Today I am excited to welcome Olivia Smit, author of the upcoming debut novel SEEING VOICES, to the Disappear In Ink blog to share about the importance of stories and why we connect with them.
Be sure to read her guest post below, and don’t forget to pre-order SEEING VOICES! Details are at the end of this post!
WHY STORIES MATTER
by Olivia Smit
I think on some level, we all know that stories matter. But do we know why? There must be a reason that some stories resonate deeply with us, why certain sentences take our breath away and some characters make us cry.
Similarly, there’s a reason we love some books and not others – why a friend might hand over a copy of their most beloved read, only to have us fail to connect with it.
That’s the key word, after all: connection.
Stories are always doing “double-work” to connect with readers on multiple levels. First, we have plot and character: the story that captivates and interests us on a mechanical level. Next, there are morals and themes that we may or may not buy into. Finally, in the books we really love, in the stories that truly matter to us, there is a special emotional connection between the reader and the story, and that’s where the magic happens.
When we identify with a story in some way (maybe the character feels familiar, or a plot point reminds us of our own life, or a piece of dialogue feels a little like a love letter, written just to us), it connects with us on a deeply intimate level. Our thoughts and emotions become tied up in the story because of the value we’ve attributed to it: our connection to the story has given it deeper meaning.
This also explains why sometimes, a friend might love a book that you just can’t get into. It doesn’t mean their favourite book is bad – it just means something about it impacted them deeply, and you’re not having the same experience. Because people are different, they resonate with different books. It’s as simple as that.
When we experience this unique connection, it has the power to change us. This is why we cry when our favourite characters get hurt. This is why we copy down our favourite quotes and share them with others. When we are able to personalize stories, they have immense power to comfort and convict us, and even help us to heal.
When I sit down to write, I’m often trying to tell the type of story I need to hear. I’m trying to offer myself comfort or encouragement by pouring my emotions (whether current or from a past experience) onto the page. I always hope that my own emotional vulnerability will mean that readers are able to connect with my stories on a deeply personal level and experience encouragement and hope, too.
I would love to know … what stories connect with you? What’s your favourite book – and why?
About Olivia Smit
Olivia Smit loves baking, visiting small towns, and writing stories that face hard truth with hope and encouragement. Olivia has an Honours Specialization in Creative Writing, English Language, and Literature and lives in Canada with her family. Seeing Voices is her first novel.
About The Book
Seeing Voices by Olivia Smit
Publication Date: 15th April 2020
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing
Skylar Brady has a pretty good idea of how her life is going to turn out, and getting in a car accident the summer before twelfth grade isn’t supposed to be part of the plan. Although Skylar escapes mostly unharmed, the accident has stolen more than just her hearing from her: she’s also lost the close bond she used to have with her brother.
When her parents decide to take a house-sitting job halfway across the province, it’s just one more thing that isn’t going according to plan. As the summer progresses, Skylar begins to gain confidence in herself, but as she tries to mend her relationship with her brother, she stumbles upon another hidden trauma. Suddenly, she’s keeping as many secrets as she’s struggling to uncover, and creating more problems than she could ever hope to solve.
If you pre-order before the 15th, I’d love to say thanks by sending you some goodies (including a brownie recipe, hand-drawn map, and some graphics perfect for using as your phone background!) AND and invitation to an exclusive Facebook group where I’ll be going live to read the first three chapters of “Seeing Voices” (with annotations!), and answering YOUR questions! Email a copy of your online receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you asap!