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.