My latest favorite author is Cressida Cowell, author of the profound and enchanting “How To Train Your Dragon” series, on which the popular Dreamworks movies are based.
Hiccup is an endearing hero. He uses his brains instead of his brawn. He is kind instead of merciless. He forgives instead of killing. He speaks intelligently instead of calling people nasty names.
Plus, the layers of the story grow deeper with each sequel, creating an excellent example of world building I aspire to.
In the latest book I’ve read, Hiccup hears a tale which he considers a myth, and inquires, “I thought that was just a story.” And the teller of the story snaps, “All stories exist for a reason!”
This might be my favorite quote from the entire series so far.
All stories exist for a reason.
I went back over my own work in progress story. I saw in it events in my own life, camouflaged, and respun.
I saw my own hopes and dreams.
It’s the authentic stories, fiction or nonfiction, that really are going to make a difference to others, to reach their core. Because the same struggles for significance and survival exist inside of all of us. Lived and told and retold in a thousand different ways. But still the same questions and hopes.
And that is why writing is so hard. Whatever you write, you bare your soul and heart for others to see. It doesn’t matter if the events match events in your own life or not. No matter what you write, the fiber of your own existence and thought is going to end up on the page, bled out in inky blue.
Unless you write something boring and disingenuous, of course.
But who wants to do that?