Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Importance of Story

If you'd like to laugh at the writing profession, check out this blog by Mitch Teemly.

Meanwhile, I've been pondering the importance of story.

Story is what causes grown adults to close themselves up with the TV and binge watch a season of This is Us or iZombie. It's why we spend an exorbitant amount on movie tickets, DVR the series so we don't miss an episode of Dr. Who, and curl up with a book on a rainy afternoon. Story compels us to come away from our ordinary lives to a world of someone else, like jumping into the chalk drawings in Mary Poppins.

We share anecdotes with one another about the time our children did something extraordinary or about time spent in the DMV (groan!). We share the story of our lives with others using those anecdotes.

Diaries from the Civil War tell the stories of those who lived in a different time with different social norms and ideas. What did they wear, how did they speak, who did they love. what did they believe?

Writers struggle with the meaning of story everyday they write. If the story isn't compelling, how can we make it so? What does each character bring to the story? How does the setting contribute to the story?

In February 2018, I published the first book in a historical series, Colonial Dream: A Time to Fight.. The series is the story of a family whose dream is to emigrate to the American colonies and the struggles they experience throughout the American experiment. In Book 1, Colin Browning, a blacksmith, and his  sweetheart Amanda and her twin Ben aspire to be colonists in America. When Colin is forced into the British Army, he gets to come to America on the eve of the American Revolution.

In Book 2, A Time to Heal, Colin and Amanda's son Michael Browning struggles with the hardship of raising his siblings and opening himself up to his own love story. Just as he lets Susannah into his heart, he is faced with the uncertainties of a second war with Britain. Almost done with this one!

In Book 3, A Time to Choose, Colin's great grandson Andrew is the body guard in the White House for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. As a Virginian, he is asked to choose where his loyalties lie. Abolitionist and journalist Maggie reports on the happenings in the White House as she waits for her chance to present a petition to the President. Andrew and Maggie fall in love while the country struggles for important freedoms.

The final book in this series (so far) is Book 4, A Time to Create. Lincoln Browning, Andrew's son, sees blacksmithing as a dying profession and breaks from the family to pursue a career as an inventor.

Join me as I tell a story about a family who loves and fights for what they believe in.