1. You might enjoy reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy Stories.” In it he talks about eucatastrophe.

  2. AshleeW says:

    I have read parts of it before, but need to read it in more depth. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. That’s why I write full-length fairy tales (The Gates of Heaven series). They can be a terrific vehicle to help readers learn about the God who loves them.

    • AshleeW says:

      Yes, that’s why I write them as well. It’s such a wonderful and fulfilling thing to write in the genre I love and also be able to incorporate a meaning into my stories that goes beyond the earthly world. I just love it. I’m going to have to look up your series, Susanne!

      • Thanks, Ashlee. Book six, The Sands of Ethryn, comes out in January (ebook) and March (print) and was inspired by the epic poem “The Hound of Heaven” (I reenact it line by line), the book of Zechariah, and my favorite TNG Star Trek episode!

  4. Well put, Ashlee!

    (Perhaps someone could fix this post so it reflects your authorship at the beginning — I thought Becky had written it until I reached the credits at the end.)

    Speaking of that sense of wonder, and the fantasy that is truer than the fact, I was just noticing afresh that the recent Avengers movies were done by a comic company named “Marvel”.

    They are “the” big, classic name in comics, and I’ve taken the name for granted as representing a company. But it’s a word, a word that means to have a sense of wonder about something. To marvel. Because something is “marvelous”.

    • AshleeW says:

      Marvel is a great word, I totally agree! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Sorry about that, Teddi. Ever since the move to our new host, things have been a little wonky on the administrative side of Spec Faith (not as wonky as having the site shut down, though!) For some reason, on the public side, Ashlee’s name isn’t appearing as the author although on the administrative side it says she is. Go figure! If I’d realized this sooner, I would have added a line of introduction. Hopefully we’ll get the bugs out of the site soon.


  5. Steve Taylor says:

    Good article Ashlee. I have a question for you. What is the difference, if any, is there between fanatsy and fairytales?

    • AshleeW says:

      To tell you the truth, they have both always merged in my mind, although I am sure there are exact differences.Julie makes a good point, though. Fantasies do tend to be more epic in nature than most fairy tales that I have read. Thanks for the interesting question! I might have to do some more research on that and write a blog post about it soon 🙂

    • dmdutcher says:

      If you don’t mind me stepping in. Classic fairy tales have a standard structure:

      1. A person lives their normal life, commoner or prince.
      2. Something happens to disrupt this life: maybe your parents abandon you in a forest, or you are cheated out of something, or what have you. It’s almost always from a wicked person.
      3. The hero must endure fanciful or impossible trials to restore what was lost. She may be unable to speak a single word, be transformed into an animal, or do an onerous task.
      4. The hero succeeds at the task after many failures.
      5. The hero is either restored to their old status, or elevated. The wicked people are punished, often heartlessly so.

      I think what Ashlee says about a virtue wrapped up in a story is right on the money, because there’s always some form of virtue that enables the hero in point 3. It may be a pagan virtue, like the courage to push a witch into an oven, but it’s there.

      There’s modern Faerie tales, which I think is more about exploring the oddness and unearthliness of the idea of Faerie.

      A good example of a Christian classic fairy tale can be found in George MacDonald’s short stories. The Light Princess is a good one. For a Christian Faerie tale, Tolkien’s Smith of Wootton Major.

      • AshleeW says:

        Some great points! In my most recent blog post I talk about what I feel to be the differences between fantasy and fairytales. To be honest, it’s a hard thing to pin down!

  6. Julie D says:

    I think fairy tales tend to have unnamed stock characters–“the youngest son, the evil queen” — and focus on small plots, while fantasy is more LOTR, with epic battles and such.

  7. I love this! So well put.

    This especially: “And just like that, she’s found it–she’s found the hidden virtue, the truth beneath the illusion. And the finding of that one simple truth will be more amazing and delicious than if it been handed to her on a golden platter in broad daylight.”

  8. R. L. Copple says:

    Good thoughts. Some echoing my own on the subject. My Reality Chronicles series is fairytaleish as well. And YA. So we have something in common.

    • AshleeW says:

      Thanks! I’ve caught sight of your Reality series and it looks very intriguing! I’ll have to add them to my ever-growing to-be-read list! Just too many good books out there, and not enough time!!

  9. Steve Taylor says:

    I’d love to read a post about the differences between fantasy and fairy tales. However the turnout I’ll still be forced to tell people I read fantasy. I’m confident with my manhood but I dont want to give others reasons to question it.

  10. mflabar says:

    “But what the best fantasy does, in my opinion, is to transform it into something truer, and more real, than it was to begin with.” Well said.

  11. Brent King says:

    Great articles Ashlee. I love the quote by Neil Gaiman!

  12. AshleeW says:

    Thanks, Brent 😀

What do you think?