His Dark Materials trilogy and writing.

This is something I noted down in my journal at the start of the year. Has an interesting thought for everyone in a creative field/career. Do you have any other rules you generally like to follow? Share them in the comments below, would love to read them.

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Good books, all three of them. But not ones that I’ll go back to and read again and again and again. The creation of the different worlds of the books is intricate, well-crafted, full of depth and very imaginative. The characters are believable, three-dimensional and very realistic. However, I wasn’t too fond of the writing style. The balance between detail and plot leans a bit towards detail more often than not and it does at times hinder the pace of the narrative and weighs down the action. I didn’t fall in love with the words of the stories like I have in other favourites (fantasy genre ones in particular), didnt weigh them, turn them around and inside out until I had exhausted every possible meaning and hidden connection. I didn’t mull over them or relish them or imprint them in my mind for future reference. In fact, truth be told, I skimmed over some parts more than I normally would. Nor was I too keen on the strong element of religion prevalent throughout the books.

The point of this post isn’t a review or closer look at the books but just to share an interesting metaphor/parallel that I found. In The Northern Lights/The Golden Compass, Lyra’s reading the Alethiometer (a small, round, gold-coloured compass that helps not in finding a physical direction or destination, but a metaphorical one in the form of revealing the truth) and getting a glimpse of a thought/s but they are just eluding her. So she decides to leave them alone and let them hover, knowing that sooner or later, they will settle and be fully formed in her mind. I found this to be a very realistic analogy for not only a writer, but any serious pursuer of any art. Over the last few years at University, I’ve learnt not to fight this, not to struggle with my thoughts and visions and ideas when they seem just a bit elusive and refuse to solidify even though I am near enough to almost touch them. I’ve learnt to let it lie for a while, let the thoughts swirl around unformed while I focus my attention and concentration on something else. It’s worth the patience because more often than not, they find you. Even when you think they’ve given up, they will find you if they’re really meant to.

Alethiometer (His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman)

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