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Magic Places

October 7, 2013

I can still remember the first baseball game I attended. It was sometime in 1980–I think–and the Oakland A’s were in Boston to face the Red Sox. I remember the A’s started pitcher Mike Norris that day. He wound up winning twenty games, but not that year. That year, he was mediocre as the A’s continued to stumble through their owner-induced hangover of bad baseball and low payroll.

We came up the steps on the first base side of the field and the first thing I saw was the Green Monster–Fenway’s famed left-field wall. Some of the Red Sox players were out in left shagging flies or something, and against the backdrop of the wall, their uniforms were probably the whitest thing I’d ever seen.

I still get a thrill as I enter a stadium and get to look out over the grass for the first time. There’s just something about watching the preparation for the game–the players meandering around the field while they aren’t taking batting practice, working, but not too hard. The grounds crew doing what they’ve done every game since the beginning of the year. They aren’t racing around, either, because they’ve done this before and have the system down.

It grabs me every single time.

Everyone has something like that. For a Facebook friend, it’s seeing the castle at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Maybe it’s the camp or cottage you went to as a kid. Or the house where your grandmother used to live. Or maybe it’s the place you met the love of your life.

But everyone has special places that never fail to thrill them.

Even your characters.

Your character’s life in your story is, in a way, their job. They exist to be part of that story, to be a catalyst of some sort to move things forward. But part of the story’s job is to enlighten your reader–appropriately, of course, about your characters. And one way to do that is to reveal the special spot that takes their breath away a little bit every time they see it.

What’s that spot? And can you use it to your advantage in revealing the story and your characters?

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