Magic in a Box

While driving home from my parents yesterday, I saw something that took me back. Four kids in their early teens were crossing a busy, seven-lane street with a cardboard refrigerator-size box. Each of them had big ole smiles and were giggling as they jay-walked, kicking and lugging the box like drunken crabs.
I felt myself smile as I remembered Christmas and birthdays when my children were younger. I swear that many times they were more enamoured of the boxes their bright, shiny toys came in than the toys themselves.
And the ones they could crawl inside…
Those were the best. Those big boxes became houses, cars, rocketships and transmongerfiers. Anything was possible especially if there was another box and duct-tape.
And imagination.
In a bill-board moment from the universe sign, I received the exact same message from a workshop I attended on Saturday. In Discovery Story Magic by the fabulous Laura Baker and Robin Perini, they stated that writing inside a box freed the imagination.
At first I didn’t like the notion at all, but then my thoughts shifted and I could see the sense in it. You see by writing genre fiction, we place ourselves in a box. It is the box of readers expectations of the genre–A mystery needs a murder and the murderer caught, a romance needs romance and the certainty that the relationship will continue after the story ends, Science-Fiction and fantasy both have other worlds where good and evil battle it out in epic battles involving technology and/or magic with a bit of a parable mixed up along the way.
But the workshop talked about a nested box inside the genre box–the character box. You see in order to create a story that allows the reader to believe in the unfolding events, the actions and reactions must be in line what the protagonist/antagonist of the story.
Giving a whole new dimension to the phrase Character counts.
And just like that refrigerator box the kids carried, they’ll cut doors and windows, plus add designs and extra things that make it uiquely their own (hero’s journey) and transform it into something different in the end (Character arc).

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at She’d love to hear from you.
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