Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Entrance Into Your Story

Over the past few weeks I have been following Helen Ginger's blog, "Straight From Hel." She is a freelance novel editor out of Texas whose blog carries a wealth of useful information for writers.

Her Visual Writing Prompt from last weekend drew an analogy of your "book as a home." I couldn't make the comparison anywhere near as well as Helen, so I will link you to her blog entry here.

The question she posed was: "What kind of entry into your plot have you created?"
Attached below is my ideal entry. It is from the SpaceTransform feng shui blog and I have attached the text that appeared with the entrance below the picture.
I would like a "clutter free" entrance that is somewhat organic, displaying good balance and flow, welcoming the reader to accompany on a journey. I think the door itself is a wonderful piece of work that symbolizes humanity and the story that is about to unfold.
What would be your ideal entry?
From a Feng Shui perspective, the front entrance is one of the most important features of a home, strongly affecting the experience of its inhabitants as well as its guests.
The front entrance (or the entrance used mainly) is the face of the house, and in that sense it represents a home's image and character. It greets you as you return after each excursion. It greets guests as they enter. And it leaves the final imprint as we depart into the world. It is the window between the inside sanctuary and the outside environment, the vital passageway through which chi energy flows. The entrance therefore has a very important role and should be given appropriate care and attention.

The following should be considered:

* The entrance should be clear, visible, confident. It should not hide behind overgrown bushes or plantings.

* The front porch is not a good place to store clutter or belongings which don't have a place inside the house. Many people spend time and energy carefully arranging the interiors of their houses to create a good feeling, but if the front entrance is cluttered then the experience will still suffer; by the time they and guests have arrived in to that space, they have already been negatively affected by the entrance's first impression.

* The flow of energy into the house is affected by the objects in its way. So in addition to affecting humans' perception of the home, clutter and overgrown foliage will hamper the ability for chi to enter and vitalize the space.

* Design front entrances with care and intention: clear of clutter, with a few beautiful objects arranged in a simple, balanced, harmonious way. This will provide a positive first impression, visually and energetically, for you and your guests.

* The area just inside the entrance should also be arranged well, providing a welcoming and spacious place for us to transition between the outside and inside.

Next time you enter your front entrance, pay attention to the subtle impressions it creates. What simple changes could you make to optimize this facet of your home? [photo: front door designed by Morris Sheppard]


Akasha Savage said...

I think I would like my entry to be a dank dark cave dripping droplets of water from the rock formations above. The air heavy with the smell of sulpur and brimstone.

katey said...

I love this idea, and I love the points you make about it. It's a perfect metaphor, and those are so rare, but so awesome.

I struggle with my beginnings, or entrances I guess, all the time. This gives me some new perspective.

I read Helen Ginger over at the Blood Red Pencil. Good stuff!

Anonymous said...

Lisa Logan has this all covered.

Romance author with a spiritual side.

Anonymous said...

I think I would like my entry to be a dank dark cave dripping droplets of water from the rock formations above.

I can recommend you a cleaner, if it would help.

Oh, and Helen Ginger kicks ass. I love her blog, and the Blood-Red Pencil too.

Natalie L. Sin said...

You sound just like Ying : )

Alan W. Davidson said...

Akasha - That sounds really ominous (seems appropriate, though, for a horror writer).

Katey - Glad it helped, I had never heard of the comparison before and thought it really cool :)

Anton - Ha! Recommend a cleaner...

Natalie - Thanks, I think I would like him!

K.C. Shaw said...

That's a cool door. If you squint a little, it looks like a giant robot.

I'm currently wishing I lived in a little castle, so my door would be shut, barred, and have a moat full of alligators in front of it. And I would be inside reading.

As for story entrances, though, I suspect mine are more like a utilitarian office door--not particularly welcoming, alas, but certainly easy to enter and not at all cluttered.

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

Wow. I am impressed with everyone's work on this topic. I'll have to think about mine some more. Right now, I'm thinking mine would be one small entrance, covered by brush, hidden from the world, leading into a private space with tight walls, a comfortable chair, and INTERNET CONNECTION!

Okay, you readers, what do you think I'm needing right now? Yep, time alone!