The world needs stories.
by Todd Foley
I love stories. Always have, always will. Whether it’s discovering a story or telling one myself, I don’t think a day has passed where I haven’t encountered a snapshot of someone else’s narrative.
Stories can be born from friendly conversation, personal testimony or faith systems. Whatever the source, stories make us human. I fully concur with author Philip Pullman: “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
Here are some ways I’ve been encountering stories lately:
- Story through listening. My church is going through a book called The Story, which goes through the scriptures as a cover-to-cover narrative. I get the great joy of interviewing several people in the congregation this year, listening to their unique stories as they share how they see their individual stories fitting into scripture’s overarching narrative and then writing out their stories as part of a series of installments. What a privilege it is to hear someone’s story and then to share it with others.
- Story through reading. I love reading stories filled with characters who are introduce me to entirely different settings and subcultures. For example, my current book is Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not only am I becoming immersed in Swedish culture, but I’m brought into the mindset of a gothic, vengeful computer hacker. Yet as different as I am from Lisbeth Salander, I’m able to understand her worldview by walking alongside her in her journey. As Carl Sagan says, “Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of different epochs.”
- Story through collaborating. For the past several months, I’ve been working on a book with two awesome dudes. We’ve never met in person, yet we connected over a mutual passion for sharing our own stories and, hopefully, inspiring others to share their stories as well. More details to come!
- Story through writing. I’ve recently started working on my next novel. The story idea came to me well over a year ago, but I’m now in the process of discovering characters, identifying themes and mapping a plot. More to come on this as well!
What’s your favorite way to discover [or tell] stories? Why?
Stories are for sharing. My favourite way of discovering them? Any which way! On paper. In conversation. Through watching others and how they behave or treat each other. Stories are how we understand the world, and relate to it. Fine blog, Todd.
Amen to that, Janet. We definitely can learn a lot through watching others. Thanks for stopping by!
I share your love of stories. I am in the midst of writing a trilogy of short stories “Life”, “Liberty” and “The Pursuit of Happiness” that weaves truth in fiction from family and personal stories to cultural and political ones. My dream is to not only give birth to these stories in book form, but collaborate with some former classmates and professors in the theater and film industry to adapt it to stage and screen. I can’t wait to see what develops.
Thanks for the endearing post.
Thanks for stopping by, Tony. I look forward to reading your trilogy upon completion. I share those same dreams!
This is very Hyperbole and a Half of me, but I like ALL THE WAYS! Long chats over coffee is probably near the top of my list though.
Plus, you get a caffeine fix in the process. What can beat that?! 🙂
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