Wright’s Writing Corner–Musings on Writing From the Beautiful And Talented Wife

My wife writes:

On Angels:

Some things are intrinsically hard to write about. Angels may be one of
those things. I have almost never seen them done well in fiction. I
have, however, read really stirring accounts of people who believe that
they have seen real angels. While I have no way to judge the veracity of
their stories, I can feel the power of the narrative. It come with a
sense of awe and wonder.

Somehow, that sense almost never appears in depictions of angels in
fantasy and science fiction. Depictions of angels in genre literature
and media is almost universally negative. They are the real bad guys,
while demons are misunderstood, emo, moody hunks. Or they are weak.
Angels are rigid. Angels are hand-wringers. Angels are boring.

Only the ones who fall in love…emphasis there on the word fall…are
even the slightest bit interesting. When they fall, then they get to be
the cute scruffy hunks.

Read more: http://arhyalon.livejournal.com/321862.html


  1. Comment by Noah D:

    I’m not sure how you’d write a being without free will. I don’t know what that would ‘look’ like.

    More comments on angels in media at Arhaylon…

  2. Comment by Sean Michael:

    Hi, Noah!

    But angels DO have free will. They are simply so configured by their NATURE that they know absolutely what they want, whether good or bad, that they will never change their minds. Which means that when God created the angels and gave them the choice of loving and obeying Him or hating and disobeying Him, the choice they made of their own free will will last for eternity.

    Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

  3. Comment by Rob Corrigan:

    Probably my favorite angel story (although it’s really a detective story featuring angels) is Neil Gaiman’s Murder Mysteries.

  4. Comment by bear545:

    With my unfortunately plebian tastes, I would say that among my favourite portrayals of angels (apart from Milton’s) is Pasquale’s guardian angel in the comic strip Rose is Rose. Usually he is a little version of Pasquale with cute little wings, fluttering around his charge as they go on adventures like two young best friends. Whenever Pasquale is threatened, however, the angel instantly becomes a dour faced, sword in hand one hundred foot tall warrior of heaven.

  5. Comment by The_Shadow:

    How about the Eldila of C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy? Lewis some downright convincing angels, in my opinion. Particularly in Perelandra.

  6. Comment by Sylvie D. Rousseau:

    I read almost no fantasy literature apart from Narnia and LOTR. Tolkien’s elves and dark lords are interesting and credible invented angels. This is the only example I know. On the wrong side, I watched one movie about an angel “falling” in love and found it uninteresting. Such creatures trapped in a boring fate have nothing to do with bad or good angels. This is one thing I also remember from my perusing of the Twilight saga: one of the two leading Volturri always looked bored. This is a common view of sceptics that eternity is an infinite time, thus thoroughly boring. And the portraits derived from that view do not make a memorable entertainment.

  7. Comment by Ben Zwycky:

    I would hope that my own depiction of angels would meet with the approval of this community’s discerning readers, but I doubt that anyone here has read my novel. It’s also quite a spoiler to mention that they feature at all, so I won’t say any more about the role they play in the story.

    Leave a Reply