What is it? Something few people have. You think everyone has it because you do—but they don’t. Millions of people love stories. Thousands long to write them. But they won’t, because they lack that one quality that separates the writer from everyone else, that pesky imagination.

Writers don’t think of stories like everyone else. We instantly see the ropes and pulleys behind the tale and we love it.

Sure we can enjoy a good story like everyone else . . . but then our imaginations take over. We envision different endings, see the possibilities in expanding characters, wonder what would happen if the action sequence in this part of the story was moved up or moved back and then the story takes on life in our minds.

My friend writer Felicia Mason demonstrated to me how rare it is. She said that when she talks to lecture halls full of kids, she asks who likes stories. Almost all hands are raised. Then she asks who rewrites stories in their minds. Only a few hands are raised. Those are the writers and she said they need to know that their gift is not shared with everyone in the world. Not everyone takes off with a story. For many, a story is exactly what it is to the last period and then done, enough, close book.

But to the writer, the story is just beginning.

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