This is the 200th post on Storyfix. We launched June 1, 2009, and so far over 2000 of you have signed on for the ride. You are the reason I do this. Thanks for your vote of confidence. Much more to come, too.
Last week I posted a call for Guest Posts in response to the recently completed Shutter Island series. Those posts are in the recent Archive, and if you’re new here, I think you’ll find this a worthwhile investment of your time.
I’m almost sorry I positioned this as a “contest,” because I was both impressed and appreciative of all the submissions. But one did stand out, simply because the enthusiasm of it spoke to me, and cuts to the heart of why we should deconstruct stories in the first place.
You’ll find it below.
In addition to this “winning” entry, I’m publishing all of the submissions as separate Comments at the end of this post. Sharing the experience with fellow writers is valuable and fun, so I encourage you to read them and, if there is one, visit the websites owned by these writers.
If you’d like to add your own “post” as an additional Comment, we’d all love to hear what you think.
Submitted by Amy Henry, www.wholemama.com
Story was my first love. But, like many writers out there–you know, the kind that like to eat and pay the bills–I’d set aside my fiction, turning instead to the non-fiction market. Larry’s deconstruction of Shutter Island, however, reawakened my story lust. I threw peanut butter sandwiches at my kids while tearing through the book in one afternoon. I then gave it to my teenage daughter, then to my teenage son, then to another boy at church, all because I wanted someone to not only talk to me about it, but because I wanted to witness their confounded reactions to the final twist and to share in their ‘Shazam!’ moment.
It worked. My daughter neglected her Saturday chores and didn’t hear when I called her for dinner. Later, she was reading the final pages while I sat staring at her, waiting for it. And then, yes, there it was, that Beautiful Moment of discovery, when she realized all was not as it appeared. Her eyes went back and forth faster and faster. I could see the gears turning, her mind rolling back over this piece of foreshadowing or that subtle hint of an ending that, as it turned out, wasn’t all that subtle. She slammed the book down, her cheeks flushed.
“I can’t believe it!”
“I know,” I said.
“All along he was…?”
“And the whole story led us to believe…?”
Yes, yes, yes. And that, I said to my dear daughter, is the power of story. To make you slam the book down with a ‘No way!’ To keep you so fascinated that you can’t break away to feed the kids or do your chores. To mesmerize. To transport. To transcend.
Shutter Island makes me itch to write something, and it isn’t an article or a blog post.