Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Spirit of Storytelling

I went to a meditation tonight and asked for help. I realized that to teach the difference between personal storytelling versus telling a story to an audience, I need to get to what I call the spirit of storytelling. This would be a place where a writer creates characters without judging them or shaping them to meet the needs of the author (or making all the characters all an extension of the author's voice).

I realized during the meditation I'll only get to some understanding of this through the world of spirit, at least my getting there. Two years ago I was listening to a monk speak and I had a deep realization about the spirit of storytelling, something that would have been an organizing principle like a story is a promise. But I didn't have a pen and I lost the understanding once I came down from the high mood I was in listening to the monk.

Anyway, I'm teaching a characterization workshop this weekend in Medford/Ashland an during the meditation I had an idea for the first exercise I could ask people to do for the spirit of storytelling.

When I teach and people ask me questions, the answers come to me. If I don't teach and don't hear the questions, I don't know the answers.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is It Smart To Make Yourself The Main Character in Your Fiction Novel?

When you are beginning to write your fiction novel, character development is key. As many authors know, lines often become blurry, and main characters can easily resemble yourself. However, how far should you take it, and is it effective to have yourself as the main character in your fiction novel?

This many times can stem from unresolved issues that you would like to express within your fictional story. This can be a good and a bad thing. If you have had a very emotional experience in your life, then you can use yourself as your fictional main character to give an outside point of view to specific events that have occurred. Many people would call a story about character based on themselves a memoir, but what if you wanted to put that main character within fictional events that weren't true to your life? That is the beauty of being a writer because you have the opportunity to blur truth with reality, and you can use yourself as your main character within the story that you are creating.

Many people may feel that it is more effective to make themselves the main character in their fiction novel because it gives them a better voice and tone to their writing. Again, since it is a fiction novel, many of the events will be fabricated within the storyline, but you will still be using yourself as the main character to tell the story. This can often give you the opportunity to express something in your life that you did not get the chance to express before. Now you are in control, and you can write your story however you would like with yourself as the main character.

This does have a good and a bad side because many people may do this with suppressed motives of anger or sadness regarding true events that have happened to them. They may want to write themselves as the main character to be able to rewrite the past and work through some of their issues.

Regardless, your choice in using yourself as the main character is up to you if you are still staying true to the theme of your novel. For some people, this may be an interesting avenue to provide first-hand insight of events that will make the story one-of-a-kind.


Chuggin McCoffee is a coffee fanatic that has spent the entirety of his career cultivating and studying all of the best uses and brewing styles for optimal coffee and espresso flavor. His specialty site for all coffee needs, supplies, and Automatic Drip Coffee Makers can be found at The Coffee

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hats for Sale, by Nancy Hill

Hats for Sale is a video written and created by Nancy Hill, a photographer and writer who lives in Portland, Oregon. The video can be viewed at
Nancy is the photographer and writer of the The Dolltender, also available for viewing on
To view more of Nancy's work, visit
Hats for Sale is a retelling of Slobodkina's Caps for Sale.