We authors are world builders, so nothing thrills us more than to see our words come to life in the form of a book. That way, we know that people will enter the worlds we create through our words. A few talented and lucky writers create worlds so vivid that they are recreated in the form of movies, and their worlds then reach millions through words and visuals. That must be an amazing feeling. And even fewer writers have their worlds recreated in three dimensional in places where we, the readers, can actually experience and interact with these word-built words! Butterbeer, anyone?
That’s right, I spent the weekend at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, and I was struck over and over again about how much of the park is owed to the power of words – to authors.
Now I am not a big fan of theme park rides, those days are gone! But what Harry Potter fan doesn’t want to walk down the streets of Hogsmeade? I know I did! So it wasn’t too hard (we only made her beg for a year) for our daughter to convince us to take her down to Universal for a long weekend. (Let me give you a TIP: the second weekend in November is a GREAT weekend to visit this park. We paid for two nights in the hotel and got the third free, we also paid for two days in the parks and got the third free. Crowds were low, lines were short, and a new super-affordable dining meal card was newly available. )
Anyway, as a reader, and a writer, I have to admit that I fully enjoyed stepping into the world J.K. Rowling created while I shopped at Honeydukes, ate roasted chicken in the Three Broomsticks, drank Butterbeer, and even visited the restrooms where Myrtle moaned. It was fun to see words come alive. And while Hogsmeade was certainly the main attraction for me, it was only one area of the author-inspired park.
We visited Jurassic Park, the gargantuan creation of author Michael Crichton.
And took a walk through Seuss Landing, a world inspired by the crazy out-of-the-box words of Dr. Seuss. Here I am with the first eligible bachelor to attempt to hold hands with me in over 23 years.
I’m sure that my daughter, who spent a lot of time being photographed with many mini minions, and my husband, who rode more roller coasters in those three days than he probably had in a lifetime (due to my wimping out after the Norwegian Horntail experience) took different things away from the Universal experience. But I came away feeling awed by the power of words, and the amazing possibilities before us when we build worlds with them.
As I polish up my current work in progress, I will be asking myself: What changes can I make to insure that readers will want to step off the pages and into this world?