Musings on “The Neverending Story” and My Own Writing

The Neverending Story is a classic movie from the 1980s and a must see for anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre or simply appreciates a free range imagination. I have watched this movie many times, but I can still watch it again and continue to enjoy it.

Why do I enjoy this movie? I have enjoyed fantasy stories for as long as I can remember. Some memorable moments in the fantasy genre include the Nazgul chasing Frodo as his pony carries him toward the river at the edge of Rivendell in The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien, and Goldmoon defeating the black dragon Khisanth in Xak Tsaroth with the blue crystal staff of Mishakal in Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. These stories provide fun adventure in well-developed worlds that are foreign to us but which still grab our attention, and the magic and strange creatures provide special intrigue and wonder. The Neverending Story is filled with strange creatures (such as the rock biter and the luck dragon), and it has an intriguing plot about Atreyu’s effort to save his world from destruction.

I also enjoy The Neverending Story because it is about imagination unleashed. The entire world of Fantasia (every place and every creature) is the manifestation of human imagination. The movie is based on the premise that each world (including our world) manifests the imagination of another world in a never-ending chain, and yet those worlds are real in a physical sense. Each world is as boundless as the imaginations which create it, and they in turn are the creations of the imaginations of other beings in other worlds.

Throughout most of the movie, the plot plays out for real in Fantasia as Bastian reads it in the book that he borrowed (without permission) from the bookstore. After Fantasia is destroyed by the Nothing, Bastian enters the story and meets the empress face to face. She encourages him to re-create Fantasia in his dreams. She says he can have as many wishes as he wants, and that the more wishes he makes, the more amazing Fantasia will become. Fantasia then becomes the manifestation of his dreams, and he expresses his imagination freely.

I can somewhat relate to this story. I feel like I have an imagination that wants to break free in writing. The world inside my head can be an interesting place. Sometimes it is strange, but that makes it fun. Despite this, I struggle to write fiction. I once wrote a sci-fi story for a short story competition. I did not think I had a likely chance to win, but I decided that I needed to try regardless. It was rejected. I then submitted it to a sci-fi/fantasy literary magazine. It was rejected. Maybe I should post it on this blog so that more experienced writers can critique it. If I get enough requests in the comments, then I will do that. I am an amateur writer who has much to learn, but I am open to learn.

Sometimes I think that I am not cut out to write fiction, and yet that imagination wants to express itself. So, how do I let it out fully? “The Neverending Story” is an example of what can happen when a creative imagination is let out to play. I would enjoy doing the same.

About henrywm

I am interested in Christian theology and church history. I also enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and stories which wrestle with deep questions.
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2 Responses to Musings on “The Neverending Story” and My Own Writing

  1. Redhead says:

    I love that movie so much, and for many of the same reasons you mentioned. I watched it over and over as a kid, loved the visuals, loved the top layer story. I remember being 8 years old, and the magic mirror gate scared me, and i didn’t understand it at all. as an adult, that’s become the most meaningful scene to me.


    • henrywm says:

      Thanks. I checked your blog. It looks good. I love sci-fi as well. Unfortunately I cannot read as much as I want now. Circumstances have required me to go back to school (more on that in a future blog post), and so I have little time.


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