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09:39 pm: Guest Post by me at Magical Words

This week I was invited to guest post at Magical Words. I gave them the same post my friend Dolly posted Down Under a few months back on Why I Write Fantasy, so you all have probably seen it, but if you are not familiar with Magical Words, you should definitely check it out! It's a site about writing maintained by about half a dozen sf/fantasy writers, including David B. Coe and Misty Massey, both of whom have guest posted here. It's full of wonderful articles on every aspect of writing you can imagine. (I got the idea for my Wright's Writing Corner from them.)

Here's mine:

Here's Magical Word's main page:



[User Picture]
Date:August 23rd, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC)


Your desire to share a sense of wonder through your writing reminded me of something that I've heard Peter Kreeft mention--he attributes it to someone else (maybe Tolkien?) but I can't remember who. He says that a good story is one that breaks your heart; no greater compliment can be paid a writer.

What you say about sharing wonder seems to be the same, after all, I don't believe that Kreeft meant "breaking your heart" only in the sense of great sorrow. In fact, I believe he meant it primarily the opposite way. That is, a good story breaks your heart through beauty. When we see the struggling protagonist finally (and through some great sacrifice) save the day, don't our hearts leap? When the heart of a conflicted character finally turns, finally overcomes some inner turmoil, don't our hearts rend with happiness? When something truly beautiful happens, or when some magical world captivates us, or when a great truth is shown through the plot, isn't our breath taken away a bit?

Good stories break our hearts and make them grow stronger; we feel like more complete people for knowing them. As you said in the end of your column, "the curtain of mudanity is pulled aside" and we feel the magic hidden in our own lives. In those ways, fiction becomes more true than life (as we typically see it).
[User Picture]
Date:August 23rd, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)

Re: Wonder...

I think you are entirely right...if it doesn't break our heart, it enlargens it...kind of like what happened to the Grinch. ;-)
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