Natural Born Killer-Story Teller
Is there a ‘book’ in you? I ask, why not?
Of course your life, or mine, (as a life story) may not be as toothsome as say, “The Audie Murphy Story,” or some such. But not all stories are or need to be about you, the author. In the land of fiction writing there are no limits, if you allow your characters to tell their story/ies.
I had written three novels before I published the first in 2008. Why? Because I’m a natural born Killer-Story Teller. I had been doing that with my poetry for close to forty years before I wrote my first novel—a story that flowed out of me like water—Writing Into The Dark long before I became aware of the term and it’s acronym WITD. (Or Writing Off Into The Dark*) And because that ‘story’ has kept flowing, I am now writing the twentieth book in that series.
There were many ‘writerly’ things I would learn over the years—how to tell a story was never one of them. Regardless of the mechanics of the novel my only concern was had I told a good story. Had I written what I wanted to write, how I wanted to write it (in today’s parlance, in to the dark) letting the characters create, from my subconscious, their own inhabitable world (of their five [or six] senses) in which they are individually imbued with their own habits, attitudes, and beliefs which are brought to life in their thoughts, words and deeds.
In my own mind, letting the characters ‘tell their own story’ guaranteed that what they produced was “a good story”. I knew that instinctively. And regardless of what someone else, who read those first novel manuscripts, thought of the ‘writing’… my only question was: “Yeah, but, did you like the story?”
I asked that question a few times before I realized I only ever had to please myself that the stories I was writing were ‘good’. Why” Because I’m a natural born killer-story teller—just like you.
I only peripherally believe in the old adage: “Everyone has a novel in them.” Why? Because that adage doesn’t go deep enough. We are simply natural born story tellers. To express a story (in novel form, for example) is only ever about ‘trust’; trust in self which means trusting in the abilities of your subconscious to tell a story. Yes, a good story!
Once you have decided to trust your self, there is only one next step: to do, that is write. There’s no need to think about writing, just write; write the first sentence and the next and the next until the characters have finished telling you their story/ies.
Yes, if you trust yourself, it really is that simple.
To quote my friend and prolific writer, Harvey Stanbrough*: “I can do this not because I received some blessing that’s rare or unavailable to others, but because I embrace the joy and freedom of writing off into the dark. And so can you.”