It is said that to sit at the feet of the master is to walk across heaven. Writing visionary fiction comes with its own wonder-filled process. (Because my own visionary works are most familiar to me, I will draw my examples from them.) Recently, an interviewer asked if I had a favorite character in my new novel Time Blade: Age of Jeweled Intelligence.I cringed. I can’t even choose a book or a movie as my favorite. I like them for different reasons. I rephrased the question in my mind. How does a character affect me when he or she arrives in a scene? Now I had an answer. In my novel, Sun Lord Luca has returned from a future universe to help mankind evolve. I love being in his presence because then I become the student sitting at the feet of the master.
Time Blade begins before Earth was born, then weaves back and forth through the history of the planet. The protagonist Sky Hunter is the Sun Lord’s student, and his quest is to follow in the master’s footsteps. This called for some world building—places and structures to support his journey into the metaphysical realms of super consciousness. Key factors include: a sacred force that can evoke transcendence, time, locations, settings, and theme.
Paul Coelo gives us a good example of a transcendent symbol, a sacred force, in The Alchemist. The young shepherd boy Santiago dreams of a treasure in the pyramids of Egypt and sets out to find it. On the journey he discovers he has a Personal Legend—and it is what he has always wanted. When he believes in his dream, the whole universe conspires to help him. Later, when Santiago is challenged to turn himself into a desert wind or be killed, he begins to communicate with the sun and the wind, begging them to help him. The universe blows up a big sand storm and Santiago disappears and reappears on the other side of danger.
The sacred force in Time Blade is Jeweled Intelligence—the astral energies of gems. This super power can be reached via an astral disk, a computer embedded in the left palm. A person should have an unfaltering belief in his purpose before using this force on Earth. Wrong use can result in dire consequences.
Authors have played with time and portals that lead to alternate dimensions since writing began. In Time Blade, I needed a new take on time, so I looked back to the beginning.
Stephen Hawking suggests time is two-dimensional and that the Big Bang created our timeline. Albert Einstein geometrically proved the four-dimensional space-time continuum. I tucked these findings under my visionary thinking hat. What was time doing before it got smashed down into a linear line? Was the Big Bang a result of an unfettered, uncontainable gathering of cosmic forces, or did it result from a massive exhale puffed forth by a ginormous creative intelligence that outgrew its thinking cap?
I chose the cosmic intelligence and named it Adora—the womb of creation. This made Adora a character, which allowed me to look at the cosmos through her eyes. Human beings would evolve here, and they would need a unique planet and a unit of measure to keep track of life on the mortal plane. The people of Earth would get things done in linear time—a count of minutes and hours. On the journey into life, each beloved soul would deposit an atom of its highest brilliance—I am—into what would become time—a luminous field of perfect impersonal intelligence. Adora charged Time with the job of overseeing the evolution of the human family.
The terrain you choose adds rich sensory perceptions to your story—the climate, wind, sea, sky, sounds, and smells of that particular land. I was born and raised in Cornwall, a rugged peninsula rife with myth and legend. Every country has its own mythic tales whose archetypical characters live on in the collective consciousness. This can be fertile ground for the invention of heroic, mystical, and magical characters. Look at all the stories King Arthur and Merlin have inspired.
In Time Blade, I borrowed the nymph Tamara from a lesser-known Cornish legend and turned her into a major character. In the original, she is the daughter of spirits of the Earth, who lives in a cave beneath the moors with her parents. Giants roam the moors at night and Tamara’s father forbids her to mingle with them. But one night, she creeps up onto the moor to find out about the giants for herself. Her father catches and punishes her by turning her into a river of tears, the Tamar.
As a child I was not satisfied with this ending. A girl with a mind of her own could get up and out of her tears and do great things. I added another chapter to her legend: As Tamara’s tears sink down through the earth, the rocks, metals, and minerals comfort her, telling her everything is consciousness moving through time. Everything is connected. As water she can seep into all the corners of the world, giving love instead of sorrow. Tamara reverses her tears, wends back to the land and forms a river of joyous tears. The Great River of Life pours down to meet her and invests her with the job of soul guide for the human family.
This ends Part 1 of Creating a Universe for a Visionary Novel. Part Two will continue with Settings, Cosmic Locations, and Theme.
Christina Greenaway, author of “Dream Chaser: Awakening” was born on the rugged land of Cornwall and now lives in the United States. A traveler at heart, Christina may be found anywhere in the world writing the next book in the “Jeweled Intelligence” series.
Visit Christina’s website here.