History is a wildly interesting subject to me. Personally, I am fascinated by subjectivity and perception, so an interest in History is a natch.
History is constantly warped by viewing it through the subjective lens of the present.
An example: C.S. Lewis pointed out that the popular conception of Science and Witchcraft in history has been that Witchcraft was an old holdout from the Middle Ages that were finally stamped out by Science and rationality in the Renaissance, and that the Scientific Method was finally realized in the bright rationality of that age to flourish to our present era of Scientific Appreciation.
But, Lewis continues, if you are to look at the literature of both ages, you will see that there is very little of either Witchcraft or Science in the Middles Ages at all.
It is in the Renaissance that both reached their heyday.
It was not that Witchcraft in the Renaissance was the last remnant of something darker that existed in previous eras, but that both are twins of the same desire: the desire of man to control his environment and alter it to his needs.
It just so happened that Magic -although flashy and appealing- provided fewer results than its twin brother of Scientific Discovery. Interests in Witchcraft dwindled as mankind realized that he could do more by applying the Scientific Method, and our modern age was eventually born.
I enjoy to think of this twin dynamic of Magic and Science when planning out my writing works.
The early stage of my writing is characterized by careful concentration on the motives and desires of my characters, the subtle themes and motifs I wish to weave into my plot beneath the surface, and what literary devices I intend to employ to achieve effects in my story.
It’s a very scientific process.
Then, when all the notetaking is done and lists have been made, I finally have to sit down and write.
Science has no jurisdiction there.
As soon as I sit down at my desk and rest my fingers on my keyboard, I have to more or less forget everything that I have done previously. I must let my characters run free in my mind and allow them to speak for themselves. Although the planning stages of writing must be orderly and thought out, writing itself can only be done through a process that must look something like magic.
I described it to a friend recently as being like a blind man sculpting in clay by touch and by feel.
There is no way to describe or explain how a writer does what he does. A writer is a peculiar person to whom words are alive. They dance for him in the same way cards dance for a magician.
If you want to see true Magic performed in our modern age, then write something.
Thanks for reading! I appreciate it so much. God bless us all. -BW