Stories Should Have Something To Say
I don’t know whether you consider that this is controversial or not, but I think that stories should have something to say. Perhaps, I was brought up on fables and parables, but I don’t believe that that could be the reason. It just seems to me that an author is wasting weeks or months of his or her life, if he or she doesn’t really have anything to say.
Don’t get me wrong, I have read a few books and watched dozens of films that had no point – except perhaps ‘entertainment value’ (whatever that is), but they don’t, or never have, held my attention. I am also willing to admit that the ‘point’ of a story is not always immediately obvious. However, that can be, and often is, a good thing.
It’ could be called mystery or suspense.
No-one wants to pay for a sermon. Or, you know, not a high percentage of us.
It is perhaps one of the skills of a good writer to get his point across without making it blindingly obvious.
I don’t even have to agree with the point being made by the writer, but I do have to be able to ‘get to grips’ with it within the story. It forces me to agree, or not, with the story, and that can affect how I would rate the book.
You may well ask why I have brought this matter up, and I will tell you. Now that I write myself, I often read fellow-writers’ books (we are all unknowns), and all too often, I can’t see the point – first, in their having written it, and second, of my having read it.
After all, both are a commitment of time, of which every individual has a limited amount per lifetime.
I can understand that someone has the urge to write, and it may be almost uncontrollable, and I can also understand that people have the urge to read and lose themselves in another world or environment (hence the success of the media in general), but why commit to a week or more of just words passing before one’s eyes, as in reading a book?
I don’t get it.
Sermons or pointless stories? Definitely not!
Stories with a point? A definite ‘Yes!’
Otherwise, just what is the point?
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Podcast: A Story Should Have Something To Say