Interesting how looking at the past some ideals still holds true today. Here's something I wrote back in 1995 about telling the story. It's unedited, so please excuse any errors or omissions. The flame wars in another writers group never really subsided, shameful.
Now that the flames have subsided, for the moment at least, it is time
again to return to writing and the art of Story Telling. I remember,
when a handful of writers began this group, how most of the articles
were helpful and intended to guide us struggling writers toward
Now, five years later, meager scraps of civility abound amidst distrust
and deceit. I find the art for which we strive to embrace has faltered
as yet to be revived.
To the Story Teller, there is no better invention than imagination.
Yet, how much imagination does it take to really begin a story.
A good opening sentence helps, but the remaining story must support the
supposition. As Suppose, and What If, were only the outline for a good
tale. The body of a story must be well developed and believed by the
reader. So, how does a Story Teller come across as believable? I
think honesty helps.
A story must be written with a sense of truth and honesty for the
reader to accept fiction as fact. A knife is a useful weapon, but it
is also a useful kitchen utensil. So how does one differentiate between
a weapon and a tool in a story. When a knife is held firmly in the
hands of a cook, most readers think of it as a utility to cut food.
Yet, when that same knife is held by a frightened woman, the reader
believes in fear and danger. The Story Teller brings to life the
essence of the story as though it were a knife. Sharpen the blade
before using it, so too, sharpen the imagination before putting the
first word to paper. Show the story as it happens.
In the eyes of the Story Teller there is no obstruction to events.
People and places are not illusions, but real. They must have happened
or the writer can not convince others of their truth.
A writer is fortunate to see clearly enough to show the reader what has
happened, and make it fact.
Jon - The future can not occur without a past.