Thursday, January 12, 2012

Story to Tell...

Prov.10:20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

As a leader in the world and the writing community, I see something that knits us all together. We all have a story to tell. Even if it was not a dream of ours, or maybe it was and we just got lost along the way (see yesterdays post) we all need to be aware that we have a story to tell and how you write, effectively drawing out emotions in the reader, will either spell success or fail in your journey.

As our story unfolds, heartstrings will be tugged and like a rubber band, it will snap something in the reader. Either a tear will exit the eye and make a beeline for the chin, or maybe a crinkle will appear on the mouth and form a smile. Maybe a fevered pitch will drive a stake right in the heart of your reader, and anger will bubble up to the surface and a scream will bolt out of the mouth. Whatever emotion that is elicited, it will have to come from bringing it home for the reader.

I have met quite a few people that have said, “I’m a writer,” and I know many who are ‘published writers’, I know many who write, but again, it isn’t the story you tell or the perfect sentence structure, it is the emotions that are tied to the story. I don’t care if it is a sci-fi thriller, a Western, or Romance, (I think we all relate to them in some way) or a supernatural thriller, we have to tell the story with the reader in mind. We need to reach them, or we have no story.

Allowing your best friend to say, Good story! Loved it! Really does not tell us how we’ve done in pulling on the heart and making them feel as if they were in a Narnia-like closet, lost among your very words. We need them to express how their heart pined for the star-crossed lovers, we need them to say “I cried when I read about Mary’s death.” Why did they cry? Because you reached into their heart, and touched a cosmic emotion that wriggled the tear ducts and left them feeling pangs of pain.

Is that what we want? Pain? Not necessarily, but we do want to get an emotional reaction. If we just TELL a story, we are not going to get any reaction except maybe, “Well that was nice.” When we take it to the level of a writer, we are going to show them the same story, only they will say, “Wow! That was great! Touched me all over!”  Can you see the difference?

I know a lot of people who read my poetry, who really don’t even like poetry, say things like, “I got it! It touched me! You moved me.” That is what I like to hear.  I wrote my dad a birthday poem (as always) and my mother said, “It was beautiful. I could really feel the emotions in it.” I know I know, it was my mother, but I said, “Did dad cry?” She said, “I don’t know about him, but I sure did!”

YES! I scored! I got a tear out of the reading of my poem. I went back, read what I wrote, and even *I* welled up at the reading of it! Daggone it! Not me. I’m not supposed to cry! But as a writer, even sometimes WE need to cry too at the good writing of our souls. Every one of us has a story to tell!


Anonymous said...

You're awesome, Joni!

And sooo right. If we, as writers, can't connect emotionally to our readers, I would question what the story or poem or whatever form our writing about.

Keep putting the word out!


joni said...

Thanks June,

Just trying to guide the new writer in the right direction.
If they have no emotion...I believe, they have no story. :)