“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Strategy # 4 Hungry Territory: Danger
Build Your Story: 8 Strategies for Writing Innovative Setting with Impact
Continue to ask these questions of each key territory spot you choose.
2. Is it man-made?
What welcome animals live within—how much care do they need—is the
person elderly and in danger of tripping over a skittish cat? Unwelcome:
mice—roof rats—snakes under the foundation—spiders. Looking for a way to drive
your comfortable heroine in her lovely home into high stress? Have her return
from vacation and find her home literally jumping with fleas.(True story)
What is the history behind it?
Don’t just examine the historical data but the animal as well.
Perhaps a species has been driven out of their natural habitat. And then there
is a severe drought. Do they then become a danger or are the people even more
of a danger to them. Is the town on a migration pathway? Do the people co-exist
with the bi-yearly invasion or it is a mini war zone?
Or they know how to take advantage when the opportunity shows
itself. Here’s a photo that showed up on facebook one day. Talk about territory
and landmark together!
“After all the terrible
rain in England recently, a group of swans swim down flooded walkways in
5. If so, is it open to everyone to visit or considered
Holy ground will need to be clearly defined for your world. In
medieval times a person could seek sanctuary in a church or monastery. However
their life was forfeit if they left the grounds, so, in a way, they chose a
form of prison.
Holy ground may or may not include cemeteries. A wildlife
reservation may be considered a type of holy ground sanctuary to preserve
nature. And what happens if valuable minerals or oil or gold is found
underneath. The movie Avatar explores
this entire theme across space, species and culture.
Share: What did you
uncover or realize could become a potential conflict in one of these
I am an author, a freelance content editor, a writing workshop instructor, and a writing coach. I write fiction novels and short stories, and nonfiction reflective journals, workshops and poetry. I am an avid reader, an occasional knitter and love to watch the ocean or see a good movie.
Albert Einstein said, “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing knowledge.” Einstein called his imagination “a holy curiosity.
As readers and movie buffs we enjoy the drama and universal feelings of love, revenge, greed, hope. “When the shoe fits”, we can tap into these versions, add our own imagination, and enrich our own stories. We begin to identify metaphors for ourselves, our characters and our readers and become more attuned to feelings and beliefs. We often find emotional heritage—our touchstones—in our personal history, literature, scripture, folk-tales, songs and culture.
Jane Yolen says, “Folklore reflects the society that creates it. Modern art tales…. take on this mirroring quality, too.” According to Roland Hein, G.K. Chesterton believed that everyday life is permeated with mythic qualities. “One must have the eyes and the ears to see.”
So in Mythic Impact we will open our ears and eyes to a holy curiosity, building bridges through chaos and confusion, to search out illuminations.