We all have a story to tell and we all have complicated lives… or at least at some point in them it can get complicated. Mal and I were talking to a lovely woman in the pub last night who was going through a bad time, so we befriended her. We listened and we offered our collective wisdom (if you can call it that) and I am sure when she left she was feeling better. Sometimes you have to take the time to listen because it’s far too easy to judge from appearances and to walk away. But humans have this ability (well and some other animals too) to empathise. We hope she stays in touch with us.
Life is a series of stories, some have more impact than others, but that’s what we do, we tell stories, we listen to stories, we watch stories and we read stories. Our brains developed to the size they did because of human communication and the first form of that was through story telling.
We all know and understand its form, but when it comes to writing it — be that a short story or a novel — we can get a little lost and so that’s why part of what I do when I critique is analyse how the story works. What does it need, what shape does it have?
I am currently reading a great book that was recommended to me (as I am serious about doing some screenwriting once my house sells and I have a few extra pennies) … John Yorke Into The Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them. Only just started it but so far I think it’s a good one and reaffirms what makes a story. Well worth getting. I will post some more about it as I read more of it and it might even go on my recommended reading list on my website. I read lots of books on writing to make sure it’s fresh, many are ‘okay’ but nothing special, but when I find something I think needs mentioning or recommending then I do.
Well best get cracking before I cycle to the gym in the rain and I am actually looking forward to it! And I have a rare lunch away from the desk later catching up with some friends, but you know me… I will be working late to make up for it!
Happy new week!