We are made of stories; our history, our future our present; an ongoing story of our journey and everyone’s journey. We write to make sense of our lives, to give meaning where there is none and to glean all the meaning we can from an inexplicable event. We write to make ourselves whole, to find the parts of us we have lost or never knew—like when we search for our genealogy—we need the story behind our life.
While at the Left Coast Crime Writer’s Conference this past weekend, I was struck by what mystery writer L.J. Sellers said on one panel. As a news reporter she often became frustrated while trying to complete a written piece when she couldn’t find out all the details of what happened and why. It was out of that frustration that she came to write mystery novels so she could tell herself the part of the story that was missing.
If we think about why we write and get deeply reflective about it, it might just give us the voice and perspective we need to make our stories deeper, richer—more fully imbued with meaning.
I have been thinking about discussions of late about classic fairy tales and the TV shows picking up on the interest ( is dark and unsettling, taking its cues from "horror movies and serial killer thrillers"
I found a very thorough article on, Do We Need Stories? in the New York Review of Books by Tim Parks where he examines different novelists answers to that question. He made the point that as a writer we tweak the stories so that they are right for us. Perhaps that explains why some people are drawn to one or the other of the above mentioned series on fairy tales—so different in their focus and meaning. And why some people don't care for fairy tales at all. But, something deeper is going on and if you want to read more, go to the article here.
Why do you write stories? Have you thought about it?
Why do you write the genre you write?
What you are trying to tell yourself?