Yearning. For me, the word brings to mind sadness, loss, frustration, yet it’s such an essential for fiction writers and storytellers.
Without yearning, there isn’t much story. A competent writer must take control and frustrate the character, present what the person wants and can’t have easily, if at all.
When I began to write short stories years ago, my mentor pulled out her red pen regularly. “What does the character yearn for? What does he or she want?” Point being, if we had all our wants and needs fulfilled there would be no plotline, no story.
To identify with a fictional character in a story or a real human in real life, we identify with the human condition, that the world isn’t perfect, we are not perfect. Conflicts, troubles, deprivations, plagues, calamities, all plot twists, if you will, that we don’t see coming. As even Jesus Christ suffered unto death, we too will not get out of this world alive.
For me, endings are the hardest to write, making sure the story is resolved, that the loose threads are sufficiently pulled to conclusion. There’s a sense of accomplishment, but there is also a sense of sadness and loss to step out of that story’s world, never to return to it as an unfinished unit.
With God as our storyteller, we may not get everything we want, but we will get what we need. Going home to God one day, we will yearn no more.
(I wrote this piece earlier this fall for an advent devotional that made its debut today.)