Monday’s XKCD comic presents a challenge I’ll flesh out for the story writers in the audience. The first three panels of the comic present your typical young adult fantasy:
Great. You have your hero/heroine and the challenge and the successful adventurous journey. Win for everybody except the bad guy.
It’s been done. Whether the setting is an ancient land with castles and dragons or a space adventure, we’ve seen the story. Most of the appeal comes from the combination of the setting and the characterizations. But as you notice with this particular adventure, it’s what I call “bookended” with reality. The “Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” ends in this fashion. The sequel has our characters being called back to the fantasy realm for their next adventure. (every Chronicles of Narnia adventure involves youths from “our” realm/reality having adventures in the realm of Narnia)
Other adventure story sequels have the adult versions of the children heroes going back, where the characters initially forget their first adventure. “Hook” with Robin Williams comes to mind, and the upcoming “Alice in Wonderland” sets up the story the same way.
But then, making the fantasy world all over again is fun, and again, the storyteller is selling the setting as part of the story.
But what if there is no more fantasy world?
So, here’s the story writing challenge, as presented in the final frame of the XKCD comic:
Such as a story that starts out in a modern day office and the new girl is being shown around and being introduced to the company employees:
Here’s Bud, who works in the mail room. Here’s Sally, our southwest regional sales manager; you’ll love her because she always brings those really great doughnuts on Fridays. Oh, and here’s Johnny. Johnny thinks that there’s a magical kingdom you can only get to by going through a hole in the back of the supply closet. Isn’t that just special?
Tip of the hat to Monday’s XKCD comic that charts the character groupings of 5 movies.
The first one is inspired.
The second is cute.
The third is funny.
The fourth and fifth are droll.
But that’s okay, because before you get that far, you’ve already shaken your head in appreciation for the work on the first three.
It’s a 2 Meg image, and it’s got a lot of pixels. Which means it takes up more room than you can fit on one monitor. Deal.
The small version won’t do it justice. Below’s a link just to the large version of this.
Yes, it’s a visual, no I’m not going to tell you. That’s why I’m giving you the link, silly.