Where does your story come from?

I read every day. Though no one can actually go through a day without reading at least a traffic sign, thanks to smartphones, most people do read more than that on a daily basis. The kind of reading I’m referring to, however, is story. Fiction of whatever kind. Something from someone’s imagination turned into a small reality and shared. Setting my book down this morning–reluctantly–I thought to myself, How does anyone live without stories?

About 1/4 of American adults don’t read books. That 3/4 of the population does read isn’t really heartening. Most of those will admit to reading a book or two a year, and a large percentage of those read non-fiction. Few have read a book a month, and even fewer, more. Statistics vary according to the year, but they don’t travel too far. Readers are a rare breed.

Reading isn’t for everyone. I get that, but I don’t get it. I’ve been a constant reader since I could do so on my own. How does anyone live without novels? Sure there’s television, movies, plays etc. They’re stories we see with our eyes, leaving our brains to simply enjoy. But reading–it takes effort. It’s an act of creation on top of an act of creation, because though writers provide the words, and good ones do a fair job of providing cues and clues, the readers have to finish creating that world, those characters in their own minds. No matter what’s going on in the world, the separate reality within remains constant, and yet, depending upon what’s going on outside those pages, we’ll see different things within the text. It’s the same with any art, of course, your internal dictates its external. I’ve read The Giver (Lois Lowry) every five years since my twenties and I come away with something different every time.

I suppose, story intake is different for everyone. A conversation is full of story. Sit in a cafe, and there are stories all around you. Study a painting, a piece of music, a garden–stories, stories, stories. I know this as well as I know everyone is different, there is no right and wrong but only perspective, that people get what they need in the manner they need it. And sometimes they don’t. But for me? There is no living without story by the written word. There just isn’t.

How about you? Where do your stories come from?

magic book


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6 responses to “Where does your story come from?

  1. My stories appear in my thoughts out of nowhere and next thing I know I’m outlining a book 😉
    I can’t imagine not reading. Both my husband and I are readers and so are our daughters. It’s another way to enjoy free time and one we encouraged. On a vacation, to a doctor’s appointment, or even a relaxing day at the beach would warrant a command of “Bring a book…just in case.” And those books were almost always opened at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      I have to say, traveling without a book or two is completely unfathomable. This is where I’ve come to appreciate my Kindle all the more. Unlimited vacay reading material without the extra suitcase!


  2. I read fiction for fun but some stories have sparked an idea here and there. I usually get my ideas from visiting a place and looking into local ghost stories, etc. I also love to read folklore, legends, myths and mythology from other cultures, religions, etc. A great source if you’re a paranormal/darker story line lover like i am.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Terri-Lynne DeFino

      Me too. And you’re so right. All the ghosts in Bitterly come from local legend. Maybe not local to our town, but to some town.


  3. I can’t imagine not reading regularly and always feel sort of sorry for people who don’t do it. They don’t know what they’re missing!! I get story ideas from books I’ve read, as well as from newspaper/magazine articles, movies, conversations. Stories are everywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elizabeth

    I am like you. I read avidly and I could not live without it. It is as much a part of my day as washing my face and I do it for at least an hour. And, I drastically prefer actual books to e-readers. Going to the library gives me a rush…..I don’t know where my stories come from but my life is daily enriched by reading stories told by other people about other people and places and events, etc. Yah for reading!!


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