Thursday, December 6, 2007

Magical Realism

I've been thinking on my WIP for the past few years and were struggling with a key plot element in the novel that deals with the supernatural. The problem is, my story is really a drama set in a the real world set against WWII. I kept thinking: Will that work? Will readers find it ridiculous that a real-life drama is mixed with supernatural elements?

Then I read a list of dramatic/literary devices and came across the term "magical realism." I've heard of that, of course. One of my favorite movies, Like Water for Chocolate (which was based on the novel by Laura Esquivel), makes heavy use of magical realism. In fact, this "genre" is popular in Latin-American literature and cinema.

Magical Realism (n): a literary or artistic genre in which magical elements appear in an otherwise realistic setting.

Even though I knew about this, I didn't consciously make the connection as I struggled through my story. Now that I've realized I've been writing a magical realism story, I feel much better. Especially as I realize the wealth of "magical" elements in the cultures about which I'm writing, I feel really good about following through with my artistic instinct. I think it will work beautifully.

4 comments:

Lori said...

Glad to hear it, Ray. I'm very anxious to read the rest of that story.

Ray Wong said...

Hey Lori... I'm still working on it. :P

Thomma Lyn said...

I think your work in progress sounds fascinating! And though I'm working on revisions to rough drafts right now, the novel I'm itching to write next is... you guessed it... magical realism. :)

Ray Wong said...

Thanks, and good luck!