4/12/06

Don't Mix Magic and Mormon

I had to reject yet another manuscript that had LDS people having magical, mystical experiences.

You just cannot mix the two and have your book sell in the LDS market. Mormons cannot wield magic. They cannot meet up with aliens or be whisked off to a fantasy world. And you just cannot have them dealing with talking animals who pop in and out of existence in one scene, and then have them (the people, not the animals) being baptised in the next. It doesn't fit in our belief structure.

If you want to write fantasy, then write fantasy. Leave the Church out of it. If you want to write a conversion story, write that--but the character's conversion cannot be based upon a fantastic experience.

Well, okay, maybe if you have time travelling teens who go back to the days of the Book of Mormon, (or vice versa) but even that is a stretch for me.

2 comments:

LDS Publisher said...

[Posted by Jeff Savage under the SASE post. Just moving it here so I can reply to it.]

Magic and Mormonism

I think you and I agree on this, but just wanted to clarify. Some people seem to think that Mormons should not be writing fantasy at all. And that anything magic must be of Satan.

Mormonism and Magic should not be included in the same novel, because the two elements can not remain side by side without the one confronting the other. “Hmm, do I pray for this or should I just wave my wand? Maybe I could just pray my spell will work effectively?” I tend to feel the same way about true hard boiled mysteries and Mormonism. I really don’t want my sleuth figuring out the mystery through divine inspiration.

On the other hand, we believe in worlds without number. Who’s to say that what we view as magic is not perfectly normal on another world. I believe Mormons should feel free to write fantasy, SciFi, mystery, romance, and even—heaven forbid—horror. Our belief of good vs. evil and opposition in all things, along with our understanding of the eternal nature of mankind almost begs us to write novels that explore the vast universe.

LDS Publisher said...

I love fantasy and sci-fi. I personally refuse to read true horror. My life is scary enough, thank you very much.

But I definitely think Mormons should be writing this stuff. Even the horror, if they want. I know this bothers some LDS readers, but I see these genres as more of a modern-day morality tale. You can say things in these genres that you can't openly say in many other more traditional, true-to-life genres.

And I don't think we're alone in this opinion. Look at "Leven Thumps." It is doing okay.