Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Can Your Story Expire?

Don't ever consume bottled maple syrup that isn't REAL maple syrup! Aside from the bad reflections on my housekeeping abilities, I will have you note that the bottle of FAKE maple syrup that I found in the back of my kitchen cupboard has an expiration date on it of .... 2009.

I know. CLEAN OUT YOUR CUPBOARDS once in a while. I can hear you all screaming, so you can be quiet now.

Why do they put an expiration date on something that cannot expire? What is IN this stuff? It's like liquid tar that never loses its flavor, could substitute for super glue yet still tastes okay on pancakes, and has so much corn syrup it could be the new miracle fly trap! This bottle that expires in 2009, which means I probably bought it in 2006, doesn't even contribute to the penicillin charity like most foods do. It has retained its golden brown color that screams, "I'm still edible" while the digital inked stamp on its cap shouts, "throw me out before you Kamikaze your pancakes!"

What about your story? Can your story expire? Or have you created a timeless story that can be shared years beyond its written date? Not that I want to compare my books to pasty pancake gasoline, but it makes me think. I want to create a story that can surpass the fad of a genre, of a readership, of time. I want a reader to pass my book onto their child. Something good, something edible ... here's two suggestions:

  1. Make Your Story Resonate. A story must attract the human spirit. Flat characters, a plot that isn't relatable, void of emotion ... story killers.
  2. Make Your Theme Applicable. My favorite books are the ones where I relate to the. For me, it's usually a Spiritual truth portrayed through caracters that I have had affect my life in the positive. Learning something, taking something to heart, a breathing, pulsating message.
Now, as I ease the mummified syrup into its sarcophagus made of Glad heavy duty plastic, I wonder ... If your story can expire, is it really worth telling at all?
What are your thoughts on the matter? Can a story expire, or are all stories timeless?

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