Thursday, January 19, 2017
Overview Plot Development: Patterns Part Four: Wish Fulfillment Story
Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults
“Strong motives make for strong convincing stories and weak motives make for weak and unconvincing tales.” Lee Wyndham
Strong motives are especially important for the Wish Fulfillment story as often the hero or heroine does not actively participate in the success as energetically as some other patterns. In fact, in some instances at first glance the main character, often quiet, may seem passive.
In a Wish Fulfillment “the wish seems so impossible to him or her that he/she almost never makes any effort to come true,” according to Fitz—Randolph.
Many fairy tales use the two types of Wish Fulfillment across many cultures. A wish almost always touches hearts, especially if the reader can identify with the emotion. Lee Wyndham notes that there are three powerful urges that apply to all ages: life urge, love, and power urge. Once again usually one or all can often be identified in fairy tales and folk tales.
In the first type, the main character gets his wish because of who he is—his character shines through whatever circumstance he finds himself. Cinderella fits the first type. She does not get to the ball by her own actions, but because of her personality and generous heart towards others. One caution though is to let the story unfold without adding any “moralist preachiness.” It is not grounded on outer behavior but on heart concerns.
The second type of wish type is similar in the quality of unselfishness and personal character but they do participate more in the unfolding action. Not, however, because they expect a reward but because it is the right thing to do regardless of the consequences. They act with no thought of getting their wish. An example of this is in The Golden Goose by Grimm Brothers. The third brother is given a poor meal and is asked by a little old man if he will share it. The young man does and warns him of its poor quality. Not only does the meal become delicious but good fortune follows the next stage of his journey with a happy ending. All because the young brother acted in honesty and generosity, unlike his self-centered older brothers.
“Wishes always need to be a strong one and think of what a child wants.” Now.
A more modern version of this quote, and an excellent wish fulfillment story style, is in Found Things, by Marilyn Hilton. In this exquisitely written novel the reader is thoroughly attached to River Rose Bryne where “Wishes are powerful things.”
Below are five fundamental basic human needs listed by Lee Wyndham, which she says offer “a powerful magnet for holding the readers’ interest.” Choose one of them and apply it to the pattern you chose from last week. Or which would you choose for a Wish Fulfillment pattern?
1. “The need to love and be loved.
2. The need to belong.
3. The need to achieve.
4. The need for security—material, emotional, spiritual.
5. The need to know.”
Share: Which one did you chose? Why did that one jump out to you?
Read deep, marcy