The Power of Story and the People Who Believe in It

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.

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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.

Realm Makers logo

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,

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Thanks to Morgue File and the Faith and Fantasy Alliance for the images.

About Bethany Kaczmarek

Author. Fan of Story. Family girl. EO nerd. Transplanted missionary. Indie music connoisseur. Grammar ninja.

6 comments on “The Power of Story and the People Who Believe in It

  1. I’m reading Heart of a Warrior series. It hold a significant place in my heart now because Kaylan (the main character) battles bitterness towards God. It’s not always about understanding why life isn’t fair but realizing that she (or I) can’t get through an unfair life without a strong God to lean on, the only God. It also speaks of purpose, our purpose, and stepping out on faith but being wise in the mean time. Finally, her hero isn’t the man she’s in love with (even though I like his character pretty well, too.) The one who is mending her broken spirit is the one who created it.

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