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Audrey Caylin: {STORIES ARE POWERFUL}

Saturday, June 3, 2017

{STORIES ARE POWERFUL}

just ignore the fact that none of my pictures ever have anything to do with the actual post :P

Stories change us.

As readers of them, we're effected by what happens to the characters, the struggles and trials they go through. Most of us don't sit down to read a novel expecting to learn something; we're looking for enjoyment.

Or, as C.S. Lewis quotes:

We read to know we are not alone


I could ramble on and on about how the stories we read effect us. But there is one story that effects us the most:

the one we're writing


YOUR STORY CHANGES YOU

A lot of people think writing is easy. As writers, we know that is obviously not the case! We pour our hearts into our stories. Yet at the same time, part of our stories is going back into us.

Paradoxical, I know. I've found that, upon writing themes and topics I'm passionate about, I become more passionate about them than before. 

That's because you can create anything with writing. Beautiful. Hopeful. Dark. Ugly. Breathtaking. Words can create anything.

And that's powerful.

It truly is an adventure for you when you sit down to write. Those words can and will take you anywhere -- places you have been, places you haven't been. I find writing so fascinating because you're basically exploring the depth of humanity.

Yeah, that's deep :P But writing is an attempt to recreate the human experience, isn't it? Even if it's a fantasy or sci-fi or whatever, stories all come down to human interactions, cores, and beliefs. Character arcs are especially important when it comes to this, as they're all about how people change and grow... for better or worse.

And that's... incredible. Writing is delving into the depths of the human experience. Clearly, that is going to change you, as a writer. 

HOW?

If we read to know we are not alone, why do we write?

I think it's for the same reason, only slightly modified: we write to learn we are not alone. 

We write to discover thoughts and feelings we can't say aloud, splashing color on the canvas of a blank page, then manipulating the words around until we say "oh, I see it now."

We write to learn.

I know that sounds strange. Don't we read to learn? Nonfiction, mainly?

Honestly, I think we learn more by fiction. If it's done well, it's a mirror to reality. 

Don't get me wrong -- you'll probably learn more practical things with nonfiction. But fiction is unique in which it appeals to the emotions. It's not all logic and 2 plus 2 equals 4. Fiction is why 2 plus 2 might accidentally equal 5 at times. It twists your thoughts and makes you feel something you can't exactly put into words, but you know it's there and it feels good.

And as writers, we try to put it into words. What does hope taste like? What is the texture of joy? Why does moonlight on broken glass feel so beautiful? And why does seeing this clearly unlikable character be loved make us feel so warm inside?

Subtext is powerful. Writers explore those gray spots and bring a little more notice to them. It's like diving into a planet of water and having to swim everywhere to find the surface. And we're going to learn things along the way, whether we plot out the theme and character arcs or not. We're trying to recreate the human experience -- we can't walk away from that not being changed.

When I get to the end of writing a novel, I look back and compare it to the first idea I had. The novel is usually completely different. And so am I. Because I'm teaching my characters the lessons they learned and exploring things with them. It's like I get the opportunity to live a whole other life.

Writers live other lives. And what we learn we relate to our own lives.

But it can do go deeper than that. Awhile ago, I started incorporating things into my stories that I'd gone through, certain themes and lessons. And seeing those similar situations play out in a character's life deepened my understanding of that theme or lesson. 

That's powerful.

One of my most favorite writing quotes of all time is this:

She wrote about souls. Words, therefore, were never enough
(unknown author)

And that's really the heart of writing, isn't it? The characters and their journeys -- their souls. When a story is written masterfully, we, as readers, are able to relate to them so much that we are changed. We are effected. But writers, as the authors of those souls, are effected the most, because a part of themselves is in those characters and those stories. 

Storytelling is like a superpower. Words are powerful. It's a craft I can never hope to master, and a gift I'm eternally thankful for. Our own lives are stories, after all -- written by the greatest Author -- and that makes the stories we write all the more incredible to us.

So write that story. Create something. Learn something. Words can build us up or tear us down, so respect this amazing craft.

Because if your story matters to you, IT IS POWERFUL.

<3

Audrey Caylin


What is the most powerful part of storytelling to you? How has your story changed you? Let's chat about all that deep stuff ;)

Labels:

32 Comments:

At June 3, 2017 at 5:43 AM , Blogger Farm Lassie said...

Audrey! I love this post so much!

I totally agree that writing changes you. I'm really sensitive about subliminal messages that people sneak into works of fiction. Fiction has a subtle way of changing your thinking, which a lot of revoluntionary writers picked up.

Catherine
catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

 
At June 3, 2017 at 5:47 AM , Blogger Andrea said...

Fantastic post as usual, Audrey! You always seem to merge the inspirational and the honest.

