Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Weekend Writer: Seriously, You Ought To Have A Story

So last weekend we started talking about how our writer lives will be much easier if we begin writing with an idea to write about, an idea that involves something happening to somebody and the  significance of that event. We need an idea for a story.

In Wired for Story, Lisa Cron talks about how humans evolved listening to stories. The telling of and listening to stories was how we passed and received information, much of it being important information we needed to stay alive. We listened to stories about things that had happened to other people so we would have information about how they survived (or didn't) in various situations that we might find ourselves in at some point. A story well told could save lives. Our interest in them was a matter of life and death. Presumably those listeners who could  best appreciate a story were most likely to survive and get their genes into the gene pool. (That's me running with Cron's info.) Appreciation of and desire for story was a life skill. It is a life skill.

And, thus, having an idea for a story is important for writers in terms of humankind, the Big Picture, and all that. Additionally, it's important because every single thing writers do while writing must support that story idea.

So, seriously, you ought to have a story.

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