Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stories Are Here, There, and Everywhere


By Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief, Southern Writers Magazine


“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”  Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game)

I agree with Mr. Card. As a matter of fact, I was thinking the other day, about all the possible stories I walked past when I worked in downtown Nashville in the 60’s and 70’s. It was somewhat different then that it is now. There were more colorful people on the street. If only! Yes, if only I had jotted down notes about the things and the people I saw each day.

One day in particular, I was watching some men who were working on the roof of a building. They were constructing a building in downtown Nashville. The construction had gone on almost a year when one day, watching out my office window, I see a man fall off the roof. I was dumbstruck. Why did I not make a note about this happening?

I agree, wherever we look, there is a story. Only the writer sees the story– while others go on about their business not seeing.

I have learned to carry a notepad with me wherever I go, so I can capture what I see. What sticks out? What looks odd or funny? Creativity and imagination can take those things we see and conjure up different worlds of fantasy and science fiction, romance and mystery.

Jane Hyatt Yolen said, “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”


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