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

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Build a Story World

Thresholds as Crossings

Here we deliberately make a choice to step into new stages, probably never to return: a passage of some moment. It can include walking away from a place, or a relationship, or choosing to no longer be who we were a few minutes earlier.

In the novel, The Hero and the Crown, protagonist Aerin made that crossing when she arrived at her first dragon slaying.  “Talat halted, and they stood, Aerin gazing into the black hole in the hill. A minute or two went by and she wondered, suddenly, how one got the dragon to pay attention to one in the first place. Did she have to wake it up? Yell? Throw water into the cave at it? Just as her spearpoint sagged with doubt, the dragon hurtled out of its den and straight at them:”

In Phantom of the Opera, this moment comes for Raoul, when he stands before the Phantom, prepared to die if he must, in order to rescue Christine. His love is proven true and his courage stands up regardless of the consequence.


1.     Review the most recent fiction you have read. From memory only, can you pick out one or two threshold crossings in the story?

2.     What impact on the overall story did they make? Was it a quiet decision or a major plot point?

Share: Can you adapt the emotional cost to a character in your novel? Why or why not?

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