Random Inspirations

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Bringing Magic to Your Audience–In Writing and Life

on April 4, 2013

We writers are, above all, students of human nature. Think about it…in order to create memorable and complex characters, we have to be in tune with people and their psyches. We also need to understand our readers: what makes them tick, what fascinates them, what awes them, and what annoys them. Once we’ve found these pieces of the puzzle, the writing life becomes much more rewarding.

With that in mind, I performed a social experiment one recent weekend. I hadn’t planned  to do one; I’d just been having fun. But what I realized was that people love something magical and something different, no matter what their age or their environment.

Antonio and I were celebrating my birthday with friends. I lost one of my contacts at the first club and could only see out of one eye, an adventure in its own right, especially with a prescription of -9.0. (For those of you who don’t know eyes, that’s really bad!) So, we detoured at home to change contacts before hitting the next club. And on the way out, I grabbed the inflatable unicorn I’d acquired at Lollapalooza last summer. It seemed like the perfect party prop.

In the second club, I danced wildly, as usual. The only difference was that I was also wielding a mythical creature on a stick and squeaking it at everyone I passed. Thus began my unplanned social experiment.

The glimmering unicorn that started it all...and some glowing red eyes too!

The glimmering unicorn that started it all…and some glowing red eyes too! Should’ve borrowed the sunglasses:)

The happy rainbow unicorn brought a taste of magic to the modern world. In the club, nearly everyone grinned or reached out to squeeze it. There were a few uptight girls who didn’t seem enthused, but everyone else seemed to love it. A group of guys and  girls formed a dance circle around the unicorn, Antonio, and me. A laughing man addressed me in rapid-fire Espanol. Since I only speak elementary, cave-man Spanish, I just yelled, “Si, es un unicorn. Fiesta! Aye caramba!” Then, his friend approached and asked me in English if he could take a picture with me and the unicorn. He said they were from Argentina and they’d never seen anything like it.

The whole night was basically a free-for-all of fun, and I realized that even grown-ups love something out of the ordinary, something a little weird, something mystical. I felt like my silly, squeaking unicorn brought magic to a group of random people, and in doing so connected me to them, even just for a few fleeting moments.

This uncontrolled, spur-of the-moment experiment revealed a lot about human nature, and the lesson I learned can be extrapolated to writing. If we as writers bring magic to our audience in unexpected and creative ways, readers will be touched and enthralled by our work. And isn’t that one of the main reasons we’re passionate about writing in the first place?

6 responses to “Bringing Magic to Your Audience–In Writing and Life

  1. Nice piece Kristina! Unicorns for the win 🙂

  2. sarahlong00 says:

    Awesome post! And isn’t it so much more fun to write with magical flair? 🙂

  3. Thanks Sarah…great to hear from you! It sure is:)

  4. Susan says:

    Enjoyed the post, Kristina!

  5. Thanks Susan:) We can stage a repeat experiment anytime–go unicorns!

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