I don't think we'd be anywhere without stories. When you think about it, stories have been with us since what -- the beginning of time?

Writing has one hundred percent shaped me! I've become more in tune to people and constantly wonder about THEIR stories.

- andrea at a surge of thunder

 
At June 3, 2017 at 6:08 AM , Blogger Arya Lynn said...

OHHHH AUDREYYYY I LOVED THIS POST SO MUCH !!!!
YOU'RE AMAZINGGG! I'M TOTALLY SAVING THIS POST SOMEWHERE BECAUSE IT MEANT THE WORLD TO ME <3

 
At June 3, 2017 at 7:37 AM , Blogger Anna said...

Audrey <3 thank you so much. Honestly this is what I've been needing so badly. Your words are so powerful because they pierce the heart, don't stop sharing and writing. You have a beautiful, natural, genuine talent.
Love,
Anna

http://worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com/

 
At June 3, 2017 at 9:01 AM , Blogger Clara said...

AWWWW I NEEDED THIS SO MUCH! Gahhh these quotes, and all the beautiful things you wrote.... its perfect. Thank you <3
-Clara

 
At June 3, 2017 at 9:32 AM , Blogger Karyssa Norton said...

Oh. my. word. I've got to tell you, Audrey, every time I read your posts it's like... I don't even know if I can describe what happens. But I feel like someone understands. It's like you just put my thoughts and feelings into words, and SOO much better than I could. I have so many thoughts and feelings that are hard to explain, that when I try to write it out for people, it just looks like I vomited nonsense onto a page. But, wow, you make it sound like such a beautiful thing. And when I read it, I think, "Yes!! That is EXACTLY how I feel about this!"

Thank you so so much, Audrey! :)

 
At June 3, 2017 at 10:07 AM , Blogger Florid Sword said...

Beautiful and wonderful. All the love to this post. You are such a stellar writer.
thefloridsword.blogspot.com

 
At June 3, 2017 at 10:48 AM , Blogger Marrok MacIntyre said...

Interesting to say the lest. I've never really though about it that way. I mean I know words are powerful and stuff, but I don't know if I've every really changed after writing something. Maybe I'm just broken :P Does it help me feel or passionate about things after writing those passions out? Sure. But I don't know if it's ever "changed" me. I've always kind of been the same. But if it IS something every writer experiences I can't wait to! Maybe I just haven't reached that point yet, and if that is the case I'll run faster, I want to know what it's like :)

 
At June 3, 2017 at 3:45 PM , Blogger Micaiah Saldaña said...

Oh my goodness how do all of your posts sound so inspirational and beautiful and awesome and please excuse my messy grammar. xD

When I write, I actually DO learn from my characters. It's weird, like when I put a pencil to paper I kinda teach myself things. Like that last snippet I shared on my blog-that was like a pep talk to myself.

Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

 
At June 3, 2017 at 6:29 PM , Blogger Katie Williams said...

This was great! I love writing stories, because they give me a framework for thinking. I get to ask questions, and see how my answers affect my characters.

Thanks for writing this!
Katie
KDBug.com

 
At June 3, 2017 at 6:50 PM , Blogger Melissa Gravitis said...

Another gorgeous post! You always speak truth in such a beautiful way. <3 All my stories change me in some way, whether it be to believe in myself, or to hold onto the people around me. Often I don't realize the change has happened until I type "the end", and then I sit back and think 'wow.' It's one of the most wonderful feelings in the world! :D
Thanks so much for sharing!

Sincerely, Melissa
melissagravitis.blogspot.com

 
At June 4, 2017 at 12:25 AM , Blogger abigail lennah said...

You this out so well, Audrey. As someone who has worked on a series for roughly five years, it's incredible how much it transforms you-- for me, writing said series actually made me realize gray areas, how life isn't merely black and white and how amidst of all of the unruly horror that tries to inject itself into the world, there is good that arises, and the watching the clash between those two things is a tragedy and beauty. And the fact we have the power to shape that world view and bring it to a greater audience... it just stuns me so much.

xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

 
At June 4, 2017 at 3:46 PM , Blogger Jane Maree said...

*Flails and applauds and basically says yassss to everything here*

 
At June 5, 2017 at 5:29 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Ahhh thank you so much <3

Yeah :P I guess that's why we have to be careful with what we read... and work on our own persuasive writing in fiction ;)

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:19 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Gaahh thank you <3

Yes! I mean, our lives are stories, and today will be a story -- history -- tomorrow, so...our lives are technically stories, which is pretty awesome. And it's like every one of us is a protagonist, and it's impossible as a writer to not wonder about other peoples' stories!

