Do You Have a Story To Tell?
|Image courtesy of Pixabay.com|
Most people do. Don't you tell stories when you get together with friends? You might not think you're telling a story, but when you relate the details of your day or an event, you've told a story.
The real question is how should you tell your story?
Some of us tell stories about our lives in small gatherings. Some people share their dreams with others—stories of a personal vision. Others make up people and events and share them, either as a liar presenting false truth or as a children's story. For some reason, pure storytelling, ie face-to-face, if it's fiction, tends to focus on an audience of children.
A long time ago, people gathered around a fire in the evening and told stories and legends. Today, if the story's audience is adult, we tend to use television or movies instead. Even Facebook has transformed into a storytelling medium.
Thank goodness for writers! A writer takes these ideas—fiction, nonfiction, visionary, memoir—and transforms them into a story we can pick up and read anywhere. Even on our phone or tablet.
I guess it's the ease at which we relay information while talking to each other that makes people believe they can write a book. Anyone can write a book.
Some of you bristled at that statement. Stick with me for a moment, though.
Today, anyone with enough money can write and publish a book. But, not everyone can write a good book.
To write a book worth a reader's time and money, you must know how to use words to convey what we miss when we're not sitting before you as you tell the story. A storyteller uses body language and their tone of voice to entertain. A writer only has words. It's not the same.
Over the years, I've met many would-be writers who read beautifully. They read their stories with energy and enthusiasm, using their tone to carry us with them as we meet characters, ideas, and themes. If the storyteller writes it down will it be the same? If they read it to us, then yes. But, let's face it, you can't buy the author to read the book to you. Even audio books usually use someone else to read the story.
This is why it's important to learn how to write effectively. Text on the page doesn't offer the two strongest elements in face-to-face interaction—body language and tone.
Do you have a story to tell? Most definitely, but that's the wrong question to ask.
A better question might be: Are you willing to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to write a story that reads like you are telling it to us? That's the true sign of a writer. The story transcends the page and takes on life.