Photo by Blaz Photo on Unsplash

Some stories transport people to another place, and there are those carrying profound calls for a difference. These stories instigate change, but the question is how?

Stories exist not only to excite people’s imagination and creativity.

Instead, they can be powerful mediums, meaningful enough to incite change in the world. It sounds impossible. To expect simple pieces of paper to be momentous to motivate people to change not only themselves but the world is like seeking individuals to move mountains. It’s a massive endeavor to take, improbable to anticipate. However, as astonishing as it sounds, this ideology holds a glare of truth.

Books can leave an imprint on people, deep enough that it motivates them to act and encapsulate the values they’re exposed to. Books aren’t simply words on paper. They’re a means for people to communicate and advocate values and lessons to inform, inspire, and connect. Like listening to thought leaders preach about revolution and empowerment, stories instigate change.

They act in a similar light as reaching out to others and encouraging them to work against the world’s evil, only that stories reach more audience within a shorter time.

How Do Stories Instigate Change?

The question persists: how do stories instigate change?

What’s so special about words printed on papers for people to read that they’re deemed as bearers of change? The answer is connected to storytelling and the power it holds over humanity. For so long, humans have consistently engaged in storytelling. Whether to entertain themselves or educate, stories have long played a consequential part in shaping the world.

Hence, it’s no surprise that most take what they read seriously. They understand that the words they hear or those reflected on papers aren’t nonsensical. Instead, they convey meaning and a profound message for everyone to hear. Before social media became people’s vessels to spread information, books were the primary channels for ideas.

Stories instigate change by giving people a glimpse of what happens with action or the lack thereof. Instead of merely pressing ideas into people’s brains, storytelling shows them what these ideas can do. By providing a holistic lens to a belief and offering a causal and practical approach, stories build a more insightful perspective in people.

Depending on how impactful these narratives and characters are, people learn to embody what they read. The way events unfold can persuade readers to act on the beliefs relayed to them. Authors also tap into people’s emotions, nurturing a deep sense of agony over losses and happiness over triumph. There’s no questioning how stories instigate change.

What Makes Readers Move?

Regardless of how talented authors are, only some books will inspire action.

Some may be creative or beautifully worded, but only enough to make readers remember their gist. These stories’ lessons are only glossed over. They may be given importance in the story, but the focus is divided so that only a little of the readers’ attention is left on it towards the end. One reason may be that the authors lacked the momentum to build their cause.

Author Jill S Flateland has championed writing stories for a cause. She crafts fictional worlds that aren’t only captivating. But she ensures her stories are also persuasive enough for her readers to treat the issues they presented thoughtfully and take the lessons she’s conveyed in reality. Not only are her novels contributing to charitable causes in Kenya, but they’re also encouraging people to act.

This is one of the crucial reasons why authors write. While personal expression may precede anything, the possibility that lessons weaved in their books will translate to action also burns the fuel they have. Storytelling is one of the most potent means of persuasion, and authors understand their responsibility when a pen falls into their hands. This passion is a fundamental factor that makes readers move and for stories to create a chain reaction.

When authors are passionate enough about their advocacy, this translates into their stories, which readers become inspired by. While it isn’t to conclude that passion is everything in storytelling, it’s the strong foundation that helps authors move forward and better convey their truths.

What should be the perfect ingredient to a transformative story?

Readers move depending on how well-written and built the story’s lesson is. They act based on how moved they are by the story. This means authors shouldn’t only bank on their passion and the advocacy they’re raising attention to. Instead, they should also work on their storytelling.

Stories instigate change when the problem is paid more attention, and the resolution is given a heightened victory. This combination excites and leaves readers satisfied and fulfilled as though they’re part of the process. They understand how rewarding it is to go against a specific cause, which motivates them to act accordingly. While there’s no guarantee that a riveting narrative will always effectively make stories instigate change, it’s enough of a factor to gamble on.

Share This
Skip to content