Why Don’t Stories Help You Anymore?

Remember when you were little how stories enchanted you? Your parents could read or tell the simplest story to you and you could see it all in your imagination. When you were scared, all you had to do was think about the peaceful scene from the story, and you were no longer frightened.

Do you no longer experience this magical imagination with stories? What has changed over the course of the years?

The elements that create good storytelling should not change from childhood to adulthood. They should only mature. This is one of the fundamental problems with storytelling today. Many stories of the day are not imaginative because they’ve forgotten the innocence of imagination. As a child, your imagination was gripped by the way the light looked as it streamed through a window, or the way your shadow lengthened in the evening time, or the sound of your parents’ pens as they scratched on paper, or the noise of a babbling brook as it flowed over the rocks, or the tossing of a horse’s mane. These elements of storytelling should not change when you become an adult. Only now, you can steer that horse all by yourself . . . you can write with pen and paper yourself . . . you can arrange those rocks at the bottom of the stream however you want.

The point I want to get across to you is this: It is the simple innocent things that best awaken the imagination. You do not need to turn even to other worlds to awaken it. All a story needs is imaginative descriptions around characters having adventures and doing ordinary things.

Your fellow writer,

Joshua Reynolds



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