Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Story of Your Life

The Christmas story has been called by some The Greatest Story Ever Written. Not surprisingly, I've heard the Nativity story every year during this season, and so, not surprisingly, it was on my mind today.

There are a great many parallels to be drawn between stories and life. There are lessons to be learned from the act of writing. Stranger than Fiction, a 2006 movie, tells the story of Harold Crick, who hears his life being narrated.


Harold comes to realize the author plans to kill him off, and begins a search for her, to talk with her. When he finds the author, he tells her, You have to understand that this isn't a story to me--it's my life!


I really liked this movie--and I feel there's some truth to it. Angus speaks to Amy of the Author taking great care with every detail. Yes, there are good things put in place for us that we didn't cause, and there are other aspects of our lives less pleasantly dictated by events around us, and things we can't control.

Emmanuel's Light, Scottish photography, life choices, choosing wisely
Photography: Emmanuel's Light. Quote: Anonymous

And just like with books, sometimes we are in a beautiful story we hope will never end. My neighbor tells me he will read only a page or two a day on books he loves, because he wants them to last forever.

Stories always do end, of course. Chapters end. Books end. And sometimes--contrary to the quote above--we have no control over how. Cancer is diagnosed. A tornado destroys a beloved family home. Contrary to the quote above, and contrary to what some seem to think today, we really can't control everything.

But sometimes, a beautiful story ends because of choices. A drunk driver serves on the highway. A spouse lies and cheats and steals money and has no intention of stopping. Drugs and addictions of all sorts are chosen over a relationship. This is perplexing to those on the outside looking in, and moreso to those on the receiving end of those choices, left with no control over their own stories as a result.

Why do some people choose stories of beauty, grace, and peace, while others choose stories that are dark, loud, brash, crass, tawdry, or violent? Why do some people choose to walk out of a beautiful story that could have continued?

The answers are rarely simple, and that's what makes people--and stories--so fascinating. Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction, and the greatest stories are great because they all have something to teach us about our own stories and the endings we're writing--whether intentionally or not.

Where do you want your story to end?


COMING SOON:
  • Watch for a big update regarding January 28.
  • I'll be reading and signing books February 10, 2017 at Magers and Quinn with Genny Kieley
CURRENTLY:
  • There is currently a giveaway going on at my facebook page for a Team Shawn or Team Angus t-shirt.  Leave a comment here or there to be entered
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If you liked this article, you might also like
Building Character: Understanding Others, Where Is Everyone Going, or
other posts under the WRITING WORKSHOP and WRITING TIPS labels

 

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