My A-Z Blogging theme is to cover 26 touch-me-not categories of fiction writing. These are frequently the trouble spots which can be useful components of the story if handled properly, but when rushed through, can cause all kinds of trouble. While the genre is fantasy, the tips can apply to anything, from romance to literary fiction.
While exploring the ruins of an old castle, Mordekai and his sister Monique accidentally destroy an old tower only to find themselves in a different place, or time, entirely. Then a giant goat crashes through the wall and carries Mordekai off, leaving Monique with the unpredictable Princess Mural. They begin their journey to a nearby abbey while Mordekai is taken to the villains’ fortress, but the abbey turns out to be loyal to her uncle. Early the next morning, the abbot sends both women off to join Mordekai in the fortress where Mural’s uncle awaits. Then, Mordekai discovers a magical opening to his dungeon and walks through.
Mordekai squinted in the light. It was morning, and he was now outside the castle, though still inside the keep. A goat walked by, and he hastily crouched down, but it didn’t seem to notice him. It just clattered on by, it’s cloven feet loud. I could’ve jumped on it…if I’d wanted such a thing. He found himself wondering if he was invisible, but that was preposterous.
Carefully, he crawled and scooted, dodged and dived his way along the wall, looking for another opening that would let him get away completely. But every step brought him closer to the main courtyard–the place where his last friendly companion, Brisbane, had died.
Then he turned. There was the sound of wings beating the air, and the giant flying goat came in for a landing, to people dangling from a rope harness of some sort. Other goats came to meet him, and one even went straight through him. Mordekai looked down in wonder, but he was still there. He could feel his ribs, his stomach (which was very hungry) and his other organs (some of which had been long neglected, as goats didn’t seem to believe in water closets). But that creature went right through me! Perhaps passing through the wall had changed his molecular structure, though. It could’ve set off a chemical reaction whereby I’m no longer “of this world.” It was rather encouraging, actually, as it meant the goats could no longer harm him.
Then he saw that the giant’s two prisoners were none other than Mural and his sister. The goat set both down, but did not untie them, and then the captain of the goats showed up. “Go, get the other prisoner,” he told a few of his soldiers.
It was only a matter of time before they discovered that he was missing, then, and he didn’t know how long the invisibility and lack of substance would last. Quietly, and being careful out of habit, he crept close to the two women. Then he began to try to untie his sister.
But it was no use. His fingers went straight through the rope. “Blast!”
“Mordekai?” Monique said, looking for him though she wouldn’t be able to spot him.
“Shh,” Mural murmured without moving her head. “If he is here, we do not wish to draw their gaze.”
“Yes, I’m here, but I can’t do a thing. I went through a wall and now I’m…”
“Changed. I have heard of it,” Mural said, as calmly as if they were discussing ordinary events. But then, this seemed to be a magical world. Perhaps being changed was considered somewhat normal. “Put your hand on mine.”
“I can’t. A goat walked through me, and just now, I went right through the rope.”
“Obey me in this, sir knight. Royal touch is known to carry great power.”
More like great pride, he thought as he rolled his eyes. But he did as she said, and to his complete surprise, he could feel her hand, warm and smooth in his.
She looked over her shoulder for just a moment, her blue-green eyes full of meaning. “You see?”
Life is full of reunions–from seeing people you didn’t plan to see again to greeting loved ones when they return from work. They aren’t always romantic or delightful, but when they happen, you need to ask yourself a few questions.
- What has changed with my characters since the last time they saw each other? They may have grown older, less attractive, or more successful, and all of these things will affect how well the reunion go. In this case, since Mordekai has become both invisible and incorporeal, the reunion promised to be quite something (and they may not believe him once he tells what happened, in full).
- Where are they? Location will influence how well a reunion goes, as external threats or inconveniences may make them say or do things differently than they would if they had all the time in the world and a different setting.
- How do they feel about each other? This is one of the biggest considerations, and usually the one authors pay the most attention to (sometimes to the point where they have characters do and say things they wouldn’t normally do and say, in such a position, just because of where they were emotionally). But feelings can change, for stronger or weaker after absence, and this will influence the way a reunion goes, so long as you keep in mind the first two questions.
Until the next letter,
Copyright 2017 Andrea Lundgren
Photo courtesy of gratisography