What is it that makes words into stories? And why are stories valuable to us?
We human types seem to be able, away from our dream states, to create mental images - images of things and happenstances that aren't really there, that haven't really occurred. Over the eons we've devised utterances that represent "dog," "house," "tree," and even "yesterday," "life," and "thought." As we move from the purely sensory into what we imagine, we're trying to sort out the seeming chaos of everyday life - to make sense of it.
So we tweak reality a bit with our imagination. We add to it, omit things, emphasize other events, people, and places.
Have you ever recounted an event to someone? Sure. Did you relate it in bland detail, as it happened? Or did emotions bubble up to underscore certain things? Did you leave out details that didn't seem relevant? Then you've created "story," in the same way that the best poets, novelists, and memoirists have done.
Maybe as you told your tale, you noticed smiles, heads nodding, as your listeners entered into your ever-so-slightly imagined world. Having them do so is crucial to the success of your telling, but at tale's end were you able to sense in the expressions of your listeners that the tale accomplished something? Humor perhaps? Resolve? Wonder? Argument? Remembrance?
Then you've moved your listeners - or your readers - out of the surely sensory here-and-now into one of the many worlds the human mind has access to - - but, most importantly, you've anchored that at least partially imagined world to the here-and-now.
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.