Is it because the mystery stumped us until the very end and we wonder if our friends are as dense as we are? Because the romance was so sweet it made us cry? Because the quirks of a certain character made us laugh? Or the situations gave us a glimpse into historical time periods or exotic settings we’ve always wondered about?
Usually it’s because something in the story touched our hearts or made us think. And when we discuss a book with a friend, we’re able to speak about common issues that the, ahem, characters faced without necessarily being transparent enough to say I struggle with the same. (And who hasn’t read a book and known exactly who else should read it!)
Why are stories so powerful? If the author has done their job right, then the characters become people we can relate to or learn from. Like us, they have goals, motivations, conflict, faith, unique qualities, a background that affects their present, lies they believe about themselves, and lots of growing to do.
The other day I heard a song by PLUMB on the radio and was captured by the opening lyrics. “Well, everybody’s got a story to tell. And everybody’s got a wound to be healed.” (From “Need You Now”) That’s part of what makes us human and in need of a Savior.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take a closer look at what we have in common with characters in a book. Why? Because I’m a writer and I want to make my characters real. And because I’m a reader who can learn from the stories I read.
What about you? Who is your favorite character in a book? Why? Who do you know in real life that has an amazing story to tell? What can we learn from them?