the landscapes of storytelling

Although I wrote mostly about the space between people, I've learned that I can never befriend a story, and find words for its writing, until I have understood the place it represents. Sometimes that means a fecund valley, or hillside gnarled by too-much conversation with wind, or an old, arthritic house; sometimes it means the shift of light in a storm-hearted sky. Deep in the Far Away grew out of my exploration of Linden Cove - the meadow, the hillshadow, the path laying infront of a little house, the places I could not go although I kept pushing to get there. It was my wandering about looking at trees and horizons which found me all the broken little pieces of plot. This happens with most of my tales and poems. They either begin or deepen as the weight of their particular setting nudges against my mind, enticing me into story.

Few of the places exist in this world, but that doesn't make them unreal.



Even a story like The Quick & the Undead, which has no particular setting, was shaped for me by the places within its world. The plot was built and rebuilt inside two imaginary parlours (and one carriage). I did not know how it ended until I walked into the room where its conclusion occured.




I am currently weaving fragile strands of a new story into its wild and still-shifting shape. I have the wordless looks in it, and the silences in it, the buried sorrows, and the central idea that guides all which happens. But I won't hold the story properly, or be able to write it, until I have become grounded in its place. Will that be a dark, witch-eyed Slavic forest, or a damp and bony moor? Or will it be a road into the peace of the heartland?

I don't know yet. I'm not welcomed in just now (I still have some proving of myself to do). But I understand that the place of the story is the voice of the story, and so I will wait at its threshold, listening to the whispers of old water, weeping skies, and I will wonder ...



(This is the seventh post in a 12-part series about stories and storytelling, to help promote my fund-raising storybook The Coracle Sky, which is now available.)


3 comments:

  1. These posts are almost stories in themselves.

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  2. :)

    deep, deep roads into the mystery...

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  3. i so enjoyed hearing as to how you go about developing, finding, seeing your stories!

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