Lives Lived through Storytelling (Thursdays In Others’ Words)

Ulysses is about ordinary people, ordinary lives, ordinary days. But those ordinary days make up lives that are lived, and lived through storytelling in the ways we create our own stories around us all the time.” –James Quin of the James Joyce Centre, Dublin, Ireland, in the National Post (quoted in Shelf Awareness)

This quote, like the Name of the Wind quote posted earlier this month, describes how “everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head.”  (This story might be different from the ones we tell to other people.)  Each person’s self-told story is like a sort of mirror, or self-portrait, showing him who he is, what his station is, how he should behave.

Here are a few things you might consider: 

  • Is your story a comedy or a tragedy? 
  • Are you the protagonist?  A hero, or a princess waiting to be saved? An outsider, a leader, a follower?

  • Do you bring these stories into your work?  
  • Does your character tell herself the same story you tell yourself, or a different one?
  • How does the story your character tells himself differ from the story the novel/play/film is telling?

  • Are you happy with your story?
  • Are you happy with your character’s story?  Does her self-told story serve the work as a whole?

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