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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Friday, November 18, 2011


Thresholds as Commitment

Just as we plot out a map to a new location, this category requires taking a deliberate step of faith. We are not forced. We choose with as much insight as possible, even with an unknown outcome. Sometimes the decision is plotted out ahead of time, and sometimes it’s spur of the moment. But we accept the potential consequences before we act.

Alice follows the rabbit down the hole even though the crossing feels as if she’s in a dream. Her curiosity overrides the penalty she fully expects for wandering away.

Consider a character’s rationalization in a space movie when someone who has never traveled through a time warp has to choose to get "beamed up.” Their career is in the line and that desire to be a part of exploration and discovery is strong enough to squash legitimate concerns.

Do you know anyone who manages to get into an airplane when terrified of flying? What makes the person choose--commit to this action?

Or go backwards. A person refuses to cross the threshold and is held in her immediate sphere, much like phobias trap people, such as agoraphobia. How does a life get mapped out that is restricted by fear?

And yet sometimes choosing a restricted boundary line can be freeing creatively. Emily Dickinson lived a reclusive life. The majority of her poems only became know after her death when her sister discovered the extensive works.

Journal Prompt:

Make a list of your character’s fears from childhood. Then put her in a situation where she has the opportunity to change it. What steps does she take? When does she hesitate? What gives her the ability to push ahead?

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