Discover the Beating Heart of Your Story

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Blog, Creativity, Encouraging Writers, For Writers, On Writing, Podcast

In the captivating world of storytelling, where words create magic and characters come alive, there is a powerful truth: every story has a beating heart and an essence that pulses with authenticity and depth. As a storyteller, it is not just about writing down words. It is about uncovering the soul of your story and nurturing the core values that breathe life into your narrative.

Identifying the Heart of the Story

T. A. Barron and Patricia Lee Gauch 1996

In my journey as a writer, I have been fortunate to walk alongside remarkable individuals, none more so than the insightful Patricia Lee Gauch. With over 30 years of experience as a writer and editor, Patti has been the guiding light behind 27 of my 32 books. Recently, we had a great conversation on my podcast, Magic & Mountains, where we talked a lot about storytelling and why core values matter so much in what we do.

Patti’s wisdom is crystal clear: “Trust the universal storyteller in you,” she urges. “If you only trust your brain, you may have a compositionally powerful piece, but you may have missed the beating heart. And that is what we’re going for – the beating heart.” These words hold a deep truth and a valuable lesson that every aspiring writer should consider.

Nurturing Core Values

Creating a story is like nurturing a life within, similar to the delicate months of gestation. The beating heart of your narrative represents the values within your soul and resonates with your readers. These values serve as the gentle rhythm that knits together the soul of your character.

Just like parents waiting for the birth of a child, we, as writers, patiently guide the growth of stories from conception to maturity. We ensure the heart of each story beats with truthfulness and depth, much like the core values instilled in a growing individual.

Episode 5 Excerpt

by T. A. Barron ft. Patricia Lee Gauch | Magic & Mountains: The T. A. Barron Podcast

Episode 5 Excerpt

by T. A. Barron ft. Patricia Lee Gauch

The Magic of Humor and Voice

Humor makes your characters more relatable and likable, adding a human touch to stories. It’s the laughter that reverberates through the pages, inviting readers to share in the joy of the narrative.

I have fond memories of my dad and how he never forgot the importance of humor in storytelling. He excelled at the art of spinning a yarn, and the peals of laughter we shared at the dining table while he narrated his tales were priceless and unforgettable. He also knew the importance of timing in delivering a surprise, a plot twist, or a good punch line.

Voice, on the other hand, is the unique melody of your story. It’s the way your characters speak, the tone of your narration – it’s what makes your story unmistakably yours. Nurturing these elements enriches the reader’s experience, creating a harmonious symphony of words.

Earning Our Endings

As writers, we are not merely architects of stories; we are like parents, awaiting the arrival of a new soul. We explore the depths of human experience, weaving them through the pages of our stories.

In the episode, Patti posed a question that resonates deeply: “How do we, as authors, earn our endings?”

The answer lies in our ability to nurture the core values of our story. By staying true to these values, and by allowing them to guide our characters to profound transformations, we earn our endings. We create conclusions that are not just closures but transcendent moments, resonating with the beating heart of the narrative.

T. A. Barron with Readers at Book Event

A Conversation for Aspiring Writers

To every aspiring writer, my conversation with Patti found in this podcast episode is a treasure trove of wisdom. It’s a reminder that writing is not just a craft; it’s a sacred journey of self-discovery and connection. It’s an invitation to explore the depths of your imagination, embrace the core values that define your story, and craft narratives that touch the souls of your readers.

For me, the two best parts of the writing experience are, first, when a word or character or place or idea comes out just right — and second, when something I’ve written truly touches someone in a meaningful way. And I’m always amazed and humbled by how much stories can mean to people!

As you embark on your writing quest, remember to discover the beating heart of your story. Identify the core values that fuel your creativity, nurture them with care, and let them shine naturally. By doing so, you will not only create exceptional stories but also leave a lasting impression on your readers’ hearts.

Join the Conversation

If you’re eager to dive deeper into this enriching conversation about writing, I invite you to listen to the fifth episode of season 2 of Magic & Mountains: “Writing from Your Soul with Patti Gauch”.

In this episode, Patti and I explore the power of humor and magic in stories, the importance of voice, and the journey of finding the beating heart of your narrative. It’s a conversation filled with inspiration and insights, tailored especially for aspiring writers seeking to enrich their craft.

As you listen, may you find the inspiration to trust and believe in your inner storyteller, nurture the core values of your stories, and begin your magical and fulfilling journey of writing. Remember, your story has a beating heart and reflects your soul – let it echo with the wisdom and sincerity that comes from within you.