The Art of Storytelling

Telling stories is an art. Codswallop! Telling stories is hard work, a tough job at that. You have to imagine things, keep imagining even when the bus driver honks like a mad man like he is doing now. ( I must get in the bus!) So telling a story is a tough job. You have to put your mind t work and once it starts working, it never stops. No, not even in your dreams like last night when I was dreaming I was in the lap of Alps and suddenly the heroine of my latest story dropped by and she wouldn’t budge until I solved her relationship dilemma.

You have to imagine a complete world. Yes, even the flowers. Why? Now you can’t have Mrs. Sharptongue tend to delicate roses in her garden or have young Jennifer look at unromantic sunflowers from her bedroom window. Your job is no less complicated than an inventor and if I may take the liberty to say so, it is greater than an inventor. Because, you know, an inventor works in the isolation of his/her lab while a storyteller has to keep inventing even when he/she is running errands or is in a bus and has to bear the jerks when the driver decides to take a particularly bumpy road. (It hurts!)

You might raise your hand and say that I m available for a character. That, my friend, is not a favour either. Because the mind still has to work. Now look at this girl sitting opposite me in blue salwar kameez, clutching her small satchel with both her hands. Look at her face, anxious with some foreboding, her eyes constantly moving on the bill boards on the opposite side of the road. She can be a character. I won’t have to imagine her eyes or her small mouth or the way she pushes her hair away from her face. And yet mind won’t get a respite. It has to imagine a whole world,  a world where she is the axis of revolution.

So while you might have looked at her and noticed her pretty eyes (they are hazel brown), my mind has noticed things beyond that and is busy working on a story for her. It imagines an indulgent father and a strict mother who wanted a son but had the misfortune of having a daughter. I can imagine her at the gift-store buying “World’s Best Mother” mug. She is anxious to please her mother but ore anxious to to assure herself that her mother is indeed the best. I imagine her five years later. Her hair has grown longer and curlier, and she is old enough to understand things nd I see her rebelling against her mother.

Oh and do you see this other woman with a stern face and her hair pulled back in a bun?She is all about symmetry. Nothing about her is out of line, not even a hair is astray. She can be perfect for another story, a story where she is misunderstood for an evil step-mother.

So you see a storyteller’s mind has to work constantly to fill the gaps here and there, to mend the broken parts and to rewrite the absent history. But wait what sound is this? It’s the clinking of tea cups. (It’s tea time already!) See how much the  mind has to imagine? From being in a bus to looking at strangers!

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6 comments

  1. Constructive thoughts! Very true. I so enjoy people watching and wondering what I can do with them or create for them. I have always been a written communicator but nearing retirement I am just now beginning to embark into structured writing! I shall follow you with enthusiasm!!

    Liked by 1 person

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