A number of years ago I posted this article about the power of a simple story. It had a few good points, but I was still left with some questions. After writing and editing, I finally put it to rest. The answers were a bit more complicated than I’d initially thought, so I thought I’d share them with you.
You have to find a story that makes you feel like you are the protagonist of the story, not just the antagonist. You have to find a story that forces you to question your world, to question the very reason you are in it, and to make you doubt your sanity.
I think the best way to do this is to find a story that is set in a world that you like (I don’t mean you love the story, I mean you like the world). Then you have to find a story that makes you question why you’re in that world, why you feel like you are the protagonist of that story, and what you are doing there.
We see the story of a boy who has a dream to be a fighter in the military, but who must put aside his ambitions to help others in order to save that world from catastrophe. In a way, we see the story of a man who must choose to live through the tragedy of his past, or he must choose to live with the tragedy of his future.
I find my favorite David is when he writes about the futility of being a hero. In his words, “a hero is a man who has done something that he thinks he has done; who has been rewarded for his actions and who is therefore not in a state of emotional distress.