Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Power Of Stories

I was very young when I first noticed that a good story can move you more than real events in real life. Like many kids, there were books I read over and over, story records I listened to until the needle wore out the groove in the vinyl. 
Don't get me wrong. When tragedy strikes in real life, it can pull you down into the quicksand until you can't breathe. And when you fall in love in real life, you can fly better than the birds.
But good stories have a power that transcends much of normal experience. When we want to experience a good time, we may go skiing or hiking or get together with friends, drink beer, and tell jokes. We may travel and visit fine restaurants and wineries. But over and over, people use their free time to go to the movies or turn on the TV looking for a good story. And of course, those of us who love to read pick up a book.
Erika sent this pic from Miami Beach

What we often find are stories that can be funnier and make us laugh more than the funny things in real life. Make us cry more than the sad things in real life. Scare us or move us or give us the chills or make us swoon more than in real life.
It is this power of stories that make them so compelling to write. Like most authors, I'm always trying to put together a powerful story. I always wish I could do it better. But when I get email from a reader who tells me how my story entertained them, moved them, made them laugh or cry, made them worry and fret, kept them up all night, my spirit floats weightless for a little while.
Of all the tiny marks I've made in this world, telling stories is the most rewarding. People have been addicted to, and smitten by, stories from the very beginning of people-time.
Stories have amazing power.

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