Friday, May 26, 2017

Storyteller's Journey

Make It Matter

As writers of fiction, we spend much, if not most, of our time considering such things as plot, setting, dialogue,  & strength of scenes - not to mention the issue of character development!

There are other elements to crafting a quality story, but one that is not stressed enough is the importance of a strong & meaningful theme.

Does my story matter? Is there an underlying message in my story that matters to me personally? Would it matter to my potential readers?

Writing "what we know" can also mean writing "what matters to us." What has deeply touched us in our lives? What has wounded us?

There is an endless list of experiences that may have touched us.
Here is a short list of examples:

Loss of a job, a dream, a friend, etc.
Raising a child with challenges
Dealing with a chronic medical condition
Lack of finances

Then there are the numerous stories we all see everyday in the news. War, famine, sickness, political strife, etc. There are also accounts of inspirational heroism and sacrifice. Stories that touch our hearts.

A great example of a story that was created by an author who was moved with compassion is the middle grade novel Wonder.

Ms. Palacio was moved to write her novel by this experience:

"Palacio wrote Wonder after an incident where she and her three-year-old son were waiting in line to buy ice cream. Her son noticed a girl with facial birth defects. Fearing he would react badly, Palacio attempted to remove her son from the situation so as not to upset the girl or her family but ended up worsening the situation. Natalie Merchant's song "Wonder" made her realize that the incident could teach society a valuable lesson. Palacio was inspired by Merchant's lyrics and she began writing." (Wikipedia)

As you can see the experience Ms. Palacio had with her son grabbed hold of her heart and wouldn't let go. Thankfully she was moved to write her inspirational novel that has touched so many in our society.

The important thing to remember as writers is to connect with our hearts and create a story from there. It is not enough to evaluate possible themes without being personally affected by them. Each of us is touched by a wide array of meaningful subjects everyday.

We all need to have the courage to create the story only we can write.

Make It Matter.


  1. I love your last comment: We all need to have the courage to create the story only we can write." If we don't pursue that sort . . . why write?