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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Build a Story World

Thresholds as Commitment

“But is he who opens a door and he who closes it the same being” 
                                                                                      Gaston Bachelard

This takes a step through a barrier as in a dream.  Alice follows the rabbit hole down the hole. It is not as deliberate a choice as a crossing, but nevertheless, it makes a commitment to see through the opportunities or perhaps, as in Alice’s case, the curiosities that the opening represents.

When Sleeping Beauty discovered a spindle for the first time she was immediately drawn to it and then crossed the threshold into her destiny forged by the curse, but not with the dire ends of its intent.

Cinderella’s passage from scullery maid into a guest at the ball opened the door to her royal future.

“That is what Thresholds are all about in literature,” says Tim Wynne-Jones. “A Threshold is the physical manifestation of change.”


1.     Make another list of similar barrier thresholds either from fairy tales or novels you remember.

2.     Then make another list of all the changes in the characters between their opening and closing their doors.

3.     Which were subtle and which were startling?

Share: How could you take one of your examples and redress it into another genre?

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