Posted by: codecalla | January 4, 2013


Back to The Princess and Curdie, which just arrived in the mail today.  It felt like Christmas.  Somehow the unwrapping of a book reaches the feeling of illumination, for which, suddenly the heavens give a hearty cheer, and trumpets blast out a rollicking good tune.

As I started to read the treasured pages, suddenly I realized that despite the age difference when I first enjoyed George MacDonald’s work, this time I was once again a child imagining the possibilities of Great-Great-Grandmother, and enveloped within the tale.  The other side, the adult within, suddenly recognized some aspects of the story that I didn’t notice as a child, and the story became even richer.  I’m still partway through the book, but I wish to treasure every moment of reading it, and imagining the characters.  There are a few surprising new things I’ve noticed.

One of my favorite parts of reading is putting myself into that moment and living with and through the characters.  Am I a little squeamish if I’m reading a book in which characters are killed off easily?  It depends on the story that goes with it.  Part of me understands why there must be the drama of a lost character, but for me, they are real, living and breathing on the page, and it requires delicate handling for such a weighty decision.   There’s a fine line between creating emotional ties to the characters and being manipulated…which I really don’t like.

For the writer, who plays a creative “god”, there are many choices to make, and each one will impact the audience in some way.  Personally, I’ve decided to write a story that I like, that I would enjoy, and hopefully others will enjoy it too.  I don’t want to make decisions based on what is “cool” or “trendy”.  I want to focus on what I feel resonates through the story.

Perhaps it is easy to be judgmental when it comes to others’ works, but for me, I can enjoy many different types of stories.  There are some stories that shine above others, but I think it ultimately depends upon whether the story is enjoyable for the audience/reader.  Should enjoyment be more important than giving some kind of instruction?  Is didactic narration so important?  I think there should be a careful balance.  The balance should rest on the characters and the story, does the moral fit?  Or are you forcing it?  I’ll write more about this later.

**As a special promotion, The Protectors of Tarith, available through Amazon will be free on January 5th.  It’s for one day only.


The Protectors of Tarith


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