Full Definition of allegory
1: the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence; also : an instance (as in a story or painting) of such expression
2: a symbolic representation
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Why write this novel?
Why, with a houseful of young kids and graduate school and multiple jobs and general busy-ness galore did I take the time to write, then re-write 7+ times, THE PROVING?
This spring marks the beginning of my eighth year as an active writer. It’s been quite the journey, much more than a hobby, and despite the many difficulties working on this book has been seriously rewarding. Hopefully there will be more rewards to come. But that’s not why I wrote the book.
For me, writing has been a tremendous challenge… and I LOVE a challenge! I experienced three or four different versions of my own author-personality while drafting the current manuscript. I had so much to learn (and still do) and had so many areas in which to mature (and still do!). Every single step along the path was difficult. But as much as I love a challenge, that’s not why I decided to become an author either.
I adore the fantasy genre. Ever since I was a child in Arnold, Maryland, USA, I have been drawn to the fantastic and magical. I read C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia around age 8, then The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings soon after, and was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of alternate worlds, magical creatures, and timeless battles between good and evil. I read The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and was thrilled and appalled at what I found there, devoured The Belgariad and the Mallorean and felt like I *knew* Garion and Ce’Nedra and that whole world, dove into the Riftwar Saga with Pug and Macros and Tomas and was floored, then found Shannara and Pern and Mordant. Then I blended in adventures from Heinlein and Douglas Adams, Stephen King and Asimov, with a side of Arthur C. Clarke. Wonderful.
Then came the role playing games with all their awesomeness. My friends and I, as many of you have read before, left behind the traditional mold of Dungeons & Dragons and played a free-form, dice-less, book-less series of games that truly took on a life of their own. It was from that amazing game that I first got the idea of writing a fantasy novel, a story that would capture some of our unique game’s excitement and drama.
But that wasn’t a good enough reason either.
Throughout my 20’s and early 30’s, as I married my GeniusWife and had copious children, I kept reading wonderful fantasy and sci-fi and dreamt of writing my own. But just capturing an adventure wasn’t enough. There had to be more. There needed to be a purpose beyond getting published and (maybe) making a little money.
The answer came as I read The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to my young kids in 2008. Why was Narnia so very special to me, anyway? Special enough that I read all seven books to all of my kids once they’re old enough to enjoy them? Because they mean something. They have meaning beyond the fantasy story.
That was the missing piece. What if I could write an exciting, dramatic fantasy tale similar to the adventures my friends and I enjoyed as teenage role-playing game addicts, but with *meaning*.
The plot details came together so fast that my head swam.
My book would be an allegorical tale based on my relationship with Jesus Christ and on certain aspects of the Christian life that I find particularly compelling and relevant to our world. It could be seen as a pure fantasy tale, yes, but would also carry within it a message about humanity, our world, and the Gospel message that I wholeheartedly believe.
That is why I wrote THE PROVING. This story is about the dangers of selfishness. It’s about post-modernism and relativism. It’s about faith and love. It’s about the many diversions that keep us focused on symptoms, not diseases. All wrapped into an allegorical action-adventure fantasy package that is just plain fun to read.
Even though I have no idea (yet) if I did a good job as an author, my reasons for writing are so strong that I press on.
God willing, there will be breaking news on this site soon. Stay tuned, friends!