Tell me the story.
I want to know the characters.
Their dreams and disappointments.
What they celebrate and what they grieve.
Tell me about the people and what they went through to get where they are now. How did they survive? What did they learn? I get bored with paragraphs filled with description, even when the words are beautiful and visionary. I don’t need 14 words to describe the flower petal or two pages to describe the scenery. It’s the people’s stories that capture my attention.
In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story, Donald Miller writes, …we were designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. The point of a story is the character arc, the change.
Although many of us would welcome less drama and tension in our stories, it’s in that tension that we become different people. We choose how we want to move through the not-knowing and the disappointments. In doing so, we write our next chapter.
There is Hope in this, you know.
Knowing that we will always be the author of our own story. That nobody else can take control of our words and our actions. No other author can step in and decide how we will respond to the other characters and our situations. We create our own memorable scenes. Even in those chapters where darkness and uncertainty fill the pages, we hold the pen in our hand. We can write the next chapter and the ending to our story.
We are writing a masterpiece. And every chapter matters.