BLOG No. 25 by novelist Jeremy Logan -- STORYTELLING
When I was an adolescent, everyone's lives seemed more interesting than mine. Upon hearing what they had done or where they travelled, I sometimes made up stories about me that weren't true. Luckily I outgrew this fraudulent urge. Instead, I began to listen more intently, and if the person was a good storyteller, I was entertained. I was fortunate to know some pretty good storytellers. Over the years I've reserved a corner of my memory for best ones.
This subconscious practice has now sprouted wings in my life. I've got so many stories to turn into novels. Right now they are all competing to be the cornerstone of my next book. And now I have a new passion. I gently coax people to tell me their best stories. If you are a good listener, they open up their treasure trove of stories and delight you with not only the story; they'll show you their emotions and the story's effect on them as they take you along on their storytelling journey.
My job as an author is to expand and embellish the stories with my imagination without distracting from the core reason the story is compelling. Scriptwriters and movie directors perform a similar job in adapting a story or novel into a motion picture. I've seen good books turn into terrific movies because of their talents, and I've seen terrific books turned into drivel by the hands of inept scriptwriters and directors. Unfortunately, it appears to this moviegoer, that there is more of the latter than the former.
But great content is reaching non-network TV. Talented scriptwriters and directors are finding their way to Netflix, HBO, Showtime, etc. in increasing numbers. If it wasn't for news and sports, I wouldn't watch network TV. I don't think I'm alone in this.
Someone recently asked me, "Do you write with screenplays in mind?" I sheepishly replied, "In fact, I do." Now here is the reason why. If I were a great literary talent who could craft his prose into magical images, I wouldn't bother with the idea of commercial potential. However, I'm not that guy. If I have any talent it's as a storyteller who creates interesting characters, and who can craft a suspenseful conclusion. And that's what movie makers want. My next marketing initiative is to see if I can get one of my novels in the hands of a movie maker. Anyone out there listening?