People are good at different aspects of story. I like to split this whole process into three different parts.
Story Telling is the actual creation of the narrative. It’s developing the idea and the chronology of events. To a certain extent it’s deciding what event should be described when., although this crosses over a little into Story Crafting. Without Story Telling there would be no meat and bones with which to do the crafting and sharing. It is the fundamental must have of every book worth reading. For Pangea this process began with an idea in my mind. That of a son being trained by his father to become a man. It grew from here and I added several other moments to it. They were pictures; still frames from the son’s life: his best friend, a tribal dance, the image of a great journey and a viewing of eternal fires. Next, I began to think about how they were all connected. Once I had connected them I had a narrative. It is told in summary upon twenty small pieces of card. I could move some of them about but the essence remained. Then I put ink to paper and hands to keyboard to write it out long form. This is what I call Story Telling.
Story Crafting is what happens next. Some people call it editing, others drafting. The general story has been created already. Now several things happen, often simultaneously. Firstly grammar is checked to ensure that the story can be read with ease. Secondly, words are thought through. Time and care are taken to pick just the right word to say just the right thing. C.S. Lewis used to point out that once you use a word to mean one particular thought or idea it becomes much more difficult to use it in a secondary way; so if there’s a better word find it! This is also where sentences might be shortened, paragraphs moved about and the rules of writing are played with, particularly in fiction, so that the pace of the tale is affected. Essentially you use all of your wordsmith skills and technical knowledge to draw the reader in. This is what I call Story Crafting.
Story Sharing is what happens once the poem, novel or article is completed. This is what I have the least experience with. It’s marketing. Who do I publish this with? How do I let as many potential people as possible know about the saga I have so carefully created? What mediums do I use? In “Idris Tale” the protagonist hears stories around camp fires, while walking or in song. They are from a tribal society and these are some of the most ancient but still effective methods of passing along the knowledge and information you wish for others to know. Recently it has been made somewhat easier again with the introduction of the Kindle and other e readers. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination but a good story teller and crafter, like any artist, wants to share what they have written. This is the art of Story Sharing.
Which is your favourite part?