Whenever I read novels or watch movies, I love when there are key physical things incorporated into the plot. I call these "things," Items of Importance.
In Harry Potter, a major Item of Importance is Dumbledore's wand, made from an elder tree. Major plot lines are constructed around it, yet most of the time we hadn't given it any thought; we didn't known it was even important, until it was. Recently, I read Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and red scarves are used as a way to identify other "dreamers" in a crowd. The scarves become so real in this already visual tale, that I could imagine people lined up for book signings wearing them the same way kids wore Harry Potter glasses to the book and movie releases.
Items of Importance have a place in our minds because we crave for elements around us to have power or symbolism, and we want to be near to those things even when it's only in our imaginations.
As I'm writing and editing my novel Burning Spirit, I'm consciously aware of how I want to give you a few special Items of Importance to follow and hang on to. So far these include:
A braid, a trinket, a key, and a rosary.
I think items like these are key to tapping into our instinctual desire to be part of something larger than ourselves. Without meaning, these items are just things. But with meaning, even small things like braided ribbon become crucial. Deep down everyone wants to hold a piece of something powerful whether that's spiritually, emotionally, or mentally. We yearn for solid ground in a storm, and these items give us that through the journey of a story.
So, as I go through this
What have been some of your favorite Items of Importance in books or film? Or, why do you think readers/viewers enjoy them so much? Leave comments below.