Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Neverending Life of Good Storytelling (free-write)

I've been obsessed with storytelling lately. I realized recently that most of the art that I truly love is rooted in good storytelling. Films, images, songs, books, even advertisements are all ways to tell stories. The ones that captivate us most are the ones that tell the story well.

I saw the last Harry Potter movie last weekend, and I developed a newfound appreciation for JK Rowling's ability to tell a rich story; every one and everything had a life, whether it was central to the plot or not. When Harry and Co. are in the Room of Requirement, some little bat-like creatures scurry from the clutter. Their moment in the movie was brief, but they weren't without purpose. Rowling made the Potter universe so rich that it's not difficult to imagine that the little bats as the central characters of their own novel.

In well-told stories, everything in intentional. I highlight Rowling because, in the Potter universe she could have created dozens of fantastical creatures, just for the fun of it. But she didn't. And that's often the criticism of fantasy and science fiction. The emphasis is usually more on the fantasy and less on the intentions behind it. The audience may be wowed initially by the novelty, but that eventually wears off, and the art is soon forgotten.

So here's to intentional storytelling. The stuff of legend. The stuff that lasts.


  1. Hey lady,

    I love language and words. Many times I have thought about writing a book and I always manage to stop at the thought. My biggest concern is my ability to tell my story (whatever it maybe) in an effective way. But on the contrary, I should write because of I want to and not worry about how it will be received. I'm sure Rowling could not imagine the height and depth of her magical story would reach. I often wonder if she put much thought and effort behind it or did she truly write from her heart.

  2. Hey there!
    You should absolutely tell your story. It wants to be told! Stories that want to be told want to be read. I write this blog for me. The fact that other people read it boggles my mind. So I think you should write write write! It certainly won't hurt.