The truly classic stories that remain with us and drive us to proclaim their virtues so that others can experience their wonder are the stories that prick our souls and imaginations, stories that can be enjoyed and experienced on many levels. These aren’t stories with a simple message, a single takeaway point or clear and concise theme in most cases, but rather stories that are firmly planted in God’s truth and that is what cleaves the soul.
Perhaps that is what can make these stories so effective. As readers we get caught in the tale and attached to the characters, only to discover that we find ourselves learning through their experiences, gaining new insights or new ways to see old truths, renewing an older awe that we had grown accustomed to. And perhaps even more powerfully, these stories impact us on a distinctly personal level. So that two people can read the same tale and yet come away with very different meanings, and yet neither is totally wrong.
How one goes about creating such a work is a debated subject. Some say that if you want a message that can cleave the soul you must write the story with it in mind. Others say that if you want to have a story that doesn’t preach at a reader you must let the theme(s) arise naturally out of the tale?
Is one position more right than the other? Can they both be true? What stories have pricked your soul and refused to let you go? What stories can you return to time and time again, always finding something new to discover? What do you know about how the authors went about writing those tales? Did they have a specific message in mind? Or did they simply let the story flow to it’s own ending?