“Too much fire gives birth to nothing. Fire can reduce a forest to ashes in a day, while it takes the water and the wind a hundred years to grow one anew.”

After watching Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind on the big screen last night, I found myself thinking, as I left the theater, that we could do worse than to ask ourselves two questions when working on, well, anything:

Where’s the heart?
and
Where’s the awesome?

If a story–or any other creative or crafted thing–has both heart and things that are awesome (that make us go, “ooooooh!”), it seems to me that while it still needs other fundamentals of craft, the odds that it’ll resonate go way, way up. And if it lacks these two things, all the craft in the world can’t make up for it.

Nausicaa has both, and for me, at least, this makes for a movie whose wonderfulness shines through–more than shines through–its imperfectness.

Which is a good thing to remember, given how low the odds are that any of us is ever going to create a perfect work.

But we can do this: never stop seeking the heart and the awesome in the imperfect works we do create, instead.

Janni Lee Simner

About Janni Lee Simner

Author of the post-apocalyptic Bones of Faerie trilogy (Bones of Faerie, Faerie Winter, and Faerie After), as well as of the Icelandic saga-based fantasy Thief Eyes and of Tiernay West, Professional Adventurer. Find out more about me here.
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