found himself on an island, also filled with ape men. He bred with them and created the same situation with the second dinosaur children. His powerful genetics mixed with their genes.
    And on rare occasions men with gifts were born.




    :redface:
    Sorry for the really long post, but I just had to get my idea out. My problem is that I don't want it to be to religious.
    And for me it sounds a bit religious.
     
  4. fantasywriter
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    fantasywriter Contributing Member

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    You can have a story that has taken ideas from the bible without it being religious at all. A lot of stories are like that.

    Actually, I don't know where you got that story. God didn't cast the first man away.
     
  5. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Oh............:redface:


    Well I was playing the video game Jericho, which is based off of Clive Baker's story Jericho.....:redface:


    Nevermind it isn't a religious story.
     
  6. fantasywriter
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    fantasywriter Contributing Member

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    Haha. Have you read the bible?

    If not, you should read it. Often the bible gives me ideas for stories, and I'll throw in a few religious ties, but my stories are never religious. You can make it work, and I think you have a great idea going there.
     
  7. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I have read the Bible, but it confuses me at times.:)
     
  8. fantasywriter
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    fantasywriter Contributing Member

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    :) If you ever need help with understanding something, you can always ask me about it. The bible provides so many ideas, it's truly amazing. It was smart of you to ask about this.
     
  9. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Thank you.
    I don't think it's that smart to ask about putting religion in your story.
    I'm just a bit shy when it comes to putting religion pieces in my story.
     
  10. lostpyrate
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    lostpyrate Member

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    I'm finding this whole idea of incorporating religious ideas/biblical ideas without adding any religion quite fascinating. Coming from a background of heavy biblical study (using the original hebrew and greek), I find it very difficult to not put in any religious aspects in my writing. I guess I don't see the problem with putting religion into your writing. It's a part of life, and while it offends some, it is embraced by others. No matter what you do, you're going to offend someone, so you might as well do it in the most entertaining way possible.

    Just so you know, religious people tend to be very narrow minded (myself included), and see their religion as the "one true way", and will judge your work based on their point of view. Trust me, if you haven't read much of the Bible, you don't have to worry about being "too religious-y". People who have a clue will see where you are coming from and know your intentions. People without a clue will only end up entertained by your writing (hopefully, isn't that what we're all after?)

    I think religion makes it a little more interesting, anyway. We all need purpose in our life, right?

    One last note, my take on writing is that the more you know about stuff, the better the writer you'll be, religion included.

    Best of luck! Sorry for my rambling on and on.
     
  11. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    No this is good.
    Thank you.
    It's very helpful.
     
  12. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I have nothing really to contribute but wanted to point out this comment here. This is the heart of the matter. Some people will think a story is about religion no matter what you do. That's just the way some people's minds work. You'll never be able to please or convince everybody otherwise. So just write the story as it seems best to you, and if some people still think it's about religion even if it's not, well, that's their problem and not yours.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that one person's secular story is another person's religious story. How many of us enjoy reading ancient myths just because we find them interesting? Ages ago, those myths were somebody else's religion.
     
  13. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    People will see what they want to see. When I was a kid, I had no idea that there was any religious symbolism in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe because I knew nothing about Jesus and barely connected Christmas to religion. It was just a celebration that my friends did and I didn't. I know that now, but it is never on my mind when I read the books or watch the movies. Some people called X-Men a pro-gay movie, plain and simple. When I watched it, I saw an element of that, but I also saw people ebing forced to convert.

    You can't really stop people from seeing certain things in what you create, and you shouldn't try. It makes your work more accessible. That is one thing that gives The Lord of the Rings such a wide appeal. Everyone can easily find their own meaning in it.
     
  14. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Me too XD. I was seven I think when I read that series and then a few years later someone says "you know Aslan is Jesus right?" I was stupified XD.

    It's true though. A reader will go into a book with what they have and take out whatever they see.
     
  15. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I never liked the Lion and the Witch in the wardrobe.



    I just don't want to burn at the stakes for my story. My teacher already says, he's Christian, you come in here with a bright smile and you always seem happy. You are a wonderful person, but your stories don't reflect that. To me I'm worried, I'm afraid that Lucifer's demons have gotten to you.


    So yeah...I don't want anyone to think they need to excorcise me and things like that.

    And if my teacher thinks demons are talking in my head who knows what everyone else will think of my stories.
     
  16. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're not going to get burned for using religious symbolism or metephores, no matter how you use them. Heck, Dan Brown's perfectly fine and look at what his books say about Christianity. Relax. You should know better than to freak out over what one person says. A writer who tries too hard to be safe is a boring writer.
     
  17. Noodleguy
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    Noodleguy Senior Member

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    Okay, do you go to a Christian school or something? Because if a teacher is saying that in a public school they ought to be fired. Period. If it's a private school I guess there's nothing you can do about it though... :meh:

    You're not going to burn at the stake, and no one is going to exorcise you or anything. The first is illegal. The second is unlikely. Now, if your teacher is heavily Christian...it could hampter your relationship with him and others. I'm not going to lie. So if you want to take religious symbolism out, go ahead. Honestly, I would just be like "Screw you, freedom of speech buddy." and write ANYWAY but it's up to you. You really have a choice: expression of your creative ideas, or being pacified and safe and boring. In real life it won't matter, as Rei said, look at Dan Brown. But I suppose if you think religious people close to you are going to take offense...

