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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Build a Story World

Elidor Cont’d

So the children arrive at the street, now demolished. Only an old church remains. In this odd place a fiddler appears in the distance playing strange music. A plastic football snaps lead in the church window. One by one the children disappear until only Roland is left in the empty church where the fiddler finds him. Roland runs out the door back towards the street. “But he never reached the sidewalk for the cobbles were moving under him. He turned. The outline of the church rippled in the air, and vanished. He was standing among boulders on a seashore, and the music died into the crash of breakers, and the long fall of the surf.

With each major transition in the story the disbelief, the impossible, is emphasized.  They find the treasures in the Mound, when danger forces them back into their own time with the treasures: the jeweled sword, golden stone, and pearled cauldron, which all change. 

“In his hand Roland held a length of iron railing; Nicholas a keystone from the church. David had two splintered laths nailed together for a sword; and Helen an old, cracked cup, with a beaded pattern molded on the rim.”

The tone of dealing with the impossible heightens the action as well as the mystery.  When the electric appliances start operating on their own, even the unplugged ones, they consider telling their parents; but even they don’t believe the treasures are causing it. Over and over the children try to ignore, forget, disbelieve the strange circumstances surrounding them, but with each impossible occurrence they are forced back into their relationship with Elidor.

They finally accept that their reality and Elidor’s world have intermingled, even in its impossibility, and now begin to seek a solution that mingles the two. “But if the Treasures are in Elidor, we’ll be left in peace.” They go back to the demolished church dragging the treasures. They figure out the clue and at the end, “The children were alone with the broken window of a slum.”

They started in the broken demolished street and they ended in the demolished street. Everything about the magic stayed contained within the limits of their comprehension and ability to process and act. And yet the possibility of failure also faced each decision.

So regardless of the age of your characters the magic must remain true to itself in all its characteristics. It too must cost. Take time to plan out the repercussions.

“Drifter's gold is for me to spend --
For I am a vagabond.”
Don Blanding (A Vagabond’s House)

1.    Write your own version of these two lines.

2.    What does it cost the drifter lose or gain in your version?

Share: your two lines. 

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