Steven Spielberg once said:
“People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.”
By definition a story is:
An oral or written account of a real or imagined event or events. (The New Lexicon Webster’s Encyclopedia Dictionary of The English Language.)
A fictional narrative shorter than a novel. (The New Britannica-Webster Dictionary & Reference Guide.)
An account of past or imaginary events. (Oxford Advanced learner’s Dictionary)
A story therefore is an account of events, past, present, real or imaginary and as such;
“We are all, first and last, tellers of stories.” Ray Bradbury
Hence the reason why we write. Because we all have a story to tell.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou
We write because we want to accomplish something;
“A tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere.” Mark Twain
We write because we are obsessed with words, ideas, the minds, the imagination. We write because we are in love:
“You fall in love early with all kinds of things. I fell in love with books when I was five or six, especially the way books looked and smelled.” Ray Bradbury
We write because we dream, we want to escape reality, our reality. We write because we want to change:
“I took to writing at an early age to escape from meaninglessness, uselessness, unimportance, insignificance, poverty, enslavement, ill health, despair, madness, and all manner of other unattractive, natural and inevitable things.” William Saroyan
We write because we are infatuated with an idea, or with people. We have questions to ask, we have doubts to clear.
“The task of a writer is not to solve the problem but to state the problem correctly.” Anton Chekhov
We write because we have this urge, this burning desire to say something. We write stories about all ages, about people from all walks of life, about cultures, religions, and all colors. We write to convey emotions. We write because of a sudden stabbing of an emotion, a sense of dismay, a sense of anger. We want to figure out as much of life as we can. We want to find the reason behind events, actions, emotions.
“The business of art lies just in this, — to make that understood and felt which, in the form of an argument, might be incomprehensible and inaccessible.” Leo Tolstoy
We want to understand the reason behind human cruelty, behind human kindness. We want to learn about relationships. We want to convey our emotions. We want to play with the senses of our readers and create magic with our tale because;
“A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.” Stephen King
We live in the hope of becoming successful, or famous, or rich. We live in the hope of finding real romance and true love.
“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.” Ray Bradbury
As time passes life gets more and more complicated and we don’t get what we are looking for. We are upset, frustrated and angry. We are left with questions. So we write to understand what causes our actions. We write to understand the nature of our behavior, to search deep within our hearts and minds. We write to enter the inner spaces of our soul. And;
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write. Simple as that.” Stephen King
“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” William Faulkner