What I learned From an Author: C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis was a British author who wrote such classics as The Narnia Series, Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. He is one of my favorite authors for his style, stories and faith ( if you haven’t read anything by him you should do so immediately). Here are some things I learned from reading C.S. Lewis’ books.

1. Simplicity is a great asset. C.S. Lewis’ books are full of beautiful sayings that clearly and succinctly describe and address issues. Lewis was able to take confusing subjects and make them simple and reachable for his audience. For instance, in Mere Christianity C.S. sums up the entire reason why mankind needs God in two sentences: “Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in” (Lewis). Often I fall into the trap of constantly using flowery language or describing everything in minute detail. While that is useful occasionally, often being more simplistic and clear is better for your reader. Lewis showed me that one can write on deep topics using clear language.

2. You can write fiction and be a good Christian. C.S. Lewis is perfect proof that you dont need to lay aside your beliefs once you take up your pen. It’s easy to think that you won’t reach a bigger audience if you write with a Christian perspective (this doesn’t mean constantly referring to God but writing with a Biblical worldview, for instance the Bible says not to steal, so we must make sure that stealing is seen as wrong) but we need to remember that pleasing God is more important than pleasing man.

3.Why we write stories. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis writes as Aslan saying, “but there [meaning the real world] I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” This is the reason why we write, so that by representing the world through heroes and villains, trials, temptations, bravery etc. our readers can learn. Good fiction does tell truth through the values it embraces and good fiction inspires us to live our lives better.

Thanks for bearing with me through that long post. Hopefully you will be able to get past the dryness of this post with the knowledge that on Wednesday Hope will be posting.

-Patricia Ellen

1. Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity: A Revised and Enlarged Edition, with a New Introduction, of the Three Books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behaviour, and Beyond Personality. New York: Macmillan, 1952. Print.

2.Lewis, C. S., and Pauline Baynes. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. Print.


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