Why Do Stories Resonate With Us?

Well-crafted tales reach into our lives and touch our hearts in ways which seem almost too familiar and intimate for words.
on Apr 4, 2017 · No comments

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51018270

I loved Beauty and the Beast.

I saw it Sunday afternoon, and as the story unfolded, I found myself relating to the characters and their difficulties on a number of levels. I’ve never seen the animated version (yes, I grew up cut off from the world in a hobbit hole, in case you’re wondering), so this was my first time experiencing the story.

And it felt like it showed my life unfolding on the screen. Which was both disturbing and fascinating.

Such is the mysterious magic of stories. Well-crafted tales reach into our lives and touch our hearts in ways which seem almost too familiar and intimate for words.

  • A certain struggle mirrors our own.
  • The character faces a dilemma torn straight from the script of our life.
  • We do a double-take because doesn’t that relationship look exactly like ours?

Some do this better than others, but all stories brush against reality to an extent. And that is their power.

Your Story, My Story

Why do we read?

  • To go on adventures.
  • To explore new places.
  • To see the world from a different perspective.

At the core, though, story is the golden thread running through the tapestry of life. Whether taking place in your neighborhood or in the enchanted castle buried in the forest, they’re inescapable. They rivet our attention because they’re merely masked actors playing out the drama of our lives on life’s stage.

Because of that universal nature, stories craft a unique experience that crosses boundaries of space and time and immerses us in something truly thrilling.

The deeper we feel a connection, the more the story stirs within our hearts and minds a sense of longing, of understanding, of meaning.

We go on a journey with the characters, but in truth their journey is ours. Perhaps with different trappings, but deep down, they’re no different from us. That bond, that depth beyond external similarities nudges at something deep inside.

Stories are intrinsically poised to resonate with us. As Belle understands, when we dive into a story, we’re transported beyond the confines of our surroundings into a time and place where possibilities abound.

A story is made up of many elements, some more glamorous and attention-grabbing than others. Yet aside from the flash of tension and chases, battles and drama, the characters and their lives are what resonate most clearly.

I like how George R. R. Martin put it:

The interesting thing is, all those lives we read about? They’re all facets of a prism reflecting our experiences back to us.

Returning to Beauty and the Beast, I felt such a connection with the Beast, especially his growing love of Belle amidst the difficulties they faced, that it burrowed into my soul and gave the story an extra degree of significance.

Stories that capture those special moments and distill them into snapshots that cause our heart to quicken or breath to catch—those are the stories we don’t forget.

What parts of a story resonate with you?

Zachary Totah writes speculative fiction stories. This allows him to roam through his imagination, where he has illegal amounts of fun creating worlds and characters to populate them. When not working on stories or wading through schoolwork, he enjoys playing sports, hanging out with his family and friends, watching movies, and reading. He lives in Colorado and doesn't drink coffee. He loves connecting with other readers and writers. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Goodreads, and at his website.

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