Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Through the Looking Glass

Well that was a super short weekend. Here we are on Tuesday again. I thought I'd be more prepared by now.

So I guess today I'm going to talk to you about a specific genre that I'm apparently fond of. I mentioned in a previous post that there are different types of fantasy stories. One is that a secondary world is entered through a portal.  And this is something I love.

It’s the plot of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, MirrorMask, and The Chronicles of Narnia, to name only a few. Someone finds themselves in this other, potentially magical world, and they have to find a way home. It’s something I've used before on… several occasions. It's the basis of The Midnight Carnival. Our young protagonist gets trapped in this other world where nothing is what it seems. How will she find her way back home? And perhaps more importantly, who can she trust to help her?

I'm actually super excited to have another go at this story. But, the rewrites are going to require me to develop the secondary world of the circus, and figure out the rules that govern it. The issue I have with writing any kind of fantasy is that I can imagine the world, but not describe it. Why not? They’re just words, use them!

It’s not quite so easy, and I'll do my best to explain why. It's not just a matter of the physical space. "The room is set up like this and that. There's a wall here and a table there." While doing that effectively can be tricky, it’s not the problem. It's more that I can imagine the, I don’t know, aesthetic of the place. Like how it feels to be there. Maybe it feels like 6 in the morning in mid-July. Maybe it's like listening to a song you swear you've heard somewhere before. Maybe it’s like the sky is too big. I don’t know how to turn that into words that make sense to anyone else.

I don’t know. Maybe my weird-ass metaphors will fit in this fantasy world. Maybe that's what it needs, and the reason it never seems right is because I keep trying to normalize it. Maybe it's late (it's still Monday for me) and I need to go to bed. You decide.


  1. Who cares if it is normal. Everyone is weird so some people will get it, or maybe they will have their own adventure and perceive things completely different. That is the beauty of story and imagination. Two people read the exact same story and yet two entirely different movies play out in peoples head. I can read a book twice and picture it different than I did the first time. So write what you feel and we will sort it out I promise. If we can't we will find some who gets it and say the famous line "I don't get it" and some will explain their version of the story. Okay, I am running on way to long. You write it, I will read it . "SO STOP WORRYING AND WRITE SOMETHING" words of encouragement from the Tressle Creek baby advertisement.

  2. I definitely think "weird" metaphors would fit in this fantasy world...that is the magical thing about it. There are no rules!