Hello folks. It’s the middle of December already? Where did that go? Seriously? How are you guys, today? Got all your prezzies wrapped and ready to go? I actually have *Smile!
Well, if you can, please take five minutes between spending and panicking to check out this guy’s insights into writing a literary fiction tale with a fantasy twist.
‘Magic and Tragic Loss; the Blending of Elements’
By John Mc Caffrey
When I added a magical element to Nora’s Wish I had to first consider the plausibility. I was asking the reader to not only accept what I was introducing, but to embrace it. There is a certain suspension of disbelief you’re asking the reader to take in, and if you stray too far outside the parameters of logic, you will certainly fail.
Mary Shelly did it brilliantly with Frankenstein. She asked the reader to accept the possibility of reanimating the dead and wove an engaging narrative around its existence. I was never left feeling that the concept was implausible, and her writing has influenced countless writers over the years, myself included. I was after that believability, that certainty of conviction, and I believe I pulled it off with Nora’s Wish.
“It’s a Wishstone,” Martha said. “I got it from Ireland a couple of years ago. The owner of it can make one wish if they are true of heart.”
Like The Monkey’s Paw, I had to infuse an inanimate object with magical powers in a way that was not only believable, but barely noticeable. It had to be of no more consequence than a salt shaker, something that while fantastic, was also mundane.
“Well, it certainly is a beautiful piece of jewelry, but I’m afraid I don’t believe in magic.”
“And why not? There’s magic all around us. The world is built on magic. Love is magical. Why shouldn’t there be a wish within the stone?”
“Because there is no such thing as magic and wishes Martha. I wish there was.”
“Well,” said Martha as Ben headed for the door. “Sometimes we have to make our own magic.”
Ben is reluctant, doubtful; buying the pendant for nothing more than the aesthetic quality, and yet, on a subconscious level, he wants to believe. Needs to believe that there is hope. The pendant becomes a focus for Ben and Nora, a powerful talisman to ward off the inevitable. Nora’s conviction in the power of the amulet has to overcome Ben’s doubt. With both their genealogical clocks ticking, Ben comes to believe in something more than the everyday, more than what logic dictates to the contrary, and as a writer, I had to weave it into the story in a way that made sense.
“Sometimes we have to make our own magic Ben. Please trust me. Please believe.”
It’s through Nora’s adamant belief in the pendant that Ben finally comes to terms with his own doubt, not only in the pendant itself, but in his assurance that his life was somehow of his own making. That if he had only done things differently, he would have been better off, happier, and not alone in his declining years. He comes to realize that there is more to life and sometimes all a person has to do is accept the fantastic, and through that hope lies a magic greater than ourselves.
John Mc Caffrey
Ben Jameson is a bitter retiree residing at Willow Manor, a home for the aged or those in need of care, and has nothing more to do than await the inevitable conclusion of a life wasted. Forgotten by his family, his days are marked by the solitary existence of books, loneliness, and regret.
A chance meeting with a terminally ill resident named Nora, and her unshakeable optimism in the face of her eventual demise, rekindles emotions he was certain were gone forever. Nora reawakens his ability to love, and with her compassion and her companionship, he comes to realize that even a life as wasted as his own can be salvaged and, given the right incentive, is still worth living.
As Nora’s health declines, they both dare to hope that the magic of a strange pendant Ben purchased from an antique shop as a gift for Nora will overcome the odds, offering them more time with one another.
Nora’s Wish is available on:
Amazon Kindle: Amazon International
Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)
John Mc Caffrey writes tales of horror, the supernatural, science fiction, and fantasy. He was born in Illinois and grew up on the south side of Chicago. While still in grade school, he developed a passion for reading through the works of Tolkien, Poe, and Lovecraft as well as being addicted to watching Hammer Film’s at the local Saturday matinee. Today he lives in Northern Indiana with his wife where he writes in his spare time.