November 9, 2009

Halfway! [this is how...] nano snippet, day 9

Today my narrator broke out into a long monologue about why people tell stories. This is hopefully what the novel is about, so I'm not even sure if it's good to write it now. But then, NaNoWriMo doesn't have to be an exercise in subtlety. I can always delete it later. But for now, it's valuable, simply because it's helped me get to 25,135 words as of today.

I'm posting it here not because I think it's good, but because I always am interested by what the rest of you are doing. Golden Rule and all that, you know? I'm not sure if all the logic is sound, but I did try to edit it.

Much can happen in a few months. However, often the most exciting things happen in a short time, while the majority of your time is spent involved in the most boring or common-place of activities. This concept is somewhat similar to the 20/80 principle, the one that states that 20 percent of the world's population possess 80 percent of the wealth. Except, applied, this would make time the population and exciting events the wealth. Of course, a detailed journalist could take the time to denote obvious occurances, such as birds chirping, grass growing, people talking and thinking, the earth revolving around the sun, the moon following its orbit around the earth. And isn’t that the way the world goes? Not just around the earth, I mean, but in general: no story really matters, it seems, because it’s only telling a story that has already been told.

So what, people talked. They loved, they hated. They were born, they died. They married, they divorced. It all seems rather meaningless, doesn’t it? And maybe it is. Maybe Solomon was right when he said that all was vanity. Maybe all this working and striving is for naught. But what if you take the time to stop summarizing, and actually zoom in on a life? If your camera lens is clean enough, you should see the entire world contained in that one human being. There is a near-infinite amount of lives that have been lived. But within every life there is infinity. There is an uncountable amount of things that every human has seen, or even more strikingly, felt. Rage, sorrow, betrayal; joy, giddiness, nonsense; concentration, stress, frustration: all of it contained in one human. Every human captures the story of the world within them.

And so the task of a story-teller is to watch that world and bring it out to life. Every person is a story-teller, in a way. Was not Erin, with her retelling, her interpretation, her living through the life and words of another? She tried to show her viewers a representation of reality that brought it closer to them.

What about people just living their own lives: do they not have their own stories to tell? The best story-tellers let their lives tell a story. And what they do demonstrates, sometimes more eloquently than words can, was is; what should be; what matters; what should be forgotten.

Every story carries within it the specific of a genuine human life, as well as the general, the story that has already been told and always will be told. Perhaps by telling it, and reading it, and watching it, we let our minds live it as our bodies try to. Or perhaps the telling of the story does more for the author than it is for those who watch. Only by trying to generalize your life, trying to draw out the parts that make the story, can the individual details find their place. Abstracting allows meaning.


Michael said...

This was a pleasure to read. Thanks :)