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Posts Tagged ‘stories’

For the past six years, I’ve spent a lot of time writing novels.  I’ve completed five and am part way through my sixth.  So far, my first three have been published and I’m hoping that trend continues, because I truly believe in the power of a good story to impact people’s lives.  Novels can change us and the way we think, as we engage with the main characters and enter into the tragedies and triumphs they experience, agonising along with them over the choices and decisions they make along the way.  Good stories stir our emotions, moving us to reflect on our own lives and our responses to situations, I believe. 

And you know, I reckon I’m in good company in believing this.  After all, even Jesus told stories – quite a few of them, in fact.  I’m sure his stories captured his listeners’ interest, much more than a long lecture such as the other rabbis of the day may have given.  I reckon the crowds remembered his stories too – and that they made them think.  And somehow to me, stories respect the reader or the listener, taking them on a journey and giving them the opportunity to decide where they themselves ‘fit’ in it all.  For example, in Jesus’ story of the lost son of Luke 15, am I perhaps that lost son, selfishly bent on doing my own ‘thing’?  Am I the older brother, unwilling to rejoice that my kid brother has come home at last?  Could I honestly forgive like the father in the story did?  And is that how God forgives me?

Recently someone told me that for her, if a story has been imagined by the writer, then somehow it seems more possible that she could actually do the noble things she sees a character doing or choose the better path he or she might take.  A ‘true’ story might well inspire, but it’s not her story.  Do you agree with her, I wonder?

Or do you agree with the lady who some weeks ago, after hearing I was a published author, asked me sweetly what sort of books I wrote?  When I told her I wrote novels, she looked at me with an almost horrified expression and blurted out:  ‘Novels!  Did you say novels?  You mean … fiction?’

It was obvious I had succeeded in truly shocking her.  Was she perhaps among those who classify fiction as far too frivolous or escapist – as not actually … well, true?  Did she feel it’s all a bit ‘suspect’ because the characters aren’t ‘real’ people and didn’t ‘really’ do the things they are made out to do?

I’ll probably never know.  But I’ll keep on writing novels, because I believe that’s what God has called and gifted me to do.  And I’ll keep on hoping and praying that what I write will not only be enjoyable, but also make a difference in the lives of my readers.  Besides, if Jesus told stories, then that’s good enough for me.

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