Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Inanimate Objects: Into the Woods, A Lesson in Fantastical Literary Elements

Connye Griffin is My Writing and Editing Coach

An inciting incident for a journey Into the Woods is the Baker’s need for four objects to reverse a spell cast many years before as punishment for his father’s peccadilloes. To his neighbor, the Witch, his misdeeds warrant a barren future; she takes his theft of her rampion as a serious affront. The truth is, however, that the four objects will return the Witch to her former youth and beauty but she cannot touch them herself so she uses the Baker to acquire them for her.

Objects of all kinds figure prominently in fantasy literature. Harry needs his wand; Beowulf his sword, Hrunting; Hermione her bottomless purse, and Buffy her stake. Sometimes these objects have the power to speak, too. Hogwarts’ Sorting Hat thinks, reads a person’s true nature, and declares in which house the youngest class members will dwell and compete. Aladdin’s Lamp, once activated, belches a fully-grown genie to grant wishes and create mischief.

A mask designed to protect those living there.
Seen and photographed in a casa, Sayulita, Mexico
2010, by Al Griffin

Reading Challenge:

If you have not yet read The Hunger Games series or the seven adventures of Harry Potter, now is a good time to invest in them. As you read, make a list of the objects that come to life or are essential to a character’s journey.

Writing Challenge:

Choose one important object in fantasy literature and explain its power.