Have you ever wondered why you love stories so much? Why does information given to you through a story stick in your head more than simple facts?
Stories have power. A well written or well told story fully engages our minds as well as our emotions.
Even before the written word, stories were handed down from generation to generation. Verbal stories were shared to keep record of family histories and community histories; how-to guides for hunting, cooking, farming, and more; or to entertain the little ones, as well as other reasons. Both verbal and written stories remain popular today. Pastors often include short stories in their sermons as an example to reinforce the message they share.
Stories hold our attention through description and the thoughts, dialogue, and actions of the characters, as well as the predicaments and problems they deal with. We often face similar circumstances and can relate to at least one character in a story. We want to know how they resolve or get out of their difficult situation because it might be helpful to us.
A story may take us back in time or take us into the future. Stories engage our minds as we imagine what life might have been like many years ago, or what things might be coming years in the future.
Another way stories can engage us is by making us think about a “what if”. What if we could travel forward or backward in time? What if California broke away from the main land of the United States in an earthquake and drifted out into the ocean?
And there are stories that take us into imaginary worlds with imaginary creatures. We can imagine having an unusual pet or slaying a dragon or marrying a knight.
Stories can make us laugh or cry. They can make us angry. The characters can feel like friends or even family, or if you like villains, they can feel like your worst enemy.
Because stories fully engage our brains and affect our emotions, it is easier to remember things we learn through stories. Through the characters, their problems and how they solve their problems, we think about what happens throughout the story and consider how it may be helpful to us or someone we know.
Well developed characters that we strongly relate to live for a long time in our minds, either something about their character, or their name and personality, or something they accomplished in the story.
Stories and characters that stand out to us or a phrase they use frequently throughout the story remain in our minds. For example, are any of these familiar to you: “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That, in itself, is a tremendous thing.”
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Both readers and writers, alike, enjoy stories. Writers get caught up in all the things I mentioned above as they write the stories that are in their heads, hoping they will engage many readers. Readers get caught up in all the things mentioned above as they read or listen to a story, and if they like the story, they will tell their friends about it.
As writers, here on Hope, Hearts & Heroes, we want to engage you as readers here on the blog and through our books, and we hope you’ll want to tell your friends about us and our books. Three of us here write fantasy stories that take you to imaginary worlds with imaginary creatures, and three of us write stories that include romance – some that will take you back in time, some that will keep you on the edge of your seat. We hope you find stories here that engage your minds, emotions, and imaginations, and we would love for you to engage with us here by leaving comments on our posts. Feel free to leave comments here if you’ve read one of our books and want to share your thoughts or ask some questions, or if you’ve written a review and want to let us know.