In looking back at what I wrote last week, I realized it isn’t “items of importance” but instead “material objects of importance.”
Many great books have objects that move the story. It can aid people or destroy them or both, as in the ring in The Lord of the Rings. Some objects are the focal point of the tale, while others add to the story along the way. In Cinderella, it’s a glass slipper. In Sleeping Beauty, it’s the spindle of a spinning wheel. In Camelot, where would be King Arthur be without the sword Excalibur?
Not every story has an object as the focal point of attention, even though I’m currently working on such a novel. Some stories have objects of importance that a character collects or loses along the way. Sometimes an object doesn’t have any power of it’s own. It’s power is in whether or not the main character believes in it. Above, Dumbo has the “magic feather.” He believes it will make him fly, because he doesn’t believe in himself. I won’t tell you more, as I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
A special note: Even in non-fiction books such as The Diary of Anne Frank, a book has the power to convey a message even after the main character is gone. It’s has a certain power over death.
In my novel, Vampire Princess of New York, there are several objects of importance. One is a mirror that the Princess insists on buying even though her best friend Donovan says it’s ugly. He buys her a lady’s desk from the same time period. All her furniture are from the time before the French Revolution when her mother disappeared.
I’m going to share with you an excerpt that demonstrates when an object of importance is not what it seems to be. I used that concept several times in this book.
Two elves brought in a small piece of furniture that was broken. “David asked that we look for this. It’s a small writing desk, but I’m afraid it’s cut in half,” Veritas said.
Noble rushed over to it. The two edges were frayed.
“I can have a restoration expert work on it,” Max said.
Noble examined the parts, turning them over and over in her hands. “What’s this?” Something dark stuck out of a broken underside of a drawer, as if she hadn’t discovered all the hidden compartments. It was a little book bound in black leather. Pulling it gently released it from its confines of hundreds of years.
Every eye fixed on her as she sat in a chair and opened the book. She began in French. Then shook her head. Not everyone there spoke French. Many of the resident Arnhem Knights came in to see all the excitement.
“It says, ‘These are the words of Marie Antoinette. 1787.’”
After scanning several pages, she continued, “My friend and the governess for my children, the Duchesse de Polignac, has been away in England. My sweet baby Sophie grows more and more ill with each passing day. Elisabeth stays with me and is my comfort. I do not remember my other children having such pain over cutting teeth. Sophie grows weaker each day, and the Royal Physicians say there is little they can do.”
“Who is Elisabeth?” Veritas asked.
“She was the sister of King Louis XVI.”
He nodded and Noble continued reading. “It was Elisabeth who noticed a maid in the royal kitchen who many say had experience as a healer. Madame Marie Aquilla became my Sophie’s devoted attendant, but in the end even her care was not enough.
“Sophie, who should have been my friend, is gone. My heart cannot speak of the sorrow that squeezes the very breath out of me. The world has grown dark and my tears will not stop. How can I part with my baby?”
Noble went from page, to page, to page before she spoke again. “The queen is quite broken hearted and mourning. Here. ‘I am again stricken to learn that dear Madame Aquilla is now afflicted. I have paid Jacques LeClerc and his sister to make sure the sweet madame’s last days are in comfort. Such a dear woman. I think of her caring for my tiny angel and weep once more.’”
Noble turned through more pages. “I have received word that Madame Aquilla has died. I will pray for her.”
Looking up at everyone surrounding her, blood tears stained her face. “Queen Marie Antoinette was writing about my mother. My human mother.”
Donovan sat beside her and pulled her into his lap, carefully wiping away the tears with a moist handkerchief thoughtfully provided by Queen Evelyn.
She smiled and kissed Donovan. “Now I know what happened to my mother.”
And this continues Princess Noble’s adventure. I gave this as an example of the power an object of importance can have on a character’s life. The power of this particular object continues in the novel.
Vampire Princess of New York is available in Amazon Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Princess-York-Arnhem-Knights-ebook/dp/B01LWXYX1G/ and Amazon Print at https://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Princess-Susan-Hanniford-Crowley/dp/1682913260/
It’s also in print and can be ordered online at Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vampire-princess-of-new-york-susan-hanniford-crowley/1125966996
(An interesting thing about Amazon is that if you click on a book, you will see the author’s name in small print. Click on the name and it will bring you to the author’s page which lists all the books and their formats that are available.)
If you have missed the other lessons in “How to Write a Fiction Novel,” here they are:
Happy Writing. Next week we will talk about “How Clothes Make the Character.” If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write them in the comments box.
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
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