When writing our novels or stories, we ought to “replenish our imagination,” says Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, the author of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies. For just as a child has an unbounded imagination to conjure any fairy-tale castle, princess, or ugly monster, so novelists and writers must also carry this imagination if we genuinely yearn to live in our stories.
By living, I do not mean to be caught in a daydream all day, but to feel with our characters and put ourselves in their shoes so that we can most vividly express their plights and delight our readers. I enjoy that McEntyre adds a didactic element to story-writing. She says that stories can teach us “what we can know and what we must do.”
I resonate with stories that can teach me lessons of life, such as choosing a husband for his mettle rather than his beauty. If I were to read the plight of a young maiden choosing a man who seemed gorgeous yet had no character, I would sympathize with her and remember that lesson for when I am about to marry.