Welcome

As writers, we worry about all sorts of stuff: plot, pacing, description, tension, characters . . . ad infinitum. Sometimes we get so concerned about craft, we forget we’re telling stories.

Imagine you’re sitting around a campfire, lames bright against the dark. Maybe it’s an eon ago, maybe tonight. The night sky stretches above you an inky black, except for the stars flung across the void.

We’ve been finding patterns in them since the first humans looked up at the infinity. The ancients tracked their course across the skies, across time. The Big Dipper, Ursa Major, Sirius, Orion, the Pleiades. Some call the Milky Way, others the Road of the Dead, Raven’s Snowshoe Tracks, Sky Backbone or the Tree of Life. All these titles, given over the centuries, explain not only the stars in the night sky, but our world, its creation and us. What our society values, behaviors best avoided.

The story-teller’s bones are the urges to share our understanding of the world and us. Yes, then and now. And for any vertebrate, the bones are necessary. Those “other” things of craft allow us to exercise our muscles as writers. They’re important, but always the most important is the story.

So, sit down, take a look at the sky, add a log to the fire. And think about the story you want to share.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Laina

    “Imagine you’re sitting around a campfire, lames bright against the dark. Maybe it’s an eon ago, maybe tonight. The night sky stretches above you an inky black, except for the stars flung across the void.” This is very easy for me to imagine, and there are a great many stories I remember from campfires, backyard, Sierra, and beach settings. Thanks for this image.

    Like

    Reply
  2. smharding7 Post author

    I think that sometimes we, as writers, get so fixated on the mechanics that we forget this image. We’re just storytellers like all the ancestors. I lived in northern New Mexico for a few years (at 8400 feet elevation) and the bonfires, the storytelling and the night sky will always remain with me. Enjoy the next bonfire for me!

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s