The first time I was affected by a story, I was in my 20’s.  I guess there were probably lots of contributing factors, and maybe I was tired, but I read “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas” by James Patterson, in one sitting and bawled my eyes out.  How could a story affect me in such a way?  It was well written, had all the hallmarks of a deep love, and a tragedy which blows it all apart.

My son and I finished reading a story last night, Kaspar Prince of Cats.  I couldn’t read the last page because I was crying.  Whether this was the catalyst, but my son started crying too.  He told me it was because of the ending, which was beautiful, but sad.  I was crying because I knew what was going to happen, and I have had such a deep personal relationship with a cat.

Both of these stories were able to tap into that part of me that I could relate to.  In one it was the intense emotional experience of loving an animal, in the other it was something that was missing from my own life.

I just wrote “While I want to write a story like this…” and realised that I have.  I wrote a short story called ‘Death is Her Name.’  It is about some of the deaths that have occurred in my life, particularly those that I have struggled with.  Two in particular are about children.  One is a 6 month old child who has been abused, the other is a toddler with cancer.  While I have not had personal experience of these, something inside me cringes when I hear about either of these things.  Those who have read the story have commented that they were in tears, particularly at these two points.

I would one day like to write a novel that will have that lasting impact on someone’s life, enough to make them cry, or seek help, or start a debate… I don’t know, I guess that is up to the individual reader.

I guess, I keep reading, hoping that I will find that next story which inspires my emotions or engages my brain.  Until that moment, I will keep writing my next best seller!

How a Well Written Story Can Affect You
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3 thoughts on “How a Well Written Story Can Affect You

  • May 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    A lot of books have made me feel something strong for the characters but I’ve had one that actually made me cry.

    It was the fourth in a series of tie in novels to a Star Wars video game, it was set during episode 3 and the character was a Jedi so it was guaranteed that she was going to die. What made it sad was that she was inadvertently killed by another Jedi when she tried to save a faceless trooper from said Jedi. To me it was worse than when Chewbacca sacrificed himself since this death was avoidable and made no impact to the state of the galaxy.

    • May 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      Hey Mark, sadness is a very powerful emotion, and I guess that is why the stories that have been memorable for me are the sad ones.

  • May 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Personally I’d rather read a story that goes into sadness than the ones that glaze over it.


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