Wish fulfillment and boys and girls . . .

I’m deep into the first set of Powerless revisions and something’s been nagging me during my tea and biscuit breaks (actually they usually turn out to be Coca-cola and cookie breaks, but I’m trying to sound writerly).

Why do folks like to read?  What is it about one story that ignites the imagination over another?  What makes such a ripping good yarn that little Jimmy will put down the Sony and crack open the dog-eared pages of a 300 page-plus tome?

Well, beats me.

But I suspect that it has something to do with truth, with the ability to get swept up in a grand adventure while all the while feeling that you can understand the characters.  When a reader says, “yeah, I feel like that sometimes too.”  That’s when the story is working.

I believe this so strongly that I’m banking on it.  See Powerless is not about Wish-Fulfillment.  It’s not about imagining that you can cast spells, or have the power to slay dragons (not that there is anything wrong with either of those things.  They are perfectly acceptable professions.)

Powerless is a very fast-paced adventure story, to be sure, full of wondrous things.  I took my inspiration from the pacing of the comics I loved so much as a kid – complete with superheroes, cliff-hangers, mysteries, twists and turns.  But the hero of this story is not the Chosen One.  Or the Destined Something-or-Other. Or the most powerful blah, blah, blah in the wherever.

He’s powerless.  And I just hope that kids and adults will read it and say, “Yeah, I feel like that sometimes too.”


One Response to “Wish fulfillment and boys and girls . . .”

  1. Excellent analysis! I’m in the throes of editing a YA myself. Best of luck!


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