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

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Compose Through Metaphor

“Besides furnishing a plausible abode for the novel’s world of feeling, place has a good deal to do with making the characters real, that is, themselves, and keeping them so.” Eudora Welty

Some of the richest metaphors come from the most ordinary plausible details. They parallel the external realities alongside internal hopes and dreams, and transform the common with translucence.

Some excellent examples of several mythic influences can be found in the recent release of a romantic Four-In-One Collection, Central Park Rendezvous. This contemporary/historical threads three common details throughout a century plus time span: letters, a coin and a bridge, each of which also mirror and complement each other. To the passerby—nothing of importance. To the participants—a heart aching search.

In A Love Meant To Be, by Dineen Miller, the valued coin, a keepsake,
is a link to the past and promise to the future, yet becomes the catalyst for miscommunication, strained friendship, a broken heart and failure. Just the act of passing the coin from one hand to another explodes all preconceptions of family dynamics forcing the characters and the readers to re-evaluate everything. The concrete coin becomes a spinning metaphor for plot, characterization, theme and atmosphere. Plausible. Ordinary. Real. Translucent.

Journal Prompt:

            Your main character needs to pack and move with little notice. A friend comes to help and discovers a small box in a drawer or in a closet. Overcome with curiosity he, or she, opens it. What do they find inside?

Share: Which of the items does your character choose to hold?

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