Posted tagged ‘ruby slippers’

Silver slippers

June 20, 2011

If you’ve read the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, you know that Dorothy actually wears silver slippers, which help her get home. They were made into ruby slippers for the movie since that color worked better on screen. I think most people only know of this story through its movie adaptation, but that’s not so bad, and for my nefarious purposes, that’s actually very good.

I’ve gotten back into the groove with Finnegans Deciphered. (You may recall a recent post on this humble blog in which I detail the manifold distractions that have been afflicting me in recent months.) I have a scene where two characters have a bit of a banter, mostly chit chat, but in it the minor character offers a quote from The Wizard of Oz (movie) to impress another character (the protagonist). The idea for this pretty much just popped into my head as I was writing the dialogue. I hadn’t planned it. I wasn’t looking for a place to squeeze it in. I hadn’t even thought about putting these two characters into a chatty situation together. It all just seemed to happen organically.

But, of course, it didn’t. Deep in my creative subconscious I’m sure my mind was waiting for me to get to the right point in the narrative to use it. How do I know this? Because the introduction of this unbidden minor motif fits perfectly with the theme of the novel. It even serves the plot in the next chapter. And the development of the protagonist’s background. Not long after I wrote the bit of dialog I began to see how I could develop it in the rest of the story. Even the fact of the Wizard not being who he seems adds to my story since characters not being who they seem, or at least being other/more than they seem, is at the core of the plot.

Thus I suspect that such a snatch of dialog, fitting so well and allowing such a useful development, was no accident but really a calculation of that creative part of my mind I don’t want to know too much about.

Such revelations like this invigorate my writing. I suppose in other times one would have attributed this kind of thing to a Muse. Whatever. I’ll take it however it comes. And I’ll get back to writing the story as soon as I can.