I can't even remember the first time I heard the story of Scheherazade, but I do remember the fascination I had with the whole concept. In case you're not familiar, Scheherazade is the tale of a Persian king, who every night would marry a virgin. After their wedding night together, the King sent his newly wedded bride to be beheaded. A thousand young women he married and slaughtered in this fashion. (You'd THINK that some of those girls would pull a Julia Roberts, tie up their tennis shoes, and run away... but okay).
Then he met Scheherazade. Against her father's wishes, Scheherazade volunteered to spend a night with the King. (Gotta love the self-destructive types). When she was ushered into the King's chambers, she began to tell him a story. But she stopped only halfway through as the sun began to rise. The King was anxious to hear the rest, so he spared her life one more night so she could finish the tale. But the next night, Scheherazade told the King another story, even more fascinating than the one before.
This went on for some time. In fact, a thousand and one nights (and a thousand stories) passed until Scheherazade finally told the King she had no more tales to tell. But by then, the King had fallen madly in love with her and made her his Queen.
Now, just as a disclaimer... I'm not necessarily advocating a husband-finding technique for all you story-minded girls out there.
But here was the cliffhanger born.
I've always loved the fascination that comes with a really great story. I know all of you readers out there have found those books that you can't bear to put down; reading every last word as though it were with your last breath. And even you TV-lovers, movie goers, theater majors (see? I don't discriminate), you know the power of strong characters, finely crafted plots, and excellent writing. THAT'S what writing has always been about for me. Finding the stories that bring people to betterness (it's not a word, but go with me).
To take an adventure.
To share an idea.
To rally for the victory of a beloved character.
To find the ability to better ourselves.
I cannot adequately describe the thrill of creating a name, a physical description from thin air. And then, rather suddenly, that physical description takes shape; an expression appears from the otherwise empty face. A personality emerges from the background of the character's past. And that singular (and rather fictional) being suddenly has more than a name... but a sort of spirit.
Through that character, you take flight.
You discover the world.
You change the world... even if only in print.
This may make no sense to some, maybe to most. But every idea began with a word. Every persuasion (both good and evil) started with a thought.
And for me, the mission of capturing those thoughts, words, and actions into thought-provoking scenes... THAT is the ultimate goal. To create something that could live in the hearts of many and change the life of even one.
THAT is what I desire to do.
And maybe someday I will be granted that ability.