Telling Stories: Why We Tell Them, Why We Write Them
March 7, 2011
I think the best stories are personal experiences, and the personal experiences are the best ones. I say this thinking of people who love to tell “stories” but they do not know the meaning of why the other person, in this case your reader cares.
What they care about is the reason you wrote the story in the first place. Some people will write in fiction, but base it upon real life experiences. For some the safety of fiction allows them to tell it more truer than they would in non-fiction…. and yet.
Each person has a story, and they do not often know how to explain it to others. what they want to do is share. What they can not do is express this. I found this to be true. I am editing a non-fiction book about men who fought in the Second World War. You might think oh, interesting.
Expect it is oral history and that people tend not to share well, they are not used to telling their stories. It took me a few times to have the repeat their stories to get the “true” interesting story. They didn’t know why it was important. I knew, but I had to write it to make them remember the art of telling the story.
Funny part to this learning curve, for myself at least? Saying that what they told me is important, but they have to bring out the right important things. ( and also telling them that they do indeed get a signed copy of the book!)