Sometimes the power is from a big reveal or a familiar personality playing out choices with results we understand. Other times, that power comes from a little secret the authors whispers to us in the text.
It is the type of secret the soul recognizes.
One of the most memorable truths for me was in Laurel K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures, the first Anita Blake novel. Anita gets into a car in the evening with an attractive man she's joining for business purposes. The narrator notes (and forgive me for paraphrasing) that there is always that moment when you're alone with a member of the opposite sex, when you both realize you're alone, that the possibilities of what could come from being alone together come to the forefront of the mind.
I used to think I was some sort of wanton tart for feeling this way-- like it was just my dirty little secret. I thought it was some over active yearning inside me that I'd learned to ignore and not give credence to lest it define me as some sort of sex-crazed maniac trying to escape the closet. Ah, the shame of wanting to be wanted by every male, and the excitement of wondering where it could all go with a complete stranger.
This little illumination on a human truth jumped straight from the page to my heart and forever tethered me to two feelings: 1) I absolutely trusted the author for her wisdom and 2) The story was suddenly more personal because it grabbed some piece of me and pulled it into that world as a participant. Brava, I say.
Another truth I recently came across was in Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey. The young narrator describes herself as withholding information from a benefactor at one point, because that's really the only power a child has over an adult. So true. Yes, Ms. Carey, you have my trust. Tell me more. Teach me more about the little things I've forgotten or wanted to ignore.
It is a marvelous thing as a writer to interject wisdom and observation like some soothsayer for the soul. It breeds trust in our ability to understand people and it invites a more personal connection with the reader. Sometimes, the truth can sing louder than the story.
What about you? What little writing truths sang to you or left a notch on your heart?
Photo courtesy of Photo Mojo.