Why do you write? No, really. I'm not talking about your need or your addiction. I'm talking about storytelling. Why do people tell stories? and why do we listen to or read them?
There are many reasons, it seems: the passing down of traditions, getting a message or lesson across, entertainment, even the act of helping a reader heal.
Brian McDonald, filmmaker and storyteller extraordinaire, maintains that we navigate our world via narrative. Without stories, we wouldn't know what to do, how to react, what to say. According to McDonald, we tell stories, essentially, for two reasons: survival and medicinal.
Stories that have survival information will replicate, spread like wildfire even, because buried within them are the key ingredients to our world navigation.
Medicinal stories send the message that you are not alone, you will get through this, and here, let me tell you how. Okay, so it's actually a survival message, as well, only a slight variation.
So really, most of our initial "reasons" could fit under the category of survival or medicinal. And entertainment? McDonald says that entertainment is merely the "taste" -- the true nutrients lie tucked within the depths of a survival story. The stories that continue to live are the ones that somehow teach us.
What about you? What do your stories tell or teach? What bits of survival information have you tucked into your plot? Do you show us how to navigate junior high lunch duty? survive basketball tryouts? persevere through vampiric nibbles? Do tell!