I read an article recently that said children like heroic stories of good overcoming evil because children favor fantasies.
I wonder if that is supposed to apply to heroic stories of triumph over tragedy as well. If so – I hope I never lose the child in my vision.
I believe most lovers of stories will agree with me in this. That includes lovers of adult stories and young adult stories and all stories. By the way publishing sales statistics agree.
I also believe that these stories are not fantastical. Quite the contrary – they are the stuff of very real life. And they are all about resilience.
Human beings are hit by hellish circumstances. They are inundated by the deluge. They are stunned for a moment. Then they stagger upright and battle back. Then they survive.
All over the TV now we witness the stunned interlude. Cold and exhausted the stormed out homeless and all but homeless stare into the cameras.
The rest of us watch and listen with compassion. But meanwhile we wait. We are waiting for the other stories we hope will come. Experience tells us we will not be disappointed.
Close on the heels of this interval of disbelief and devastation we will begin to hear them. Tales of being driven down then staying down for a while followed by the struggle to stand again.
These are stories of resilience and they are as real as the life of every beating heart. These are the real stories of Staten Island and the Jersey Shore and Breezy Point and the Ninth Ward. They resonate with the real stories from our own personal heroic histories.
We love these stories. We long for them to be told. We need them to be told. We as writers have a responsibility to tell them.
So write it down – every child soul testimony of struggle you encounter. This is the record of the human spirit and it is not fantasy. It is true as truth can be.