The Power of Story (from unknown authors)

As writers, whether fiction or memoir, we sometimes lament that we don't have a "big name" to attract publishers. Almost any actor or celebrity can write a book, and publishers will trip over each other trying to offer a contract.

But think about this. The story you tell, along with how well you tell it, is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Never mind that you are unknown, unpublished, unagented. Your story will change that for you.

I got thinking about this when I read USA Today recently. A headline by Scott Bowles caught my eye: "Concepts, not big-name actors, are now the real stars of films". It's not a long article, and worth reading.

The basic point is, that while movie-makers used to put a well-known actor into a film to guarantee ticket sales, that tactic is no longer a given. Eight of the top ten movies this year depended on a great story, not great celebrity. Bowles quotes Access Hollywood critic Scott Mantz, "People don't need to recognize the face. They need to connect to the story."

That's great news for us unknown authors. Maybe you don't blog, or Twitter, and a website is out of the question right now. You have no connections, and no money to attend a writer's conference.

It doesn't matter.

Here's what you do have. The seed of an idea. A couple of chapters. A library full of great novels and books on the writing craft. Access to great blogs and groups online.

And time.

No, publication will not happen overnight (unless you're Angelina Jolie). It won't happen (probably) in a thousand overnights. But it can happen if you hang in there, learning and writing, and telling your story.

Because no one can resist a good one.


  1. I got teary reading this. So motivating...and true! It is always about the stories! My ten-year-old and I spent nearly four hours of a recent road trip just talking, and we created a game that had to do with telling him "stories" of my life. He wanted that more than anything...we all have a story to tell, and telling it well will encourage people to read it.

    Thanks for this post!!

  2. Thanks, Meagan. I need to remember things like this, when it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Can't wait to read the stories you have to tell. Love your blog!




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