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

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Strategy # 7 Harmful Dangers: Hidden Foil

Build Your Story: 8 Strategies for Writing Innovative Setting with Impact

Whether emotional or physical some dangers are not immediately evident. Or may not even be recognized as a potential danger. Sometimes the danger is hidden behind a foil.

In the MG Mystery The Lost Treasure of Fernando Montoya, by Rick Acker, sibling sleuths investigate an historic site. A snake bites Arthur. They have been well prepared for safety in the terrain by their uncle, their guardian for the summer, and so his boots protect him from the venom. However the uncle, upon hearing his niece scream, “came running and jumping down the nearest vertical side of the mine, completing disregarding his own safety in his hurry to reach Arthur.”

He injures his knee, ends up at first in the hospital and then put on semi-bed rest recovery, effectively removing his physical ability to protect his niece and nephew from their enemies.

In a later scene one of their pursuers takes advantage of a demolition site to trap the siblings. In both cases the immediate danger posed by the natural terrain hid the more dangerous threat.

Another hidden danger can be due to age, or lack of experience, and used to heighten the tension.
In the collection of Where Treetops Glisten, Sarah Sundin’s recent historical novella, “I’ll be Home for Christmas, six-year old Linnie wanders their small town whenever she gets a chance to slip away. Even the police greet her mother’s call with a sigh. This last time it’s already late in the afternoon and the police insist her mother Grace stay at home and wait. “How could she sit still and wait while her daughter roamed the streets? It was cold. Soon it would be dark. Cars and buses might not see a small child in the falling light. And Linnie trusted strangers far too much.”

Grace clearly recognizes the physical danger to her daughter, even while Linnie innocently doesn’t. What Grace doesn’t see coming though is the emotional heart upheaval that will be released into their lives.

Share: What example of a hidden foil have you written or read or seen in a movie recently?

Read deep, marcy

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