    And, haha. He's worried that Lucifer has taken ahold you you. That, uhhh, made me chuckle. Lucifer is the only half decent character in the Bible and in Paradise Lost. So it sounds good to me. not that he exists or anything. *cough*

    And you always have the option of not sharing your stories with people who would be offended by them...

    Personally though, I love books with religious symbolism and stuff like that. Although once I learned that Narnia was a barely concealed allusion to Christianity I was no longer able to stomach a reading of it...
     
  18. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I go to a Charter school.
    I tried to stare at him with a straight face when he told me about how this sounds like the demons of Lucifer have gotten ahold of me. Do you know how hard that is?
    I think it's because I have this attraction to Edgar Allan Poe and H.P.Lovecraft that makes me write the stories I do.
    I like writing the stories that make people think I'm fruity in the head, sometimes. And when I come out with a friendly position with all these smiles and stuff they just think I'm more fruity in the head, which is fun.
    I just look at all my horror stories, and my stories of the macabre and despair to be my alter ego. My alter emotions.
    Writing has always been an extension of my emotions, not my life. A lot of writers put their life story or have a connection to their story. An event in their life that is this fictions character's event.
    Where as my is my emotions, what I feel at the moment or maybe even deep down in side.

    When I try to write serious, like right now by adding religion in a story or what I thought was religion, I become a little more sensitive. Because I don't have enough life experience and so I don't know if I am doing it wrong.
    Anyway....all this thread shows is I don't know what I am talking about.
     
  19. lostpyrate
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    It just gets better and better! Fascinating! I'm kind of in the same boat. I'm a christian, and my writing incorporates pagan ideas, swear words, sex, nudity (at least in word), and so on. Most of my "religious" friends would be horrified, I'm sure. However, all that stuff is a very real part of life, and can't be ignored for the sake of propriety. Besides, you can never taste the sweetness of grace and mercy and salvation unless you come to terms with the fact that life is ugly sometimes, that people are twisted, sinful and just plain make mistakes.

    I think my friends will be a bit confused, and maybe a bit concerned for me. But frankly, I don't care, because I think it's better to present a balanced perspective that accepts valid ideas from both sides than to push a lop-sided agenda that's probably motivated more by selfishness and pride than the Christian ideals of love and compassion. (ok, time to get off my soap box)

    All this to say, forget the demons and Lucifer. Yes, I believe they exist, but I'm not so sure that Satan is spending his time on you. He's got bigger fish to catch. It sounds like your teacher has too much time on his hands and takes the bible way too literally. You'll have that. I have one guy who bugs the heck out of me whose always trying to "lay hands on me" and be "slain in the Spirit". I just don't buy it. Unfortunately, it seems the people with the smallest minds have the biggest mouths. Consider a privilege to have someone in your life worth ignoring. All the best.
     
  20. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another thought about writing with "evil" ideas: How can you be truely good if yu know nothing of evil?
     
  21. Noodleguy
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    Noodleguy Senior Member

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    Pyrate's right, listen to him :3

    I would recommend just not listening to the teacher, or simply do not show him or tell him the stories. If you are required to write a story for that class in particular, just make sure THAT one is more "wholesome." But there's no reason, I think, that he or anyone else needs to be involved. It sounds like, for you, writing is a very personal process. Sometimes having something like that exposed to others is not a good thing...for anyone, even when religion isn't involved. When religion is involved it can be even a worse problem, since people really get touchy about that.

    In any case, you shouldn't let a teacher or anyone silence you. Just because they don't approve of your writing shouldn't make you stop.

    By the way, Poe was entirely sane and did not do drugs, contrary to popular opinion. And I believe Lovecraft was also fairly mild-mannered. Although I've heard that King is rather creepy (from a few of my friends who have met him.) There's no reason that writing horror should reflect the person who writes it. You should tell your teacher "Don't you think that it's better that I get this out on paper than in real life?" It's not hurting anyone if you have macabre stories. Now, if your wanted your LIFE to be macabre I would be worried.

    Ah, Pyrate, we're going to have to have a religious debate sometime. If you're in to that sort of thing. I always like talking to well-spoken, intelligent Christians about these things...
     
  22. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Well that is kinda of thought that goes through my stories, my central "theme" I guess you can say is this:


    Hope is Light.
    Despair is Darkness.
    Without one or another they couldn't exist.
    But it takes less light to drive out darkness.
    It takes more darkness to drive out the light.

    [Cause if you ever have been in a tunnel and you know its ungulfed by this light. But you continue going for that small glow of light.]
     
  23. TwinPanther13
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    I will say this much your idea for a story may parallel stories from the bible but it is not religious. Secondly, you really can not escape the bible. If you look at the teachings as stories, every major story arc from action adventure to romance is covered.

    Samson was the first superman, David the first underdog, Jezzebelle a seductress. See what I mean. Most plots or ideas can go back to the bible.

    The devil was even in the position of Jesus before God created man, and through his jealousy he turned against god. Does this not sound like a classic story of two long time friends becoming the greatest of enemies?

    You could even view Jesus and Lucifer as brothers since they both came from God.

    From what I understand about literature The bible covers just about every type of story written today with Shakespear filling in the holes for the things the bible did not cover.

    Edit: So just write your story and not worry about whether or not it is religious
     
  24. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do I understand you right if I say your story will borrow religious concepts, but not have a religious message?

    You could take a look at Neil Gaiman for examples of how to do that. Much of his fiction borrows the christian concepts of God, angels, Adam and Eve, etc, but you can hardly call it religious. He's just interested in the stories.
     

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