September 5, 2011

Philosophical Thoughts

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I love books with a philosophical message hidden deep inside it. And a book I have been reading recently is just that. As I was reading Showdown by Ted Dekker an insisting question is discussed in the book.

In writing is it best to show peace or conflict first?

Character one says, "How can there be conflict unless there is first peace?"

But character two answer, "But how can you write about peace or love unless you first subject the reader to ugly conflict?" 

Well that makes since, until character one answers. "Unless the reader begins with knowledge of peace, why should we demonstrate peace through conflict if the reader already knows peace?"

Um...I'm going to have to take a rain check on the rest of this conversation. Dispite the confusen of this conversation, it brings up some very good points. Do we not react to conflict in books because we are not familiar with the conflict but understand it's conflict because we first know peace. The funny thing is I don't really think there is an answer for this question. It can be debated both ways and I believe they are equally right. Maybe I will get to the bottom if it by the end of the book.

But what about you? What you do think is best to show first in writing, peace or conflict?


Liz Patterson said...

Hhhhmmmmm... I think you're right - there is no easy answer. I've written stories both ways and I've read hundreds of books both ways and I believe it depends on the story. However, one thing that I've noticed with Ted Dekker's books (and he's one of the most brilliant writers of modern times, in my opinion) is that even if there is some conflict going on from the beginning, he allows you some time just to get to know the hero a bit before he's thrown into the plot. There is a snatch of peace before the storm. But then again, he always does start off immediately into the story, not wasting time before introducing the conflict...
His books certainly do provoke philosophical thoughts. I'm reading BoneMan's Daughters right now and, though highly disturbing, it's also fascinatingly philosophical.

Okay, well, I'll quit rambling now. Enjoy your reading and your thinking! =)

~ Liz

Marian said...

Agreed with Liz really depends on the particular story. Generally, though, I think it's best to show peace first--it puts the conflict in context, so to speak, and makes us care more when the conflict happens. Though there's still the question whether you're even trying to "demonstrate peace through conflict", or if the conflict is in the plot for another reason.