|Lost in a story...|
"Hey, how did I get here?"
I didn't ask which book Josh was reading that day. As a writer, though, I applauded the author who crafted a captivating tale so successfully it gripped the boy's mind and held him even while his physical body was maneuvered from a living room sofa to the kitchen table.
Have you ever experienced something similar? I have. When I drive long distances, I like to listen to books on CDs. (If you haven't discovered these in your local library, you really need to check them out--literally.) As least twice, I have been driving along an interstate highway and listening to suspenseful stories until--unexpectedly--I blinked and thought, "Huh? Where am I?" In both cases, I had missed my exit a couple miles earlier and had to backtrack.
Such is the power of a well-written tale. Of course, not all stories hold such ability. Some authors insist on flaunting their vast vocabularies and frequently use obscure words that knock the reader out of the story with the question, "What's that word mean?" Other authors include scenes or events that come across as so incredibly coincidental, or so unlikely, that they puncture the very fabric of the story and let all the believability escape.
Although, by God's grace, I've successfully sold over two hundred short stories and articles, plus a couple novels, I'm still learning and growing as a writer. I'm not yet where I would like to be on this journey. However, authors who are true craftsmen at this trade inspire me. Who knows? Maybe someday readers will engage with my stories so intensely that they will suddenly look around and wonder, "Hey, how did I get here?"