Storytelling is something that has been around since the beginning of time. People have always loved being taken away to somewhere new, somewhere exciting, somewhere crazy, anywhere except where they currently are. And from these stories come the storyteller.
Some of us tell stories that want to take us away, others tell stories that reflect how they feel, and other tell stories about exactly what they’re doing. There’s really no limits to the stories we can tell.
I’ve been telling stories since before I can remember. Even as a toddler, I would make up random stories, that obviously didn’t make any discernible sense, and tell them to my parents. It’s something that’s a part of my DNA. Literally, not a minute goes by where there’s some idea, some tiny morsel of a premise tugging at my creativity, just asking to become a story.
There’s inspiration everywhere. Around every corner is a story that’s just waiting to be told. Fantasy, science fiction, romance, suspense, thriller; all of it and none of it.
I wrote my first full-length novel–which pretty much just means it had a beginning, middle, and an end–when I was about eleven-years-old. It was one giant cliche, with immature dialogue stacked on random twists and turns. But it was a story. And it got me hooked.
Believe it or not, I wrote two sequels to that first story before I realized it was all one giant train wreck. Heck, I named not one, but two characters after myself.
So, at age 12, almost 13, I started something new. I tried two thriller/adventure stories, realized I had some skill in writing, and moved on. And then, one night, while I was trying to sleep, I had an epiphany. Out of nowhere came a title for a fantasy novel. And with this discovery, came a whole cast of characters, worlds, and complicated lore and backstory.
I spent the next year writing this story, and I finished it with a final word count of seventy-five-thousand. I was so proud. Forget about the fact that it had so many different plots that it didn’t make any sense; forget about how my characters were flatter than paper; I was proud of it all because I had told a story.
Storytellers, in my experience anyway, can be petty crazy. I’m sure a psychotherapist would have a heyday with my brain. I come up with premises out of the strangest stuff. I live in a world where a science fiction epic can come out of seeing an oddly shaped mango; where a violent, suspense thriller can come out of watching Spongebob for too long.
It isn’t logical, and it doesn’t make sense if you think about it, but it works. I’m currently hard at work on a novel, unlike anything I’ve ever written, and the fun I’m having in discovering character motivations, new plot points, and figuring out how to incorporate one more ‘big’ twist is something I can’t really put to words.
If you’re like me, then hopefully you can relate to this. If not, then I should probably check myself into a psych ward. But hey, at least I’d be able to write in peace right?