Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Power of Story

Last night I heard author Noel Piper speak. I'm reading her latest book, FAITHFUL WOMEN AND THEIR EXTRAORDINARY GOD, a collection of biographies.

One of Mrs. Piper's comments was a special blessing to me. She said that people are able to see truths in the lives of other people much more readily than they can see it in themselves. She has found that while reading biographies, she notices things about choices, motives, character, mistakes--and after seeing these in the life of the book's subject, is able to recognize similar issues in her own life.

I realized that is the same reason I love fiction. While I watch a character miss the boat, cause unneccessary pain, suffer from unwise choices, my defenses lower and I'm willing to acknowledge similar problems in my own life. When the character makes a tough decision in the right direction, dares to change, confronts a problem, my heart swells with belief that our choices can make a difference and the daily battles of life are worth the fight.

Some days when I trudge to my computer screen for yet another round of revisions I wonder about the value of my work.
All this word-wrestling. Is there a reason for it? Will it matter to anyone?

Then I remember how other author's stories have brought truth and insight to my life, and I'm excited by the challenge of writing with enough skill to let the reader experience something new, yet recognize the familiar.


Camy Tang said...

Oh, good insights! I'm always questioning if what I put down would matter to anybody but myself. I guess I just have to trust that God will use the struggles I write down to help somebody else through the guise of an "entertaining fiction read."

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