September 29, 2013 by musehick
To find a real storyteller is something precious. I have read my share of post-modern and difficult books, and some of them have provoked very real emotional responses in me, and pushed all the right aesthetic buttons, but the thing that has always connected most with me has been those stories which construct a compelling narrative that takes a character from point a and delivers them to point b.
I keep reading in different places and iterated in different ways that this is no longer the in vogue mode of storytelling, and that it is not the dining choice of the general populace, but I disagree, and I think if you were to ask most people to diagram out the shape of their favourite story, that they would arrive at something bearing a very close resemblance to a traditional narrative. What would that be? Beginning – middle – and end.
Why is that true? Because it follows the pattern of our lives – birth, life, and death. The popularity of stories like Breaking Bad, Harry Potter, The Dark Tower, Game Of Thrones, they all prove this fascination with this narrative arc.
I write both kinds of story, but I have to admit that I would love to be able to construct something that resonates with people like one of these series. To take someone on that journey and to have the pleasure of travelling alongside my characters too would really be something. To gift someone with a world to disappear into and live in and feed their imagination is a wondrous gift. Stephen King has been allowing me to travel around with him in his imagination, and to say that it is inspiring, and that I am really grateful to him, is a vast understatement; him and Tolkien and a number of others have created maps which I have navigated by and am still navigating by, and that is the kind of cartographer I want to be.