Photo by Changzheng Xu

Dissecting Castle Forks by Chris Cochrane brings us to how a hunting trip turns into an adventure when Chris and his father discover a world of wonder and magic.

Castle Forks” by Chris Cochrane is a young adult fantasy book that explores a world of wonder, taking its readers to a not-so-ordinary-day adventure of a 12-year-old boy and his father. A magical creature appears to them and takes them into a castle hidden in plain sight. Other magical creatures inhabit this castle and are in need of help from the Tourlt, a group of demon shadows that cause havoc and evil happenings in the world.

So, let’s talk about how the book compels the adventure-loving hearts of its readers. Here, we break the story by dissecting Castle Forks by Chris Cochrane its elements and analyze how each contributes to the power of the Castle Forks book.

Element 1: The Mystery Behind the Name

Most characters of a book have names that could be related to their fate or any connection that brings a twist or weight to the story. For example, a character named Sakura may be closely associated with cherry blossoms as it could give her power or a strong sense of recall of her memories. Wednesday of the Addams Family was named after a line of the poem Monday’s Child. The line goes: “Wednesday’s child is full of woe,” reflecting the character to be ghastly or macabre.

Here, the author named the main protagonist after himself – Chris Cochrane.

Important questions:

  • So, what does this mean?
  •  Is the story biographical?
  • Is the story a metaphor for the author’s life?
  • Is it the wildest imagination the author had ever thought about?

The name is already intriguing enough, keeping the readers wondering what really is in the story.

Element 2: An Extraordinary Day

Great storytellers will always set the story in a time that is not so ordinary. It’s extraordinary!

In Castle Forks, Chris Cochrane, a twelve-year-old boy, goes on a hunting trip with his father. It was Chris’s FIRST hunting trip. For a twelve-year-old, Chris must not have any idea of finally doing it in the woods with his father.

Important questions

  • So what happened?
  • Why is this an extraordinary day?
  • What happened after that?
  • Why did the story happen on that specific day?
  • Is it someone’s birthday?
  • Is it a special day of bonding?

These questions not only engage readers to stay lost in the lexical magic but also let the writers get inspired on what to do next as the story unravels. An extraordinary day provides so many forks in the path that anything could happen.

Element 3: The Arising Conflict

Conflicts. These are the core that make a story so interesting. If a story does not have a good conflict, it might not keep the audience for long. A conflict is a clash of ideas or interests by two characters or groups of characters in a story. A conflict also allows the readers to see into the goals of the protagonist and the antagonist. It is rooted in a goal that each side is fighting for.

Important questions:

  • What is the protagonist’s goal?
  • What is the antagonist’s goal?
  • Do their goals clash?

Learn more about dissecting the plot of a story here.

Element 4: The Young Adult Wonder

Great fantasy novels always have a mood that keeps its specific types of audience. In Chris Cochrane’s “Castle Forks,” the story has an active Young Adult wonder. It is directed to young audiences that could actually awaken the young personas of the adults.

The mood of the story helps create a pace that keeps the audience at the edge of their seats.

Important questions:

  • To what specific group of audience is the story for?
  • What is the mood of the story?

Element 5: The Semantics of the Creatures and the Mystical Castle

The story features a hidden castle and magical creatures. Sometimes, a story does not only talk about a demon per se. These demons could mean something else that young adults and adult readers can analyze and relate the characters with their lives. Yes, the objects or characters could have real-world parallelism that can help connect the readers to the story.

Important questions:

  • So, what do the demon shadows and the magical creatures convey?
  • What does the castle mean?

Element 6: The Climax

The climax is the part of the story where everything comes into place. It is when the battleground starts to get heated. The energy in the story rises, and the characters are actively fighting for the goal. The characters are in their sink-or-swim moments.

Important questions:

  • Will Chris Cochrane win the fight against the demon shadows?
  • Will the demon shadows succeed in taking over their plans?

Element 7: Resolution

Resolving the conflict of the story brings all the tensions to a close.

Important questions:

  • Did the protagonist achieve his goal?
  • Did the antagonist lose?
  • Did the protagonist win?
  • What happened to the characters after that?”

You can buy a copy of Chris Cochrane’s “Castle Fork” here.  

You can also check out other articles about Chris Cochrane here:

1. Why Appearance Doesn’t Matter: Beauty Isn’t Just Skin Deep
2. Little Helpers: Why Encourage Children to be Altruistic