Sounding like a Storyteller & Ramblings

One thing I have sort of been kicking around in my head recently, and it should have had more permeance in my thick skull, but life is complicated and can wear you down in so many invisible ways. Anyways, that one thing is that when you write a book, short story, whatever, you should have the voice of a storyteller. The person/audience interacting with your narrative should be on the other end of your story going: “yes, yes, talk to me storyteller, talk to me.”

Now this seems like a pretty standard piece of advice. There are countless examples of it every single day. At work you’re gathered around the water cooler and someone walks up to share a funny anecdote about this weekend fishing trip he went on. Sadly he tells the story like some sort of android, like he’s going through the motions, like he wants to share it but doesn’t want to do the work to make it entertaining. You might even tell him/her, that’s a funny story, but the way you told it is not. This shoddy little example I’m drawing up pertains to writing stories.

If you’re not excited to tell it, why should your audience be excited to read it? 

When I was younger, I noticed the stories I really loved had this tone. My best and perhaps well-known example is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. When you sit down to read that story his voice and tone makes it feel like he’s a grandfather in front of a cozy fireplace who is going to capture your attention effortlessly for the rest of a winter-swept night. He sounds like a storyteller through and through in his voice.

Now this might seem like standard knowledge when it comes to writing. However, in the midst of all my writing education, struggles, editing, etc, I’ve found it’s easy to lose this simple perspective on storytelling. You need to sound like a storyteller. Because I’m constantly focusing on craft, and just writing better, I can easily forget that I’m a storyteller, doing one of the most basic and timeless lines of communication left on this earth. It is so easy to lose sight of this simple and perhaps commonplace knowledge in the fog of creation. 

Ramblings: 

  • Been a little while since I’ve done these. Not sure why. Think I might have burned out on it. Whatever. I’m back. 
  • Watched the White Lotus on HBO Max. What a show. The art direction, music, cinematography, all of it was just fantastic. The characters were very real, flawed, and hard to like most of the time. It also, at least from what I watched, appeared to show the more honest side of the Hawaiian service industry life. 
  • Continuing on our sort of HBO Max track, I’ve also been watching the animated Harley Quinn show, which is pretty much my new favorite thing to watch. It is fantastic. Great characters, humor, and a zany (sadly realistic) sense of morality. 
  • I do think we will be having an audiobook coming out at some point this year of the Greenland Diaries. 
  • I will be at Crypticon MN and FallCon in September for convention events. After that, who knows. Maybe 13 Gears?
  • I’m doing Fantasy Football for the first time in about 5 years. Pretty excited.
  • School is starting soon. I have a ton of anxiety about it, mostly that my kids will be exposed to the delta variant. I bought them fun/cool masks to wear. I’m hoping things will be okay. What a nightmare.
  • On that note, have a safe and healthy week everyone. Thank you for reading my work and for supporting me. 

2 Comments

  1. . says:

    Ahoy Patrick, that illustration class from years back is interested in working with an author again… contact the prof, eh?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. V.M.Sang says:

    Absolutely. We mustn’t ever forget we’re story-tellers.
    Though sometimes, I find my husband doesn’t appreciate this. He tells me to ‘get to the point,’ or even, sometimes when I want to tell a tale in company, ‘Let me tell it. You take too long.’

    Liked by 2 people

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