Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Story Telling

The art of story telling is something that has always perked my interest. From campfire ghost stories to fairy tales and from mythology to science fiction, I love a good story. I've never been much of a story teller myself, but I think it would be a fun skill to pickup, especially going into the teaching profession.

The movie "Big Fish" is a favorite of mine due in large part to the main theme of story telling. It takes the entire movie for the main character to realize the importance of story telling to his father. I can relate to the main character because until the end of college I was always a very big thinker and not much of a feeler. I now choose not to separate the two. A small story from "Big Fish" is of the main character when he was born. He popped right out of his mom and shot clear across the room and out the door and kept on sliding until a nurse with a quick eye and a quicker hand snatched him up off the hospital floor.

The main character obviously would not remember his birth, but by the time he is in his 30s he has long since realized the story he was told by his Dad couldn't be true. For a long time he thinks his father is nuts to keep fabricating stories and stretching truths. On his death bed, the father tells him the real story, about how his mother gave birth to him in the middle of the night while he had to work the late shift at the factory. Not a very good memory, and in his father's eye, one worth spicing up.

I have to say that I'm a believer that truth can be much stranger than fiction, and the most fun I have reading fiction is when it is as close as possible to truth. I can see the main character's frustration in never being told the complete truth. Last winter I read "The Kite Runner" and was completely engrossed in the story until the story neared the end and just became too fantastical for me to believe. Sort of like the most recent Indiana Jones movie where I enjoyed the movie until the monkey scene... I mean... come on.

What is weird about how I treat truth and fiction is that a series like Harry Potter really appeals to me. Even though the world is magical, the parameters the author has set in the fantastical world hold true, and there are countless aspects of our current reality that make their way into her books. If I create a story set in the 1800s, and a guy walks through the scene with a laptop, I'd better explain where this guy and his technology come from, or the story loses rules to its world. Much like bluffing in poker, actually. If your bluff does not make sense, it will be more likely to be snapped off than a well-thought out bluff. Calling with a flush draw and not hitting, then betting big on the river with a six-high broken flush draw, because now bluffing big is the only way to win the hand, will be much harder to believe than someone calling with air, then betting out when the third flush card comes on the turn or river.

I'm interested in creating short stories involving different people in my life. Friends, family members, online friends, WoW experiences--but interweaving fact and fiction. There are a lot of interesting people in my teaching program, and I often wonder what their lives outside of class might entail. I could use my imagination and create fictional worlds for them, but in order to make sense, those fictional worlds would have to lead those characters to be who they are today. There is a high chance that the person I see in class is much different than the person they are at home, and weaving that into stories would be fun as well. I mean, just think of the fun stories you could come up about your favorite bloggers?

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2 Comments:

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

So your going to write stories about banging that hot history teacher down the hall? Is that what your telling us?

8:26 AM  
Blogger The Wife said...

Leave it to Waffles . . .

Yes, I am sure there are plenty of fun stories you could come up with about your favorite bloggers . . . or just hang out with them more and they'll appear.

11:04 AM  

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