The Stories In Our Lives

When I think about it, I realize that I have always been fascinated with the world and everything in it.

I even love big storms; not just watching them, but the whole process. From hearing on the radio that thunderstorms are expected, or seeing it trending online, to confirming this by checking Environment Canada’s website, the whole thing is very exciting to me. To me this “exposition” before the main events is what makes the main events all the more special.

And I don’t know about you, but that sounds just like a plot graph which is often used to map out a story or plot.

Before I had a passion for writing, I had a passion for stories. I see stories in everything, and where stories already exist I have strong desire to know them. I love fictional stories, and real life ones too. They all follow this basic plot graph.

plotgraphbasic

A story I have been telling a lot recently happened to me while I was walking to school with my sister, just last week. The exposition of the story was that we were walking together, on the day that the garbage trucks come around and everyone has their recycling and garbage out at their end of their driveways.

The inciting incident (on the graph this is when the exposition begins its steep upwards incline) was when, the top of my vision obstructed by a tree, I saw what I could only assume to be the bottom of a Halloween decoration. It was black material, floating in the wind. It looked, to me, like the bottom of a black ghost.

I was intrigued by the fact that the house had chosen to make a traditional pale, white ghost a stark black colour, and I wondered how it would be seen at night on Halloween.

Needless to say, I was fascinated with this decoration, and kept talking to my sister about it. This was the rising action; my growing excitement towards seeing the head of the ghost. As we passed by the tree that was blocking my vision, we reached the point of most tension which is also known as the climax.

The climax was this: the elaborate ghost decoration turned out to be an umbrella. The resolution consisted of my sister and I laughing for a good portion of our walk to school.

I can sum this story up in a quick, two sentence recap:

Me: hey, look at that cool Halloween decoration!

My sister: Sherina, that is an umbrella.

In my opinion, it is funny either way. I never (or, I guess I should say “rarely”, since I just did) break events into these categories. They still fall into them, but they happen naturally. I use this example to show that stories are all around us.

There are stories all around us. From the iTunes chart to the worms outside on the sidewalk, from the municipal elections to the falling leaves (to black fabric ghosts masquerading as umbrellas).

It is important as a writer to find inspiration and stories all around you, and I also think this trait is valuable to non-writers. Who says curiousity has to end after we find out why the sky is blue? Toddlers and young children might be known for their insistent questions, but just because we grow past these ages doesn’t mean our curiosity has to subside!

Curiosity leads to answers, and answers either lead to more questions, or a finite conclusion. Something that often sets the grounds for a story. It’s not a story you have to write down: it might be one you file away in your mind, or one you tell to your friends.

Humans are natural storytellers. By our nature, we want to see the stories in things. We want to see the ups and downs; we want to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because it is all part of the story.

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