Fiction File: That Time I Was Part of Someone Else’s Story…

How was your weekend? I actually spent most of mine in a hotel, because I was hanging out waiting for, traveling to, and celebrating at…

My cousin’s wedding.

I decided to make this post a Fiction File, just for you fiction writers out there, but if you write emails, sales letters, or what-have-ya, you can read it, too…if you want to give this post some attention, I’m not going to stop you.

Anyway, let’s get to it.

I won’t go into a blow by blow of the entire thing…it was a wedding, and a church and minister were definitely involved. But I will say that there were some parts that were interesting to me, which I’ll try to explain in the order they happened.

Number one was playing “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri on the roll of songs while the guests were taking their seats and it wasn’t time to start. I really like that song a lot–and it’s also emotionally impactful for me, which meant I spent about the first half of the ceremony trying to restrain myself from crying like a stuck pig.

During the time the groomsmen and bridesmaids filed in, they played the Pachelbel Canon, which is one of my favorite classical tunes ever.

The minister went through some Bible verses, of course, and then things got interesting. To prep for marriage, one of the following was involved:

A) One sixteen-hour Bible course, over the course of four weeks

B) Sixteen hours of Bible courses per week, for four weeks

I’m thinking it was A), but the preacher was throwing so many numbers around, I got a bit lost.

My cousin and her fiance had to go through multi-hour pre-marriage counseling seminar(s) (and if the preacher didn’t know exactly how many hours, I knew I had no chance to figure that one out).

After another Scripture or two, the minister had the bride and groom tie a fisherman’s knot together. I actually didn’t see this part–all I knew was something was happening, and then all I could see was the bride and groom holding the rope at each end. (As a short guy, sitting down, especially in back of people taller than I am, doesn’t do me too many favors.) I’m guessing I didn’t pick out where to look until the cool part was over.

This is the only wedding I’ve ever been to that included tying a literal knot.

After the ceremony, the groom forgot the official first kiss until they were about one third of the way down the center aisle. (It’s my opinion he was actually floating, not walking, with my cousin down that aisle.)

And after everyone started filing out, I couldn’t figure out where people kept disappearing to, because they weren’t going down the sides of the church. That’s when I remembered we were having the reception at another place, and they were headed to a place known as…

The outside.

Yeah, I was really on it that day, I know.

Then came the short drive to the reception itself (another first for me, to have a reception that was more than a couple minutes away).

Inside the reception hall, they got a barn fan going eventually, because Wisconsin was having record heat for September (something like 92 or 93 degrees), which no one could have planned for.

I also spent a couple minutes searching for my name thing at the front to find my seat…only to realize that I was actually seated near the head table with all the relatives who had been invited. It was an aunt who managed to pull me off the search.

The background music during dinner was super-soft, and a lot of it was wordless piano and violin stuff.

It was after the speeches that mentioned about how thankful different people were to have been invited to be a part of things, or to have a hand in the planning of the special day that I realized…

A wedding is a story, or a chapter in a bigger story.

It’s just that the guests are characters who get introduced a little later than the main characters (the bride and groom in this case), although some characters (like the moms and dads) show up again later, even though they were there before.

Sometimes characters are made for a story, or you as the writer just introduce them into something and see how things go based on the background you’ve created for them.

I think this was more of an introduction-type thing.

So for me, as a character in this whole story, things like:

— What I would eat and wear

— Where we would need to be, and at what time

— Where I’d be sitting, and who I’d be sitting next to

— What music would play in the background

— And so on…

Were all pre-arranged–a setting, story, and character list carefully planned out by someone else.

The only difference being real people were in it and enjoying all of it, instead of characters on the page.

Then again, it’s really the same with any good story. Readers should (ideally) be involved in the story itself too, because they’re drawn in to the action or characters and want to see what happens.

And a big congrats to Tyler and Samantha Schwoerer (a name I finally got the correct pronunciation of after about six months of not getting it).

I’m thankful I got to be part of your story, even if it was just for a page or two.

Until next time,


P.S. Right before we left, my cousin Sammy made a comment that surprised me, which I hope to talk about tomorrow.


About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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