Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Have You Ever?

By Nichole Giles

Have you ever read a book that was so well written that you became emotionally involved in the outcome?

Have you ever found a plot written so intricately, so completely simple, yet unpredictable, that the outcome not only shocked you, but made you slap your forehead in amazement and say, “Of course! It had to be him.”?

Have you ever admired a character so much you felt connected to them? Whose actions were so enviable, that when you came upon difficult situations in your own life, you searched your memory asking, “What would that person do?”

Have you ever been so completely entertained by a simple sentence, that you laughed until you cried?

Have you ever been so affected by a work of fiction that you had an insane urge to share the story with everyone you know?

Have you ever read something that gave you a profound desire to do something good?

Have you ever waited in line for hours, fighting hordes of fanatical fans, to buy the newest installment of a popular series that you love?

Have you ever become so engrossed in a story that you read 1,500 pages in three days or less? (In which case, you probably put real life on hold to see what happens next.)

I don’t have to tell you that this is the kind of author I want to be. I want to stand and say proudly to the world, “Look, I created that! It came from my heart, but go ahead and gaze upon its beauty.”

I know I’m not alone in this desire. This is the desire of all writers, but it takes a great deal of work. A lot of people can write; some degree of writing is required in almost every aspect of life. But an author puts a great deal of time and thought into every word, wrestles with every sentence as an individual, yet critical element of the whole story.

Authors have the ability to create from nothing the stories that push us forward in life, the stories that shore us up and give us courage in times of fright, comfort in times of trial, and laughter in dismal weather. And when we feel as though hope has deserted us and our own situation becomes too much for us to bear, we beg our favorite authors for respite and lose ourselves in the worlds of their creation.

This is what we strive for, what we work toward, and for some of us, the deepest desires of our hearts. Someday, I will be the author of someone’s favorite story. And every second I spent writing that story will be worth it.

Have you ever written something that really mattered?


Marsha Ward said...

A reader of my first novel, The Man from Shenandoah, wrote me and said my book made her want to be a better wife.

You can bet I did a double arm pump and said, "Yes!" I think that's been one of the most significant moments of my life as an author.

Nichole Giles said...

What more could an author want after praise of that magnitude? Congratulations. You've made a difference in someone else's life.

Thanks for sharing.