Pushing the Envelope…perhaps too far…


After my blog post last night about what’s been going on in my life, I felt a weight had been lifted and was able to actually meet my word goal for the day. I’m up to 36,000 words now and have much more written on paper that I need to work into the story and transpose into my novel. My story is more complete now and has a beginning and end. I’m working on some of the middle parts and basically building on the existing plot and themes of the novel. As I work on the themes, I find that it’s coming out a lot more overtly religious than I originally intended.

I’ve purposely written in archetypes from various different religions. This was originally intended to be a whisper within the novel and I never meant for the religious overtones to intertwine too much with the actual story. As it turns out, Characters have their own mind and, lately, they seem to want me to make them take part in religious debate. I’m stuck somewhere between allowing the idea to manifest and separating myself from it completely.

I guess some of the themes already push the envelope enough. My character uses magick and talks about how she feels condemned for it…she talks about seeing the divine in nature a lot…yet, she attends traditional church services. Furthermore, I’ve built a character completely around the Druid archetypes and allowed her to discover that her mother was a witch…she’s looking into the occult with trepidation because she’s been warned about the dangers within her entire life…and because using her powers has, in fact, caused problems in her life already…she moves through the wheel of the year, denoting the changes in the energy around her (although this is never overtly revealed, just hinted at with strategic placement of dates throughout).

Now, my Druid archetype is pulling me toward a discussion about religion with her boyfriend in which he explains how more mainstream religions and obscure ones are very similar. It’s a discussion which (on a personal level), I think needs to occur; both in my novel and in society as a whole. The segmentation between different faith paths is unnatural and not conducive to tolerance by anybody’s terms.

However, I do not want my novel to be dismissed by publishers and agents because it pushes the envelope too far. It’s not about the money or my career but because I think there is a good message behind the story. The question is, is the YA Fiction or Contemporary Fiction world ready for a novel with these themes? How far is too far?

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