Friday, October 6, 2017

Storyteller's Journey

Photo Credit: Public Domain
The Story Behind the Story

Along my storyteller's path I've labored to create magical characters, mysterious plots, and charming settings. One thing I never anticipated was the twists and turns my own story as a writer would take. If I had, I'm not sure that I would have so unwarily proceeded! My own character development has transformed, my emotions have ridden a roller coaster, and I've visited places that I never would have otherwise. I never dreamt that my life would change so much!

But, those unexpected experiences have brought to my life insights, wisdom, friendship, joy, knowledge, confidence, and on and on.

We're taught as writers to place as many challenges in the path of our protagonists as we can. Since most of us grow close to our characters, sometimes we cringe at having to do that - even though we know it's a necessary part of creating a complex and viable story. Maybe one way to understand & implement tension is to experience our own troubles.

Learning lessons from life's challenges is something I've discussed on Writ of Whimsy before. While we'd probably all agree with that idea, when challenges come to my door I'm not thinking of learning lessons. Dealing with the pain of the situation takes a lot of effort just to get by.

I know we ALL deal with life's trials and tribulations; here are a few challenges I've dealt with since embarking on my storyteller's journey:

A wrist injury that ended my dental hygiene career.
Loss of substantial stock value, investments, 401K, etc.
The death of our two dogs - one in 2005 and the other in 2008
I gained several pounds due to a bout of deep depression.
The youngest of our three sons left home for college.
Multiple rejections - of all sorts. (Aren't those fun? Not.)
In the spring of '16 I injured my knee; in the fall of '16 I had surgery.
My sister sadly passed away on 11/7/16; I'm still dealing with grief.

We all have a story behind the story. It behooves us to learn from it - not only personally, but as writers. That way we make good use of everything (even the tough stuff) that we experience. ~ All the best.


  1. My sympathies for the loss of your sister. I lost my oldest brother in 2006 and still miss him. I think life IS challenge. I've always loved Zorba's comment: "Life IS trouble, only death is not." Looking back, earlier adversities (more than one) really shaped me into the person I became and am still becoming. But that's what connects to others, when I think about it.