How do you tell a story?

I don’t have any answers on this one….just questions. I recently read a book called “The Girl Behind the Gate” that was a total surprise. I stumbled onto it on Kindle Unlimited and could not put it down until I was finished. In non-overly dramatic fashion, it told the story of an unmarried young woman who got pregnant in the days where her society did horrible things to her, where (as always) it was her “fault” and her “moral failings” and never mentioned she didn’t do it herself. This is personal to me, since one of my ancestors went down that road with horrible, tragic disastrous results that have left consequences subsequent generations are still impacted by. It took my breath away to see the parallel to my relative’s story but to see this woman walk out of hell with the help of a courageous therapist and find a measure of peace and stability and worth and LIFE. A worthwhile but dark read….

The other story that totally floored me and made me seriously consider the art of storytelling was called “The Old Man” – a popular TV show that came out recently (only seven episodes so far). This is fiction and drama but the breadcrumbs the story teller weaves through this forensic tale of family secrets, hidden agendas, buried details and the strengths and weaknesses of the characters with their ability to sacrifice, deceive, and delude themselves….so well done. Dark drama, somewhat violent without showing heads being lopped off (implied, not displayed violence), but SO well done.

The grip of these two stories on me got my attention. I am usually given to poetry (telling a story in a snapshot, not a novel) – giving a glimpse of a picture, a feeling, a relationship. This got me thinking – how do you tell a story? Some things don’t fit in a poem. In my life there have been many of those things. Times where grace has invaded my space, even in the midst of tragedy and loss and shame…where a person has shown up out of my past to confirm things I had no way of finding answers to on my own. There are people who have told me my story is worth telling. I just don’t know where to even start….

Suggestions? How do you approach telling a story?

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