Thoughts About the Stories Behind the Stories

No matter what, regardless of what form it takes in, we all get a kick out of storytelling. Whether if it means getting lost in the words in a book, or losing yourself in the emotions presented on a silver screen, we’re always looking for stories; in particular the ones that are completely fictional. It’s because the stories we crave are often fabricated that one realizes how it has a foundation, made up of ideas, inspiration and even a little bit of reality. That is why a common question a storyteller receives is: “How did you come up with the idea for the story?” It’s a broad question with a lot of components to it. It also brings up another story, and that is the story behind the story.

Not all of us crave to become storytellers ourselves, but that’s not to say that we don’t want to learn about the creative process it takes for a story to be developed. We all get a kick out of it, don’t we? We enjoy hearing how this character was based on the author’s childhood best friend, or this scene was inspired by the crazy visual images of a dream, or how the architecture for this building was inspired by this place in real life.

Maybe it’s a way for us to connect with the author more. Perhaps there are surface elements of the story that are relate-able somehow and you want to dig deep on why that’s the case. Maybe it’s a way of looking for the components taken from reality, and ultimately grasping for the lingerings of hope that the story could somehow transcend dimensions and come forth into real time, in some form or another. Quite possibly, it’s our way of reaching the same mentality the storyteller was in when they originally created the story and, therefore, enjoy it on an entirely different level. It’s like a magician revealing their secrets.

There are so many examples to go by, like learning that the conductor of the Knight Bus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was named after one of J.K. Rowling’s uncles. It’s a small detail, but I still find that to be fascinating. Learning how Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You was born out of both an image and a real-life happening from her hometown was really intriguing. Hearing how and why Ruth Ozeki rewrote A Tale For the Time Being following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan brought new light to already incredible novel.

That, of course, even extends out to the television and movie front as well. It was interesting to hear how “Glee” was originally written as a movie and why it was instead developed into a TV show. I was wowed to have learned how “Avatar: The Last Airbender” was born out of an assignment from executives at Nickelodeon and about the different styles of martial arts influenced each of the bending styles. Learning that the appearance of the Na’vi in James Cameron’s film “Avatar” hailed from a dream his mother had when he was a boy was really cool to hear, and discovering what the English translations of the character’s names were in Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” brought forth a new dimension to one of my all-time favorite movies.

Stories behind the stories are developed even in those “as if by fate” scenarios. I recently read a back story written by a visual artist I follow, Mimi Chao. She recently wrote about these really beautiful drawings she did for these two individuals in London who, as she quickly came to realize, knew each other, and were to give the drawing they asked for to the other. I thought it was a really lovely story and if you want to read the rest, check it out here.

I think that’s one of the best things you could get when a new story comes about. Not only is it an opportunity to get lost in someone’s creation, but it also comes with a story tied to it, on how it came to be. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know I’ve had my share of telling a little bit of the story of the making of A Moment’s Worth, and I am just as well looking forward to telling the story of the making of my second novel once it’s released.

A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes. Please leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 12 reviews so I’m already just past the halfway point to my goal). Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.



2 Replies to “Thoughts About the Stories Behind the Stories”

  1. The WordPress pingback feature is cool, glad to have read your entry! I agree the story behind the stories make the experience much deeper and richer. Great writing too 🙂

    1. Thanks Mimi. I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for a while now, and when you posted the back story regarding those drawings, I HAD to mention it; it was just so lovely. 🙂

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