The Stories That Move Us

Cynthia Herron Snippets of Life, Writing 4 Comments

The Stories That Move Us

Last week I met a friend for lunch. We talked writing, stories, and ordinary life.

That’s the great thing about friendship. We can bounce around all over the map and our friends still “get us.”

Take Julia, for instance.

Julia’s a fun soul. God’s girl and a deep thinker, she rattles my comfort zones. As in—challenges me to step beyond them. Yes, she’s helpful like that. (If you missed our 2016 ACFW adventure, get the scoop in last September’s newsletter. Scroll to Sometimes, the Best Adventures are the Unexpected Detours. Don’t forget to sign up for future newsletter updates so you won’t miss new content!)

Now—back to our recent conversation.

A snippet of it went something like this:

“Writing rules have their place. I mean, who wants to wade through poor grammar and crummy execution?” I savored a bite of my turkey panini and washed it down with a swig of iced tea. “The thing is, sometimes, I can look past mechanics when the story speaks to me.”

Julia nodded. “Absolutely. That’s the beauty of it. That’s the power of a fabulous story.”

We discussed several titles—novels panned as juvenile and unpolished, yet titles that gained traction and readership because of the story. The story moved them.

Again, we agreed that great writing and a superb story form a winning combination. Those things, together, whisk us away to another realm.

Still, it’s the story that tells the tale. It makes us believe or leaves us cold.

Many times, superb fiction is often based on kernels of truth. Life experiences, for instance, make powerful stories. They touch our hearts in ways contrived conflict and emotion can’t.

Connie, another friend, recently shared her real-life story. When I read Shaping Your Identity, my jaw dropped.

Wow. What truth.

Her beautiful, poignant essay not only won first place in a major writing contest, she also did something else. Something harder and life-changing. (Follow the above link and read her story.) You*may* need tissues.

I first met Connie in 2011 at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. The conference was held in St.Louis that year, and Connie and I introduced ourselves over lunch. Besides her massive curls, a big smile, and an infectious personality, Connie had brains. An attorney and a writer, she had a knack for detail and a way with words. (Check out Love Ain’t No Soap Opera. Order it here.)

I reconnected with my friend Connie at last year’s 2016 ACFW conference in Nashville. Though still as lovely and vibrant as I remembered, time and circumstance had transformed Connie.

When she waved from across the dining room one morning, I smiled and waved, too. Who is that? Have we met before?

Later, when I ran into her again at conference, she laughed. “I knew you didn’t recognize me at first. I always remembered you, though. I’m Connie. We visited in 2011.”

Ahh. A bell chimed.


We laughed and embraced. “Of course, I remember you. You…uh…just look a little different.”

“Well, it’s no wonder. Let me tell you about it.”

Fast forward to the present.

To stories that move us.

When real life inspires fiction, we pull out all stops. We’re no longer just the reader or writer.

We’re the match.

We’re ready to set the kindling on fire and share the stories that rock our world.



What are the most powerful stories? Here’s one idea.


Transforming lives through fiction. Is it even possible?


Original Image Credit: JaneKe88/Pixabay


Should Writers Write the Stories of Their Hearts?

Advice I’d Give to My Younger Self

The Perfect Imperfection of a Writer’s World

Have you read any great stories lately?

How do stories move you?


Until next time ~

Much Love and Many Blessings,

Comments 4

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  2. Connie Kuykendall

    Cynthia, How am I just now seeing this????

    Thank you so much. Thank you to Andrew as well. Wow, I love it. I cannot wait for your writing career to break wide open and for the world to realize your talents because you write with such heart and a genuine spirit. I am honored to know you.

  3. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Connie, my friend, you humble me! I fully believe God brings others into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I am so, so thankful that God introduced us in 2011 and that we’ve since reconnected. You are amazing!

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