Reflection: Storytelling

Last week, at a family party, I was talking about some of my stories, and ended up telling a couple people the full story of “The Cromm Conspiracy” (well, not the full story, we did get interrupted, but that’s beside the point).  As I did this, I couldn’t help but think of my own storytelling, and the connection to my writing.

Ever since I was a child, I always loved to make up and tell stories.  Mind you, most of them were really silly, short stories; probably not the type of fare I would ever rewrite and post here.  Everybody probably did this as a child at one point, but I took it more seriously.  I always did have an overactive imagination.

I told my bus driver some stories in eighth grade on the ride home.  She liked them and I soon got into a habit of telling her a new installment every day, and some of the other kids on the bus listened and enjoyed them as well.

The driver suggested I write them down, so I did so, and “The Mysteries of Valleyville” were born.  When I wrote them down, I was able to add more elements that I knew went over well with the driver, and take away that which didn’t.  I was also able to refine the series a bit more, considering that I’d already told well beyond where I was writing, so I knew very well where I was going.

That series kept me busy writing for several years after.  On the bus, I told what would become the first five volumes.  As of now, I’ve finished seventeen, and it’s still unfinished (though I haven’t touched them in years now.  I really have to get back to those.)

But it all started with me just sitting on the bus, telling her the stories.  A lot of it I just made up on the spot.  Because I was simply telling the story, not writing it down, I wasn’t really paying attention to a lot of the rules of my usual style.  I wasn’t acting like I was reading out a book, I was just telling a story.

Storytelling is generally a bit more conversational.  Thinking about last week’s party, and my bus driver, I did get interrupted many times during the story with questions, comments, and more.  It’s a more direct means of communicating with the reader, getting more immediate feedback.  Plus, I’ve found storytelling can be a lot more natural of a way of telling stories, and sometimes, ideas flow quicker and easier when I tell a story than when I write it down.

Because of this, I find it helpful to tell the story to somebody before I write it down.  This also is why “The First Twenty-Five Minutes of the Night”, like I discussed in my last reflection, works so well.  When I’m telling stories, I’m not always meticulously planning, and yet many times, it comes out good in the end.

I once tried to take advantage of this by using speech recognition software, but couldn’t get it to work that reliably.  Still, if I ever find good dictation software, it might help me quite a bit.

I still do find storytelling to be quite entertaining, because I’m engaged both with the story and the reader.  I can easily get caught up in telling a good story, and be unable to stop for hours.  But I don’t want to do that now, so I think I’ll end this reflection post here, and say that, until next time, White Rakogis is signing off.

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One thought on “Reflection: Storytelling

  1. Pingback: Reflection: Spoken Thoughts and Speech Recognition | White Rakogis's Lair

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