I would like to go a bit of ‘market research.’ I hope you can help me out. I am asking if there was a new ‘Narnia’ book produced by a fan writer would you be interested in reading yourself and/or to your children?
I have in mind a fan fiction venture. Now, I know just how awful fan-fic can be and the current stuff online, such as it exists, is pretty weak and self referential. But I have in mind a complete book of the same length as the originals with the same tone, style, language, magic, talking animals, fantastic places, Aslan and, of course, Christian themes.
This would be available completely free as a fan fiction project purely as an extra story for parents to read to their children or to give their children to read.
My plan is to have Aslan bring to life a new world (a Narnia clone) into which a brother and sister of totally different outlooks are brought into.
My reasons for considering this are as follows:
- In Western Culture (especially England!) innocence is children is being crushed and everything that keeps innocence and wonder is to be welcomed. (This could be my ‘candle in the darkness.’)
- “The Last battle” was published in 1956. The West (again, England especially,) has had a complete social revolution since then! So the characters from our world, while charming, are no longer anything like the children of our time. Furthermore C.S. Lewis closed the door on the Narnia series so there is clearly no way back. Chronologically, therefore, there is no way to Narnia for children of today. Lewis literally killed it! So now, when we MOST need the wonder and innocence of Narnia and the moral leading of Aslan, it’s closed to our generation. So I want to bring the hope of an escape to an innocent realm (in which there is delight, charm, honour and right and wrong, with, of course, Aslan) to children who live today.
- Logically, for a Narnia story to carry on the legend at all requires a new world. It would be “Narnia – the next generation.” I want also to open the door to the wonder of a Narnia like world, complete with Aslan, for children who live in broken homes, who are assaulted by ‘education’ in our schools and pushed into sexualisation, and give them a taste of Narnia. (It is also here that new subplots come into play and the lessons of Narnia come home to our world.) But not in gritty style. (Think “The Magician’s Nephew.”)
- Lewis stated that he felt he had written everything of interest about Narnia. I think he was right. But I feel there is room now for a story or two in our time which does open up room for new plots. The world has changed and Aslan is needed in our time.
- I know there is an argument about writing a new series rather than carrying on another line but, with Narnia, I feel there’s instant brand recognition, there’s a love of the tales, parents can feel safe with the stories and, as the BBC found with ‘Dr Who’ some ideas just can’t be replaced.
- RTD took Dr Who, my one time favourite TV program and turned it into pro-gay, anti-religious propaganda. I’m now sensitive how family is being assaulted and innocence destroyed. (The new ‘Knight Rider’ pilot involves a Lesbian scene. Of course it does…) I can’t save Dr Who but I can fight back with another popular series.
I have done a quick feasibility study by writing a scene to see if I could get the style and rhythm correct and, of course, make it charming. It’s just under 3 A4 pages. Initial feedback is extremely positive. I do think I can pull this one off. I know how crass this can sound, “Bringing Narnia into the 21st Century” always brings fears of grittiness, angst and ‘social issues.’” That’s not my intention. I wanna take the Narnia world, ‘reboot it’ and carry on the charm using the same writing style as Lewis.
Of course, I may never finish it. I haven’t really started. I have recently got married. But I am trained as a fiction writer to professional standard. I’m now checking demand. I would also request permission from the Lewis Estate. They may prevent me proceeding but most fan fiction is allowed where there is no profit involved and where copyrights are credited.
I’m banking on a love of the Narnia books here and a desperation for innocent, Christian reading for children. I could be wrong. Would you like to see another Narnia book? (OK, the world has another name but it’s same difference!) or is it just too horrible to think about? I do repeat, this would be an absolute re-rendering of the original Lewis style, not today’s angst ridden stuff.
If the idea is unthinkable I’ll drop it. I won’t waste time. If it’s popular I’ll give it a shot.
Over to you!