Creating Magic

How many times has this happened to you? You are sitting around, telling stories, laughing and joking. Then the person next to you starts talking about “This one time”. You don’t really listen as you were part of the story being told. Then suddenly, your friend starts adding in details that you clearly do not remember. You think to yourself, that’s not what happened. In your own memory of the event, things were a lot different. It was a cat, not a dog. And there was only one guy, not four. Everyone remembers things a little differently. Many times our brains fill in the gaps of part of the memory that was missing in order that it makes sense. Plus, who doesn’t like to embellish a story to make it a little scarier, or perhaps add some humor to get a laugh from your friends. When this situation occurs, we become victims of our own craft. What is the retelling of a story, in a different way, not fiction?

All good story tellers have the ability to take what they know, and tell it completely wrong, in order to create a story worth hearing. Remember, creative writing is all about basing a story off an idea. Nobody said there has to be any truth to what you write. No one is telling you that you’re doing it wrong, because there is no wrong. Think about the stories you have written, or read, throughout your life. What are the ones you remember the most? I have posted a couple of my favorite books on here before. The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss, is based on the idea of equality, and racism. Not a good platform for children to learn. However, getting his point across through the use of imaginative characters, and creative writing, he has now brought his ideas into a message that all can understand and relate to.

If we are to write stories that other want to hear, we take our inspiration, and embellish it. Sometimes, we just flat-out lie about it. Yesterday some of my family got together in the mountains for a dutch oven dinner. My young nephew asked me what charcoal was. I could have given him a standard answer, but being who I am, I knew this was not sufficient. Instead I told him they were magical fire stones mined from deep inside of a volcano. It blew his mind. We spent a good half hour going over made up details about how the stones were gathered and used. He even began wondering if he might ever get to gather his own magic fire stones.

I took an idea, and put a spin on it to create a story. It was a fun and creative way to explain a rather mundane object. Imagination is a wonderful tool for a writer. Without it, our stories would be drab and forgotten. In your own writing, feel free to open your mind to all possibilities. Take something mundane, and give life to it.

D.B. Flint