Thoughts on Halloween in Montreal

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Halloween in Montreal

Well, it was a bumpy couple of days, but the Halloween in Montreal 2-part finale is finally up for all to read.  You can read the parts by clicking the links below, or read the entire adventure from the beginning by going to Part 1 of Halloween in Montreal: Crazy Lady.

About Halloween in Montreal – **POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW** – You’ve been warned!

Now that the adventure is over, I wanted to talk a little bit about this short story, why I wrote it, where it came from, and what it means to me as a completed work.

Truth is, this story came about from two sources, one of which is my attempt at reliving childhood imagination, and the other my attempt at writing a non-fantasy work of fiction.

Childhood Imagination

One of my favourite movies is the flick Finding Neverland starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, which follows the story of J. M. Barrie (the author Peter Pan).  The movie is truly amazing, both with its heart-wrenching story, as well as its depiction of J.M Barrie’s overactive imagination. Definitely a must see movie if you havn’t already seen it.

Although I don’t wish to compare myself to Mr. Barrie, I have to admit that I saw part of myself in his character.  Specifically, I connected with the character’s ability imagine things up at any time, and his portrayed fascination with childhood imagination.  Everyone has seen children playing on the street, and there is something magical at how they can conjure up and live out epic adventures in the matter of minutes, using mere sticks and stones as great weapons to defeat the evils of their stories.

I sometimes think back at the wars and battles I fought as a child, and find myself missing that feeling.  Then there are days like Halloween day 2009, where out of nowhere, my imagination wakes up and takes me on a wild ride, the result of which, in this case, was Halloween in Montreal.

Non-Fantasy & Fist Person

Although the majority of stories on Folaji.com are currently fantasy stories (either taking place in the realm of Warcraft or the imagined lands of a Dungeons and Dragons adventure), fantasy is not my favourite genre.  In fact, if I had to choose, I would probably pick Horror (à la Steven king) or Science-Fiction (à la Frank Herbert) as my favourite story genres.  That being said, I also like to push the envelope, and Halloween in Montreal was an attempt to do just that.

This is the first non-science, non-fantasy, fiction story that I’ve ever written.  I’ll admit it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  The challenge was to embrace the childlike imagination I wrote about above, all the while keeping the story in the realm of “plausible possibility”.

I mean, who knew how hard it would be not to include a large Dragon, an army of Alien Warships, or Scary Ghosts in this story?  Well, for someone who’s imagination is often jumping around, it was a challenge.  By the end, however, I guess you could say I’d reached a point where I could focus my imagination to the realm of the possible, something I’d never attempted or achieved before.

This is also the first story I’ve ever written using the First Person point of view (have you noticed, we never learn the name of the hero in the story?).  Now there’s great debate out there about writing in the First Person, and I’m not looking to add to the debate other than to say that I do believe First Person point of views can be very useful in presenting a story, or part of a story, when used properly.

A known and accepted limitation of First Person writing, however, is that the reader only ever know what the central character knows, and you can not delve into other character’s thoughts.  Used in a certain way, however, this can allow the writer to create suspense and mystery, although you have to be careful not to make your story too confusing my keeping too much from your readers.

Conclusion

I’m glad I took on these two challenges and stuck to my guns, and I believe it made for an interesting story now that all is said and done.  With the final part of the story published, Halloween in Montreal now belongs to the Folaji.com archives, and was a fun ride while it lasted.  Although, just like real life, the story never really does end, and I may revisit this universe sometime in the future.

In the meantime, I have a few other projects that require my attention.

So, what did you think? Leave a comment letting me know!

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