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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Build a Story World


 “Thresholds are necessary in the creative process in giving an idea somewhere to go.” Tim Wynne-Jones

Change, no matter how small, can create mental and emotional chaos as you turn into a different direction, physically or emotionally. To cross a threshold though requires a choice, even if it has been forced upon you like a refugee fleeing his war torn land. All sensory memory is heightened and sharpened. It is not just the moment that is at stake, but the journey that follows it. Thresholds become part of our soul shadows as much as our physical bodies cast their shadow. And the question can linger. “Did I choose the right fork in the road?”

“An Eye for Thresholds,” is an excellent essay written by Tim Wynne-Jones in the book Only Connect. His focus is under the category of Books and Children, so I’m taking extreme liberties by borrowing some of his threshold categories, and then adapting them and paraphrasing some for my own purposes.

As you look at each category make notes as to where a challenge of beliefs or values could become a tension point, either personally for your main character, or in relationship to family or society.

Thresholds as Connectors

 Do we open the locked door at the end of the spider-coated hallway? Are we ready to hear the words written in the old manuscripts found buried under the house?

Look at these familiar solid connections and think of ways they can become a life-changing threshold doors, windows, railroads, books.


1.     Choose one of these categories and brainstorm ten to twenty ways they can become a threshold connector either literally or metaphorically or even better—both.

2.     Which one is the strongest? Which the weakest?

Share: What makes the difference?

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