The Trouble with Storytelling

final trash can

I have noticed that I am having a bit of a struggle.

For a few years now…since I was about 14 years old, I have become interested in the prospect of writing a novel. I had always loved storytelling. From a young age even, I actually looked forward to the writing portion of standardized tests when they would pose us with a picture or even a small prompt, and we would have to make a story out of it.  Using my imagination in that way was something that I have always had the most enjoyment in. A few years later when I got to the ninth grade, we were assigned to make a short story in English class. The challenge excited me! Too excited I suppose, since I noticed that when my paper was returned back to me I had gotten a decent grade and a note saying that my story was far too long. Anyway, that’s how I had started my first story, and when this writing journey really began.

When I started my first story, it was something I did everyday in a journal. I would write in it as if it was a diary, so there was no pressure in the task. No one was aware what was inside it other than me (unless I chose to share it with my sister my time to time.) After a while, much to my dismay, I had outgrown my journal. I began the switch to the computer. I had re-read what I had done, and I felt major disappointment. It was horrible. Where was the story I had imagined in the beginning, the ideas that were so clear? I decided I would take the general premise of my story, and rewrite it. Since then, that particular story has not grown longer than about 10 pages.

I have a major case of Writer’s Block, but not the kind you think. Writer’s Block is usually referring to not knowing what to write, or how to continue with writing what you had began. That is only partially the issue. My trouble is that I far too many ideas. I have prompts upon prompts of stories, however, I can never get very far in writing them. This is why I had never finished my first story. I had abandoned that story and went on to others. I didn’t know how to continue it, so I lost hope in it. It’s not always because I don’t know what to write, but maybe it’s that I don’t know how to write it. Writing, it’s like composing a painting. Before you can even begin, you have to know what type of canvas, brushes, and paints you need. You need to plan your piece, possibly even drawing it out. This is where I have had the hardest time and why I can never finish what I start. Planning. It takes a certain quality that I lack, and that’s being organized.

This is not a quality that I have manifested well. If anything, I tend to be more organized in a professional setting where I have an obligation. However, when you’re doing something alone, things tend to fall through the cracks, and the major planning part of my writing tends to be one of them. When I’m working at my own jurisdiction, it is usually in unevenly paced energy spikes. Working on stories become even more challenging when your mind finds it grueling to focus on one task at a time and when you also inclined to procrastinating frequently (if you know anything about MBTI, you would see that this correspounds well with my INTP personality type.) Although I would really like to amliorate these irritating tendencies of mine, it’s immensely challanging since it goes against the fine grains of my inner self.  

I find that planning and organizing for a person with my personality can become easier when I do it in a way that I find enjoyable or interesting. Even though I am usally able to come up with a general idea of what I want my story to be about, I want to be able to organize the events in the story, come up with what the conflict is and how it affects the world of the characters. For this reason, I’m going to start something new. Although I do enjoy free-writing, I don’t know if that method is pushing me forward in my process in writing my novels to completion. First, I need to figure out a plan. So, I’m going to use something that I was introduced to and loved using often in High School- Prezi. 

I’m not sure how many of you are familar with it, but Prezi is a presentation software that bring your ideas to life. I used it lot in high school when I had to do projects that required presenting a topic, and I found Prezi to be a more creative and innovative option opposed to Microsoft’s Powerpoint.

Here’s what Prezi looks like. This is actually a presentation from 10th grade.

Not only is Prezi fun to design, it’s also really easy to use. Unlike Powerpoint, I like how I can see all my content at once, sort of like a map. Using this software for planning and mapping out my stories won’t be as tedious as going through a whole bunch of documents on my computer and notes on my phone. Also, I think that I’ll feel more at ease since I will be able to know what I have and haven’t figured out so that I can fill in the gaps where I need to. I can add pictures and videos if I need to visualize appearences of my characters or places in the story. And, it’s okay if I have random, spontaneous ideas, because I can always make a little bubble for those and connect them in later if I want.

Story-Mapping using Prezi is going to help me to have more confidence in my writing, since I have been feeling so unsure in my ability to even completely come up with a story at all for quite a while now. When I finally finish organizing my story, I should be able to  find the motivation and dedication to write my story to from beginning to the end.

I guess we’ll see how it goes. Fingers crossed!



5 thoughts on “The Trouble with Storytelling

  1. Sounds like a handy piece of software but a lot less sexy than notes pinned to a cork board with coloured strings connecting bits like a spider’s web, or one of those crime solving amateurs have on TV.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for posting. That was engaging and insightful. As i have mentioned before, i look forward to seeing your books on Amazon(which has a free publishing platform; hint hint, lol) and in bookstores and ebooks. Every great traveler runs into the situation of being unsure of what the step is or who to ask; because they are creating a path that others will soon follow.

    Liked by 2 people

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