After I started attempting to write fiction, I gained an increased appreciation for The Neverending Story. It demonstrates what can happen when imagination is set free and allowed to have fun.
I recently searched YouTube for a video of the theme song when I stumbled upon the video posted above. I have watched this movie countless times, but this time it hit me in a new way. Bastion learns that Fantasia has been completely destroyed (except for one grain of sand) but that it can be reborn in him. He needs only to make a wish.
At first he does not know what to wish for. Maybe he lacks confidence in his creative ability for such a huge task. Maybe he just does not know where to begin. The empress then tells him he can have as many wishes as he wants, and “the more wishes you make, the more magnificent Fantasia will become.”
He seems not so different from a writer. A writer holds a world in his head, but it is born only if he begins writing. Fantasia could not have been saved if Bastion had not first embraced his imagination by giving the empress her new name and then by making his first wish. If a writer does not begin, then his imagined world will never be appreciated by readers. If he does begin, then he can take that world in any direction he wishes. He can add as much as he desires, and the more he pours into that world, the more incredible it will become. And then, he can share it with readers and let it fuel their imaginations.
This movie also portrays what I suspect many readers of imaginative fiction would do given the opportunity – visit those worlds. Imagine having the opportunity to visit Middle-Earth during the Third Age, or Narnia during the struggle against the White Witch. It might be fascinating to explore Thimhallen, a world saturated with magic, or Krynn while people fight against the forces of Takhisis. It would also be fun to ride a racing snail in Fantasia or fly on a banshee on the moon Pandora.
Or, even better, imagine visiting the world you create in your head. Of course, you cannot visit it physically, but you (and your readers) can enjoy visiting it in your imagination, . . . if you apply your imagination to write that world. I am directing this exhortation toward myself as much as I am toward you. I need the encouragement as much as anyone else to develop the ideas in my head and let them find expression. So, let it begin.