Not every good writer is a good storyteller. But a good storyteller has to be a good writer.
Some of you will agree with me, some of you won’t. I’m fine with both. After all, we all are entitled to our opinions. But let me tell you the whys for this strong statement that I have made.
After everything is said and done, in fiction, it all comes down to the story. Does it not? How did the story make you feel?; did it make your heart skip a beat, or made you jump on your feet? And a good story, to be that impactful, has to be executed through good storytelling, and good storytelling has to have been written, if not exceptionally well, then, at least, in a good enough way.
How is a story to be made impactful? How to structure it in a way that all the unveiling is done at the right times?
Answer to the first question lies in the second question. And answer to the second lies in one simple statement; in fact, the answer lies in the question itself – just raise the respective curtains at their appropriate times. Nothing too soon, nothing too late. So many successful novels, that I have read, worked partly due to some other reasons, but mostly due to this right unveiling technique. Oh yes! Let’s name it as ‘Right unveiling’ technique. (I’m not sure if it already has a such name.)
Now, to get it done right, you will find numerous books and essays. I have been through quite a few too. But it all is theoretical. Until and unless you have tried using the technique in your story or any other form of writing, that book or essay as well might have gone unread. And, honestly, it is not much about the techniques, but your natural way of developing a story.
If it were that easy and quick to learn the art of storytelling, everybody would be one, right? But not everybody is, that is right too. There must be something that makes one good at it, and the other not; that makes one its master, and the other to always remain a neophyte. And, here, comes the innate talent and passion for the activity.
Does that mean that it cannot be learnt? Well, not really. I mean you definitely cannot rely on the techniques of storytelling; they are the beautification methods. Learning these techniques is a way of embellishing and garnishing the structure of the story, not learning how to create it.
For most of us, our grandparents have been incredible storytellers.
As a child, they made us meet the fairies and devils, and made us aware of the life’s twists and turns in general. Did they take any Creative Writing programs? And here, I’m not demeaning any of such programs. I myself was meaning to undergo one. But the point here is, they help in making you better; they cannot turn a non-storyteller into a magical storyteller.
Everybody has a story within them, but not everybody can take it out on paper, is said for a reason.
To have a good story is easy, but to prove it a good one is the toughest of all. Sometimes, a good story, with the lack of dexterity the way it’s presented, loses its charm. And sometimes, even a run-of-the-mill story line turns into an unforgettable one.
It all is about the execution. A good execution can turn even a silver to gold, and a bad one can tarnish the gold with all ease.
Eventually, it all boils down to how the story made you feel. And feelings are highly dependent on the execution. In fact, if I am allowed, I’d say it all is about the execution. Yes, it really is.
But then what writing is? Do I mean writing style? Partly, yes. (Here, I have talked about three writing styles that I had learnt about sometime back.) And partly the technicalities of writing. The grammar, you may say. This latter one is the easiest to learn. For it is all about rules, (and, I believe, bit about intuition.) And rules are easiest to follow. When we know one is right, and the other is not, it becomes easier for us to rule out the wrongs. English grammar has always been a dilute subject, more so in the recent times; diluted in a way of having more than one right ways of usages; but that is the case with most of the subjects, right?
As far as writing style is concerned, it is developed overtime, gradually, and naturally. The more you force it, the more it fears to come to you. Let it take its time and come to you when it’s ready.
With all this said, a grammar expert is not necessarily an expert in storytelling too. I do not have to delve deeper into it, as what I mentioned above is self-explanatory. Yet, to suffice, let’s say good grammar and writing technicalities do not equal to good storytelling.
But if the storyteller lacks the required writing skills, it can, and it will, impact the story drastically.
How can a story be successful, if the words forming it, themselves are a failure? If the words fail to express their meaning, how can the meaning of story be imparted?
To make oneself understood, one should be able to express it in a meaningful way; and only when that is done, can we expect the story to work its charm.
Once a storyteller is always a storyteller.
To sum it all up, storytelling is something, as I said before too, innate in some people; they are naturally good at it. But their talent goes underdeveloped and untapped. And why so? Just because they never learn the art of writing. Whatever we have in ourselves must be nursed and given the right direction, otherwise it’ll go untouched and unused, as if it were never there.
And being a good writer isn’t an equivalent to being a good storyteller.
Did any of what I say, made sense to you? Do you agree with the subject-line, the first line of this piece, or highly disagree? Do share your views. Let us learn and grow together.
IF YOU ARE A FIRST- TIME VISITOR OF MY BLOG, DO REFER ‘First-Timers‘. IT WOULD HELP YOU IN EXPLORING THE PLACE.
No credit for the images used.
Copyright © 2018 by Idle Muser. All rights reserved.