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:21 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH! YOUR COMMENT LITERALLY MADE MY DAY. I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKED THE POST <3 <3

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:26 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Anna, thank you so much for your beautiful comment. Hearing that really means the world to me. Gosh, you're making me cry, girl! Thank you so much <3

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:33 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

EEEPPP THANK YOU SO MUCH CLARA <3<3

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:41 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Thank you, Karyssa! Sometimes I'm in bed the night before my post goes out and suddenly think "what if my post sounds crazy? What if it's just... weird, like I'm the only one who thinks this way?" Then I see all your comments the next morning and realize those are just silly doubts and I'm not actually as alone as I think. I guess I'm living out what my post said, that we "write to learn we are not alone." Thank you so much for reading! <3 :D

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:42 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Awww, thank you so much <3 I'm glad you enjoyed!

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:47 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

I don't think you're broken ;) I guess you just pick up momentum after a while and after hours staring at the same story, you look away and realize "wow, that story changed me." I think any story you're passionate about has the power to change you, if only to make you more excited about storytelling!

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:49 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

omw thank you I don't mind messy grammar in comments xD

THAT SNIPPET WAS FANTASTIC (if I didn't already scream that on your blog ;). And I KNOW. It's like my characters' problems are usually nearly like my problems, and seeing them overcome inspires me to overcome and have faith and hope like them.

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:51 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Thank you! Writing certainly is the most marvelous adventure next to our own lives!

You're welcome. :D I'm glad you enjoyed it!

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:54 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Awww, thank you <3 That means a lot!

*nods* Finishing a story is one of the most amazing feelings, when you take your fingers off the keyboard and think back on the novel. Then you realize just how incredible the story is and how it's changed YOU.

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:56 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Beautifully said! Writing is like plunging into reality. And...wow, I loved what you said about the clash being a beauty and a tragedy. Thank you for those truthful words <3

 
At June 5, 2017 at 6:56 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

THANK YOU xD

 
At June 7, 2017 at 3:34 PM , Blogger Jem Jones said...

How is it you can turn deep thoughts into beautiful and touching word-pictures?? This is the kind of thing I can only think of in half-thoughts and feelings - never words. Thank you for spelling it out for me! :)

Jem Jones

 
At June 8, 2017 at 10:54 AM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

I'm honestly not exactly sure :P All I know is that my favorite part of writing is describing things :)

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it <3

 
At June 8, 2017 at 1:17 PM , Blogger Abbiee said...

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL THANK YOU FOR BLESSING ME WITH THIS TODAY <333333333333 wow yes. Just evERYTHING YOU SAID HERE. I am shouting my agreement from the rooftops through a large metaphorical megaphone. SERIOUSLY I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS (<< more proof that you read my mind like what the heck) and thinking about the value of fictional stories. I'm the only person in my family who reads fiction and I've always had this feeling of "idk maybe it's a waste of time because everyone else in my family reads all this nonfiction stuff that's supposed to improve your mind, soul, etc. and I like that stuff too buT I ALSO REALLY LIKE A GOOD STORY??" and this post couldn't have come at a better time. Because I'm beginning to see that STORIES MATTER SOOOOOOOO MUCH. They just MATTER. asdfghjk

You said it, Audrey. SO SO SO DANG WELL. I have no words.

rock on,
abbiee

 
At June 8, 2017 at 6:05 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

AAAAHHH THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR BEAUTIFUL COMMENT I'M SMILING SO BIG RIGHT NOW :') It's totally the same with my family. Nonfiction is all fact, and that's good, but fiction just has so much #feels that I can't keep away from it xD

adfjkl; I'm running out of words myself to thank you for your comment <3

 
At June 11, 2017 at 1:59 PM , Blogger AmyNikita said...

HOW DID I MISS THIS POST????!! Well technically I did read it last week (was it last week???) but then I forgot to comment but I really wanted to comment because WOW this is such a good post <33
(I'm typing this at 11 at night, so here's to hoping it doesn't sound like gibberish tomorrow morning).

Anyway.
Amazing post, girl. So beautifully written and so relatable, as always. As much as I can dislike my writing (to a crippling extent) I don't know what I would do without it. Writing lets me breathe, lets me come up for air in a crazy world, and I am so, so thankful to God for giving me that passion and outlet. The best feeling is after you've written a scene out of your WIP or a review or a blog post, and you come away feeling "yes, this is me. This is what I am meant to do." It's the most amazing feeling in the world.

Great post Audrey <3

 
At June 11, 2017 at 8:04 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

I know! Sometimes I feel that I just CAN'T do this anymore, but I can't stop. It's like some part of me just needs to write, like God put a magnet in me for putting words on a page and making them mean something. I pray I'm able to use this as He wishes me to. And that feeling... it's so incredible.

THANK YOU SO MUCH <3 <3

 

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