Week 1 - Storytelling
January 6 - Introduction
🔒January 7 - Why we like stories
🔒January 8 - Why we tell stories
🔒January 9 - Your perspective
🔒January 10 - Worlds/Characters
🔒January 11 - Responsibilities
🔒 Week 2
🔒 Week 4
🔒 Week 5
🔒 Week 6
🔒 Week 7
🔒 Week 8
🔒 Week 9
🔒 Week 10
🔒 Week 11
🔒 Week 12
Hour 48-72 | Introduction
So, as you are starting to craft your story in your mind, I wanted to spend a little time looking at what storytelling is and what those who tell stories are.
Today we will look real fast at stories and how we create them.
MY STORY -
To make a book, film, etc. here at Storytellers it takes years, but it all starts with a story. Humans tell stories from the very moment they speak, and if we are honest, probably before. We tell stories about our day at work, we write plays, we write novels, we write short stories, we make movies, we take photographs, we text each other, the list goes on.
The power of story is that it has an ability to connect with people on an emotional level. One of the things you hear all the time, is the advice, "write what you know." Now, as a kid I was like, "I don't want to write about me and my siblings, that's boring. I wanna write about explosions and dragons and cool stuff that I can then bring to life and make real."
Well, now 15 years later, I still haven't figured out exactly what people are meaning when they say "write what you know" but I have picked up on a few tips that might have something to do with the mean of this phrase.
1 - If you are going to put something into your story, make sure you understand it. If someone is going to defuse a bomb in your story, you should at least do a Google search on the topic first. Why? Because people are smart, they know when you are lying to them. Even if it's a story, people don't like being lied to. And the audience is a lot smarter than your college professors, you can't bluff your way out of this paper, you must know the topic.
2 - Go ahead and write about explosions and dragons and cool stuff, but put something into it that's part of you. Give your story a heart. Even God did this when creating man, He gave us His breath, a part of Him. When telling a story put yourself into it. Talk about your own life, how you feel. Do you feel scared? Do you feel alone? Giving your creation a part of yourself, a part of your own life, will make that story come alive and not just be a boring car chase (cough, cough! like the Transformer movies).
When I started writing the first Fatherlander book, the way I would pitch it is, it's about an assassin sent to kill a king, but the kings her father. That's her job. She must do it. She impersonates the king's daughter (who died at sea), come to the castle, gains the kings trust and learns she is really the daughter. And we thought that was a pretty neat idea. And sure enough, when I would tell it to people, they would get excited. But when we told the story as a book, people started getting bored and didn't understand the point. And they were like, "I don't understand what this book is about." Well, what I finally figured out was that it's actually not about an assassin who kills a king, it's about a girl understanding how unworthy of love she is and learning to except the love given to her.
(Christopher starts laughing)
That's actually what was happening to me. When I was writing the first Fatherlander book I was coming out of making one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I had thought I was doing what I was supposed to, but in reality I ended up causing damage I never dreamed of (like the girl killing her own father). But, the really story was how I dealt with what I had done, how unworthy I felt, and how others loved me through it...even though we couldn't turn back the clock.
So, why write about what you know? Well, because it's what happened to you that has made you feel some particular way. And honestly, what you're trying to do when you tell a story, is to get the audience to have that same feeling.
One of the big revelations I have found in telling stories, is how much work they are, really. I always thought, you would just tell the story once, and it would be perfect. Well the truth is, our stories don't always come out exactly perfectly the first time...or the second time, or the third time, or the fourth time, up to the 30th time (if they ever do). So as a storytellers you must keep going again and again. And only after retelling the story many, many times, does it really sparkle.
This week is about who we are as storytellers, in hopes that it will inspire you in creating your series.
Alright, I'll see you tomorrow.