Welcome to Story Papers! Mike and I enjoy concocting stories in a variety of formats, and we wanted a place where we could talk about the creative processes and storytelling–and learn from others, too. These are things that have and haven’t worked for us–and I must begin with the standard disclaimer that there is no one true path as a storyteller. Something I mention here may not work for you, but I hope in those cases, that in itself may bring its own inspiration.
What’s the difference between being a writer and being a storyteller? Writing encompasses everything from how-to articles to fiction, whereas storytelling is a specific piece of that pie, and usually includes writing as a medium, but it certainly doesn’t have to. In my case, I’ve had stories in my head for as long as I can remember, and I’ve tried to express them in various prose fiction (flash, short stories, novels), roleplaying games, and even illustrations. I’ve found novels to be my true love in storytelling, and despite a difficult and identity-altering burn out a few years ago, I’m returning to them. I know now that I need a different kind of relationship with them than I have in the past, with less of a focus on getting published (and all that entails), and more of an approach of playing around and experimenting.
So that’s what I’ve been doing.
One of my latest experiments has been re-approaching the same scene seeds or situations over and over (how many of us do this for real life moments?). Each time, I change the point of view, the dialogue, the overarching theme, and even the background. It’s incredibly inefficient and messy and I have scene bits scattered between physical notebooks, cloud documents, and hard drive documents….
I’m loving it.
You’ll see that technique here as well. Improving a craft is about experimenting and pushing beyond our perceived capabilities, and we may broach a topic one week only to revisit it from a completely different (and contradicting) viewpoint shortly after. You won’t find a lot here about publication, marketability, time management, or the nuts and bolts of grammar, but rather a focus on creativity/creation in storytelling and activities that encourage (or discourage) that.
We aim to update twice a week on average. Any more than that and I feel like we’re both distracting ourselves and you from the stories we all want to tell.