Monday, June 18, 2007

Writer's other worlds

Because I have had a host of doctor's appointments (for myself - thanks, I'm fine - my son and my mother), I have spent hours waiting in doctor's waiting rooms and managed to finish Lisey's Story in record breaking time for me (it usually takes 6 weeks to read a 300 page book and this one was over 500).

I had lunch with a writer friend (yes, someone who writes whom I do not represent) and mentioned that I was loving Lisey's Story but it was one of those crossing-over-into-the-famous-writer's-universe-to-save-someone novels, and he asked me if that was really a fantasy category.

In case you don't know the basic plot, the widow of a famous, popular writer must save herself and her sister by crossing over into the alternate land where her famous husband once went (and brought her) for his inspiration and grounding.

One of my clients, Chris Golden, had written a novel that has a similar plot. In STRANGEWOOD, the father of a young boy must visit his alternate universe to save his catonic son.

And TALISMAN has that element too, but Jack Sawyer is not a writer as a boy or later as a man.

So, I'm wondering if you have read any other novels (or movies) where the writer (or artist or film maker) (or his children or spouse or followers) must gain entry into that alternate universe to save themselves or the world?

17 comments:

Don said...

Jonathan Carroll's Land of Laughs comes to mind as being (kind of) in that vein.

thebestweek4eve said...

Would Dyana Wynne Jones Howls Moving Castle be an example?

Lori Perkins said...

Maybe.

Jenny Rappaport said...

I recommend Theodora Goss' short story, "Pip and the Fairies". It's not quite what you're looking for, but it comes close.

http://www.strangehorizons.com/2005/20051003/goss-f.shtml

December/Stacia said...

I can't think of any, but I had the same thought about The Talisman and Lisey's Story when I read LS last week--in record time too. :-)

Sam said...

That made me think of the Garth Nix novels - Abhorsen, Lireal, and Sabriel. They're YA, but I hear he rewrote them for adults as well.

Miri said...

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke is the only thing I can think of. It involves people and characters being read out of the worlds of books and written back into them.

Anonymous said...

Just yesterday I finished the first Thursday Next book, in which she goes into a novel to save the characters of the book. Not quite the same thing, but pretty close.

Danielle said...

Lisa Goldstein's Dark Cities Underground has the son of a famous children's author discovering that the world she wrote about was real.

BernardL said...

I can't think of any other than King's. It's an extremely difficult plot concept to pull off. For myself, the concept is harder to absorb, while reading, than a novel that dumps me on another world fighting intergalactic war. All due respect to an author who can pull it off.

Anonymous said...

This sounds sickeningly similar to a billion Lord of the Rings fanfiction stories, where the author's self-insertion character falls into Tolkien's world.

Except, of course, that it sounds as if these published authors have tried to make the premise a little less of a gratuitous wish-fulfillment fantasy.

It's a magic portal story, basically.

Heather said...

Yeah, what Miri said. (Damn you, woman, you beat me to it. ;) Quit reading the same blogs as me.)

Anonymous said...

Jasper Fforde

David said...

The Time Trip by Rob Swigart. Published about 30 years ago, and cruelly neglected. It's funny and moving and brilliant.

Lori Perkins said...

Thanks. I'm going to see if I can find some of these for summer reading (of course, I will be reading manuscripts and partials galore too), And if you're working on one of these, I'm very interested. Actually one of the three books at Pitch Slam that hooked me was one with this kind of plot twist.

Lisa said...

I think What Dreams May Come might fall into this category. I really loved the movie, which was based on a 1978 novel of the same name, by Richard Matheson. I have not read the book, but apparently there were some significant changes in the film adaptation.

Matthew said...

Stephen King's The Dark Half also does something like this, with the writer having to battle his alter-ego pseudonym with some writing trickery. The short story "Secret Window, Secret Garden"(also by King) has some interesting writer-centric stuff, too. King's pretty fascinated with this theme in general...