Why Tell Stories?

I can’t remember my own first written story, but I do remember the simple joy of hearing a good one from a very young age. It wasn’t even so much the story itself that my mind has captured so clearly, but the way the story was told and its impact on me. The enjoyment and satisfaction of the storyteller in sharing their tale with a person that truly wants to hear it – it’s a beautiful thing.

It matters not whether I see the written word or hear a tale in the old oral tradition. And, it matters not whether it is a world-renowned author or one of my grandchildren telling a thought on the spot, not so understandable, knock-knock joke. For me, it isn’t just about the story but the sharing of the joy and satisfaction bursting from the person telling the story they feel compelled to share.

Don’t get me wrong: a story with powerful themes, lovable and hateful characters, heart-stopping dialogue, breath-taking imagery, well, it gets me every time. And, my enjoyment is not diminished when the story is a heart-breaking one. On the contrary, if we’re honest, some of the very best stories are those that make no sense, causing us to stand up, toss the book aside, wipe tears from our eyes, and demand another ending.

So what is it about storytelling that causes such emotion?

It seems to me the act of storytelling is about passing on something that you just can’t hold within. Be it a few lines or a trio of novels, whether it’s putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, or simply opening your mouth to speak the words. There is nothing like that feeling of … I simply must tell this story.

It’s November and this is my homage to NaNoWriMo.




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