Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The "Magic" Kingdom

What does it tell you about the last few days that it’s after ten at night and I’m just getting to today’s blog? No, it doesn’t tell you I’m a lazy goof off who just got back from Disneyland! What gave you that idea? Oops, sorry. Let me just take off the Mickey ears. Actually I’ve been busy answering questions for the blog tour. I’ve been visiting places like Hawaii, Narnia, Water Keep, and playing Call of Duty 4.

Among the questions I’ve answered include how I name my creatures, what my worst job was, and if I wet the bed as a child. Entertaining, one and all. This really is going to be a blast.

Anyway, in honor of spending way too many hours at the land Mickey built, I thought I’d post about how everything I know about writing I learned at Disneyland.

Start on Main Street. Don’t give me flashbacks, dream sequences, or flowery descriptions. Put me on the road to a great story and give me something I want to follow.

The best cruises include plenty of laughs. Laughter is a great way to keep me interested.
Why do so many stories have a comic sidekick? Because laughter breaks up the tension, makes me like the characters, and gives me a change of pace. But please, come up with something better than the backside of water.

Immerse me in your world. Walt Disney hated to see a cowboy walking through Tomorrowland or a yodeler in Adventureland. That’s why he built tunnels under Disneyworld. When I was in Frontierland, I watched a mayor stump for election in front of the saloon, rode a steam ship past Indian villages, and listened to a band of fiddle/banjo/guitar playing fools while I gnawed on a giant turkey leg. Give me the sights, smells, and sounds that make your world real for me.

Don’t ever, ever, ever, let me get bored—even when you are trying to move the story along. Yes, I need to get from point A to point B. But keep me entertained. Disneyland has thousands of storylines. You need a bare minimum of three per novel. And preferably more.

Thrills are key but setting makes it all come together. Yes, the tower of Terror is scary. But why? Just down the road apiece is a ride with a bigger drop and a faster ascent. Why is it not as scary? Because you scare the bejeebers out of me before I even get on the elevator with the creepy rooms, weird sounds, and the whole Twilight Zone story. By the time I start going up in the elevator, I am primed to scream my head off. Never create a setting just to make a place. Use every scene to create the mood you need.

Bring back favorite characters, but keep the story growing. I love Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s my all time favorite ride. But I have to admit, I was pretty darn excited to try out the new Finding Nemo submarine ride. In a series, book two needs to keep the story growing and be bigger and better than book one. But don’t jettison the old favorites.

And finally, Dole Whip is the food of the gods. I don’t know for sure how that relates to writing, but I think I ate my weight in Dole Whip. Ummmm.

So what writing or reading tips have you learned at a Disney park?


At 6/10/2008 9:54 AM, Blogger MaryJo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/10/2008 9:55 AM, Blogger MaryJo said...

I learned that I should have bought the spray water bottle the first day - not the second. I learned that we should have rented a stroller as soon as we entered the park - not mid day. I learned that I love DisneyWorld now as much as Disneyland. My son asked me when we were going back...

At 6/10/2008 11:26 AM, Blogger Janice said...

I learned that like a good book, good rides are still just as great the second time around, but Dumbo loses it's charm after the 5th time. Less stuff means more freedom, but a new toy makes a long line bearable. And, seeing Mary Jo's comments I learned that what is great for one person isn't great for another. I was the one who told her not to bother with a stroller.

At 6/11/2008 12:26 AM, Blogger Becky said...

I've learned that, like Disney Land, good stories make you want to come back for more fun and adventure. Whether it's reading the story again (going on the older rides that you love) or waiting, sometimes impatiently, for the next book to come out (waiting for the next time you can go and see what new rides are there).

At 6/11/2008 2:07 AM, Blogger Pat said...

How about overdoing anything, (even a good thing), just gives you a headache and makes you lose your lunch?

At 6/12/2008 11:25 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

I've learned that the $4 mint julep is worth the money on a hot day.


Post a Comment

<< Home