a: teller of stories,
b: a reciter of tales,
c: a writer of stories.
I recently researched a topic for a welcome letter for the PNWA writer’s conference that I’d like to share.  It discusses what it means to be a storyteller.

The word in its current form, dates as far back as 1200 in Old French.  It goes even further back in history if you consider spelling variations in Latin and Greek. In Irish, the word for storyteller is seanchaí.  But what does it mean to be a storyteller?  How do storytellers find their themes?  Can anyone become one?  Or is there a secret DNA that once mapped by science will determine society’s storytellers.  My thoughts started spinning and this is my conclusion..

If you like to think of what-if scenarios, if you question, or imagine, re-write the ending of a novel in your head, or wonder what inspired your favorite author to write their series — you are a storyteller.

Once you accept that you are a storyteller, the next step is the realization that you also have a theme.  Theme is your message. It is the reason you are writing your story. Your theme is like a golden thread that weaves not only through one story, but throughout every word you write.  Everyone has one, even if the concept seems as hard to hold as Irish mist.  For example someone noticed that my stories focus on strong women challenging the system.  Challenging systems is one of my themes.

As storytellers, we live in a world of creative imagination. Of wonder.  Of Discovery.  We have our own unique theme to tell.  There is no reason to map out our DNA.  The proof is right there in front of us every time we think of a new story idea.  So go forth, as Bard William Shakespeare might say, and write your stories.

Pam, a born seanchaí



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