This week’s video explains how science fiction master Orson Scott Card’s book Enchantment gives a prime example of using up every delicious drop of premise potential.
Video Transcription: How many times have you been thrilled by a book’s amazing plot idea—only to be disappointed because the author never took advantage of the idea’s full capabilities? It’s admittedly very easy to come up with a plot idea, set the characters in motion, and then watch hopelessly (or sometimes obliviously) as the story meanders away from the original premise idea.
However, in Enchantment, Orson Scott Card’s modern take on the Sleeping Beauty legend, he offers us a marvelous example of how to strengthen our stories by taking full advantage of the premise. Card’s story dumps a young man from modern American into a ninth-century Russia that is rife with interesting story possibilities and all kinds of conflict. Card could easily have written an entertaining tale set entirely within this framework. But because he understood that his premise of magical time travelling supported much more, he masterfully upped the ante and turned the tables on characters and readers alike by sending the hero and his Russian Sleeping Beauty back to the modern world halfway through the book.
At one point or another, all authors have found that delicious groove called “being in the zone.” The Zone is that enchanted land, in which we can do no wrong. Our words flow from our fingertips onto our keyboards with lightning speed, every one of them singing with the perfect expression of our intent, every one of them beautiful and powerful and vibrant. We write for hours, our energy level so high it’s practically bouncing out of the top of our skulls. When we finally tear ourselves away from our story, we’re so pumped that we alternate between wanting to run around the block and resisting the urge to shove our newly minted words under the nose of anybody we can talk into reading them. Without doubt, The Zone is one awesome place.Related Posts: Does Your Story Have the “Extraordinary Factor”?
Too bad we can’t stay there all the time.
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Story by K.M. Weiland