Day 73: A winter’s night’s storytelling
The Storyteller is one of Stuart Brown’s eight Play Personalities. It’s clear that for time immemorial people have gathered around the campfire to tell one another stories – of their lives or invention. These days, we’ve access to more stories than ever, but I’d assume that most have a passive relationship with these, reading fiction, watching TV or films, listening to the radio. But surely there’s more play in active participation?
We started the evening with a couple of games of Gloom, a wonderful, gruesome storytelling card game we’ve recently acquired. It involves telling the sad tales of each of the players’ fictitious families, and how horror befell them before succumbing to unpleasant deaths. The player who can concoct the worst tale for his family wins.
After that: the main event. I’ve been writing a novel for longer than I care to say, but only recently have allowed anyone to see any of it. I’ve been reading it, out loud, to Tom, and this feels an intimate, revealing activity. There’s something about telling even made-up stories that tells you a lot about the person and their imagination.
It also feels that there is something quite ‘giving’ about telling stories. For a while the listener can relax, be absorbed into the world of the speaker, and be swept along without effort. There is delight when the story excites them, solemness when it brings them to sadness. I think it’s fair to say that people connect through stories, and storytelling.
When it comes to storytelling, not taking risks is riskier than swinging for the fences. I have very simple ambitions when it comes to taking risks in storytelling and programming. I try very hard to avoid the expected. – David Nevins