The Truth Behind the Text
Have you ever come across a line in a book that struck you as particularly true, not just in the context of the story, but also in real life? Several examples come to my mind.
“If I fret over tomorrow, I’ll have little joy today,” spoken by Llonio in Taran Wanderer by Lloyd Alexander (The Chronicles of Prydain) – rather reminiscent of certain lines in Scripture, don’t you think? ; - )
In The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan), Annabeth tells Bob the Titan that “monsters are eternal” – and while she doesn’t mean it this way, it captures the idea that evil never dies.
From my favorite manga, InuYasha, we get this wonderful quote spoken by Sesshoumaru’s mother as she explains the limits of his life-saving sword: “Life is not supposed to be limitless. It’s not something that can be renewed over and over again for your convenience. Sesshoumaru, had you come to believe you were a god, and did not need to fear death?”
One that I’ve quoted several times myself comes from the movie When Good Ghouls Go Bad, when Dayna tells Danny why Halloween is important: “If you don’t get to survive being scared as a kid, how are you ever going to survive being scared as an adult? When there’s so much more to be scared of.”
And one of the simplest, yet most thought-provoking, comes from the film National Treasure, when Agent Sadusky says, “Someone has to go to prison, Ben.” A single sentence, yet it perfectly parallels why Christ had to die for our sins: someone had to pay the price. Justice had to be done. End of story.
(Forgive me, I know the last two were quotes from movies – but those are stories too!)
This is one of my favorite aspects of storytelling. When fiction stretches so far that it actually touches the surface of reality, and you can see from one straight into the other – like the way soap bubbles sling to one another, separated by only a thin film. Sometimes the fictional world and the real world are not as far apart as we think.
I try to incorporate this into my novels as often as I can. I love capturing a bit of truth and weaving into my writing, where it can catch your eye as you read – similar to a single metallic thread in a tapestry. A few examples from The Heart of Everything include: Jesse’s line of “The world was already broken;” Alex’s explanation that “All the best things in life are choices. Love is a choice. Faith is a choice. Even joy is a choice. Nothing ever just happens;” and of course another one of Jesse’s lines: “You can’t save yourself all on your own. No one can do that.”
I’ll continue to share bits of truth in my books – and in the meantime, feel free to share the “lines of truth” you’ve discovered in other stories in the comments section!
Until the next time, keep reading!
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I have two passions: reading and writing. You can't write good stories without first reading good stories - that's my theory, anyway. So this is where I'll share with you the depth of those passions: background on what and why I write, as well as talking about the books that I read and how they impact my writing.