The best stories take a turn at some point, early on. There lies some element, a phrase, a texture, that strikes the reader as so human, so emotionally charged and distant from the intellect, that a switch is thrown, disbelief is suspended, and the label “fiction” falls away. The characters stand up off the page and the story at that very point becomes part of where the reader has been.
It is at this intersection that the story becomes forever a part of the reader, producing the same chemistry and cementing the same memories as fact. This is why readers read. (And this is why writers write.) This is the gold. This is what they (we) crave. This act of reading, silently, alone, holds the potential of altering one’s experience.
Unlike TV or film, there is something that happens when we actively construct meaning from strings of letters. Words are produced that alter our soul’s catalogue, carve out who we are, and keep us coming back for more. dm