A well-written story can pull me in for hours. I love linking arms with the main character and facing dangerous foes. To be swept away, engulfed in a sensory-rich story world is a wondrous thing. We all need new adventures.
The best stories of all fill my mind with wonder and with fear, with joy and with purpose.
I need tales that remind me there’s got to be a balance of both courage and humility. Maybe they do that by showing me a protag who walks the line well. But maybe they don’t. A story of failure, of flaws—one where the hero is too bold or he quakes in fear—those kick straight at my gut.
I see myself in those failing people. And get this: I want to.
I don’t just want to read about someone who fights and wins. I want to read about someone like me, someone who messes up and disappoints again and again but keeps going. Someone who needs redemption. Someone who knows in the deepest, darkest part of their soul that they can offer nothing good. That they need saving too.
When people like me triumph, it gives me hope.
I read other things too, but you know what I’ve found? The typical non-fiction book—while practical and useful in its time and place—doesn’t change me.
I am affected by fiction. Stories transport me to a place where I can fight battles against beasties and lies. A vivid story compels me to face my own real-life fears while it entertains me. The entertainment factor is great and all, but stories that merely entertain aren’t the books I pick up again and again (some, year after year, reading them to my kiddos).
As a reader, I crave the powerful experience that comes from reading about, aching with, Edmund Pevensie, the traitor-cum-King of Narnia.
As an author, that’s what I want to offer my readers.
I just got back from Realm Makers, a writers conference—equal parts Comic-con and classes. A conference where excellent Story is celebrated. The other writers and readers I met there are like me in this. We link arms with our favorite characters and with each other to fight the monsters and aliens in the books we love. And we link arms and support each other as we create kingdoms, foes, and characters who will awaken both the bravery and humility in our readers.
We believe in Story. And we believe in each other.
What about you? Are you a reader? A dreamer? A writer? Let’s talk favorite characters in the comments. What’s the last story you read that made you stand a little taller, dream a little bigger, fight a little harder?
Share a piece of your Story,