Writing Hollow Knight

Spoilers for Hollow Knight and Mystical Ninja starring Goemon (computer games). Your evening's light entertainment. In one of my first posts I talked about the jarring writing in Team Cherry's Hollow Knight. Some people bristled at the notion, praising the high quality of the game's story, and thus missing the point. The story of Hollow…

Writing Good Places

Spoilers, AND I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW SPOILED THIS WILL BE SO GO WATCH IT IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY, for seasons 1 - 3 of The Good Place (television series). It's the most fun two adults can have on a sofa!(Ted Danson (left) as Michael and Kristen Bell (the other left) as Eleanor Shellstrop -…

Writing Nice and Accurate Prophecies

Spoilers for Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (book and television series). Pictured: The same man twice.(Good Omens, television series, promotional material) By their own admission, neither Gaiman nor Pratchett expected Good Omens to be as popular as it subsequently became. There is a nice and accurate reason why: it…

How to Invent a Religion: Part 4

A Day in the Life Theology describes what, in theory, believers of a religion ought to believe, for a given value of ought. In practice, however, members of all religions live lives at variance with what they claim to profess, from the evident truth that few people live up to their religious ideals and others…

How to Invent a Religion: Part 3

Theological Thoughts One of the oddities of 21st Century society in the West is that within, between, and outside religious communities, differences of belief are described as differences of opinion. This point cannot be stressed enough: religious belief is not the same as opinion. There are some people who confuse their opinions with religious belief…

How to Invent a Religion: Part 2

Eschatological Escapades Eschatology is the theology of endings, the counterpart to ætiology. Eschatologies are as varied as ætiologies, and just as important for shaping religious practice. Norse mythology's final battle at Ragnarök, the Buddhist prophecy of Maitreya revealing to a once-more-benighted world the concept of dharma, the theme of a time of judgement shared by…

How to Invent a Religion: Part 1

Edifying Ætiologies An ætiology is a beginning of something expressed in historical or mythological terms, and therefore a highly appropriate concept with which to begin this short series. Last week I spotted a tweet which drove home to me the inherent problems with discussing religion in fiction. In the West, our experience of life is…

Writing a Hitchhiker’s Guide

Spoilers for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio and book series). That said, if you are worried about spoilers, it came out in the '70s! Get your act together! A very short time ago, a very short way from here - in astronomical terms - an author from an unfashionable clump of islands at…

Writing Strangely Familiar Things

Spoilers for Stranger Things (television series) seasons 1 - 2. On 15th July 2016, Netflix released the Duffer Brothers' Stranger Things (ST), a nostalgic love-letter to the '80s filled with concentrated fun and then ground down into an addictive substance and unleashed on the world, ensnaring an entire generation of unsuspecting viewers. Many fans resorted…

Writing 40,000 Hammers

Spoilers for Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and derived media. The biggest fantasy here is that a sword will be of any use against... wait a minute...(Artist: Dan Scott - info for the artist's page greatly appreciated) In the last of the current series of fictional worlds we shall be examining the fantastic oddball that…