~ By Susan Meier
Note: This post originally appeared here.
Anybody can write a book. All you’ve got to do is think up a plot, give your characters some arcs, divide it into scenes and get it into your computer, and eventually onto paper.
But how many people do you know who really know how to tell a story?
In my younger days, I had a friend who was a joke teller. It didn’t matter where we were, fifteen minutes into any party or wedding or even funeral, my friend would have a crowd around her.
Laughter would spill out into the room and her crowd would grow. Because her jokes were good? Some were. But, really, her jokes were good because she made them good.
She knew set up. She knew how to deliver a punch line.
In thirty seconds, she could draw you in and then hit you with something that would cause you to belly laugh.
I talk about this a lot…especially after I judge contest entries…published or unpublished…because I think a lot of us “get it” that we have to be craftspeople, but few of us realize that, somewhere along the way, our process has to involve that magical part of us that knows how to lift the mundane into the sublime.
Is there something about your story, the way you tell your story, or your characters that lifts all those words on the page from the expected? Is there magic in your story?
Is there magic in your story?
Have you every really tried to write beautifully? To create characters so real you expect them to show up for Christmas Eve supper?
If you’ve only ever crafted, if you’ve never let yourself look for the magic…give yourself that gift.
Don’t just be a writer.
Be a storyteller.
Susan Meier is the author of over 60 books for Harlequin and Silhouette, Entangled Indulgence, Red Hot Bliss and Bliss and one of Guideposts’ Grace Chapel Inn series books, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS. In 2013 she lived one of her career-long dreams. Her book, THE TYCOON’S SECRET DAUGHER was a finalist for RWA’s highest honor, the Rita. The same year NANNY FOR THE MILLIONAIRE’S TWINS was a National Reader’s Choice finalist and won the Book Buyer’s Best Award.Susan is married with three children and is one of eleven children, which is why love and family are always part of her stories.