Updated: Feb 10
To understand this post I ask that you first read both this post and this one. These three stages of storytelling is what I've found to work best to write real stories instead of creating fake ones. First, you want to find your story. Then, you want to remember it. Lastly, you want to craft it into a story and tell it.
Why This Method?
There are three very distinct fazes to arrive at the goal that all of us as authors strive towards: Finish Writing a Story, maybe even a good one if we dare. I developed these 3 fazes specifically to fit my philosophy surrounding storytelling. So I would highly recommend you read my other posts before this one.
The three phases are as follows: 1. Finding what is true. 2. Remembering the events.
3. Telling the Story.
Now, as you know, I don't believe writing is creation. I believe in the reality of everything I write.
So usual writing methods can still be used, but as I've mentioned with the infinity of writing, you don't want to box yourself away from the infinity. So this is the strategy I devised. First of all, since we are telling a story, not creating one, I need to mention a book called "Storyworthy". The book goes about telling compelling stories from real-life events. It's an absolutely great book and it was the perfect help I needed. If you tell your friends a story from your life, you go about it much differently than creating a story. First of all, you would try to find a story in your life that is worth telling. At this point you aren't thinking of creating a story or about your audience's reactions, you are simply searching for a story-worthy moment in your life. After you've found something, you'll try to remember the exact events. Then, as you are telling the story, you'll start excluding a lot of information. E.g. If you're going to tell a story about the drama between you and someone else, you're not going to include the details of your night and morning routine. You've turned the memory of the exact event down into a compressed story. Since I believe the events I write about are real (in a metaphysical sense), this is the strategy I'll be following. Let me go into more depth about the phases.
I will have a separate blog post on each one of these phases with the full strategy I use in each phase to get the best results possible and to do so predictably and reliably.
Finding The Story
Phase one, Finding what is TRUE (Finding a Storyworthy event)
So in this phase, you simply want to find the events that are worthy to be told as a story. By no means do I mean you should go into detail. Because at the start, there are infinite possibilities of what you can find. An infinite amount of worlds, characters, and situations exist, so this phase is to find the events within that infinity that you want to craft a story of. You won't be trying to find the exact events, this "finding" will be much vaguer than that. All you need to find is a world, characters, and idea that has the possibility of birthing the kind of story you are looking for. Think about it, here on earth, many stories can be birthed because of various limitations or features. But an epic fantasy set in a magical world is not a possible story that can be birthed from our world. You need to set out to find the boundaries within infinite possibilities. Finding a story is simply determining the aspects of a reality that allows for the possibility of the birth of events that you want to turn into a story. You don't want to create your story, you want the world to birth it, and then you want to find it. For example, you can have a fantasy world with magic that contains millions of people. There are bound to be millions of stories among those millions of people. If you want to tell the story of an adventure, there is bound to be one person within the millions of people, who would like to go on an adventure. It's your job to find that person and their journey. You can start with anything you like. You can start with finding a world, or characters, or a compelling event. It doesn't matter where you start, as long as you start by finding parts of your story piece by piece. I, for example, started by finding the idea to a story, I then found the characters, and then the world. Then I found some more characters and I found out some more things about the world. Find the story you want to tell, don't create it.
Remembering The Story
Now you have found the story you want to tell. You've found the world, the characters, and everything else needed to birth the story you want to tell. Now it's time to objectively remember the events. You need to remember what happened, you should not create a series of events. The world has birthed a story you like, so why go creating one if you have already found one. In other words, you should not try to rationally guess the events or create events based on rational thinking. Here is where you'll have to start tapping into the irrational side of your brain. This is the part where you actually start writing the story. You start to figure out the most important details and remember the story step by step. What did this character say or do there and then? I had to think for a very long time about how you would go about doing this. How do you remember a story? What is the difference between creating and remembering a story? How can a story come to life without thinking about what will happen next, but rather remembering what happened? After years of struggling to find that answer, I created a strategy that will work for both discovery writers and plotting writers. But that will be a later post and quite a long one at that. At this point, you should also not do anything that makes these series of events into a story. You need to write down what happened. You are living through the events, you are not telling a story at this phase. I ban you from using any of the techniques you've gathered up to this point. Techniques that help you create compelling characters, foreshadowing, intricate plotlines etc.
But how on Earth can I, as a human, do something so absurd as to remember a story in an objective manner without a single tool to help me? As I said, it took me years to figure out, and I'll be sharing my method with you later.
Telling The Story
Phase Three, Telling the story.
Now we've finally come to the part that storytellers always skip to. Writing has always been seen as a creation or artform. It has basically been accepted as a fact that stories are creations from artistic minds. They are nothing but techniques and elements used well or not. But now that we've both found and remembered very real events, it's time to turn them into a story. This is where you can start using all the techniques that you've learned as a writer. This is where you turn the series of events into a coherent, and good, story. There is, however, still a sharp difference between telling a story that is created and telling a story that is remembered. Just as there is a difference between how you would tell a story to a friend about your life and how an author would tell the story of epic fantasy to their readers. I'll be going over exactly what the differences are. I'll be giving you various tools to tell those compelling stories and I will show you how to use all the tools you have learnt to use up to this point.
This Is Too Much Effort
This seems like an awful lot of effort simply for a different writing style, doesn't it? I mean, what could possibly be the real benefit of doing all of this so vastly different than usual? The outcomes of the stories would be pretty much the same regardless, so why all the extra effort? Why spend so much time thinking about writing that you could've spent actually writing? The answer is incredibly, incredibly simple to all of these questions. The answer is different for everyone, and the only way to find it is to see for yourself what this method can do for you.
I've shared some of the reasons in previous posts, but there is something important I want you to understand. It is not in the outcome or the end result that we find meaning or answers to our questions. We find answers and meaning in the journey and in the methods we use to try and find those answers. All I want to do is primarily get people to think outside of the boxes we've placed ourselves in. You can find your own philosophy and methods by all means. But I believe wholeheartedly in my method. I'll be offering exact strategies for this particular method and mode of journey. I mean, pretty much everyone has been using a single method of writing with some slight variation all this time anyway. Why not try something new? Please comment below if you want to share some ideas of your own or even if you want to challenge mine. I'd love to have a conversation.