The power of Story (why I want to write)Posted: April 26, 2010
This is the moment I started not just wanting to be a storyteller, but actually started believing in it.
It was a while ago. Screenwriting had been a fantasy of mine for a long time. I’d enjoy movies and television programs and immediately afterwards think “That’s what I want to do”.
Many people feel that way after taking in a great film or watching a show that moves them in some way. Instinctively I think we all know that there is something truly magical about great storytelling. Stories can help us make sense of things, communicate things, and help us understand things in a way that the daily monotony and ceaseless activity of our lives cannot.
One day, I was listening to a radio interview with Robert McKee, and trying to decide whether I should follow my dream or play it safe. I didn’t know who he was, other than that there was a fictionalized version of him in Charlie Kaufman’s film Adaptation… and that character was quite the asshole. Observe:
But the Robert McKee on my radio that day was less asshole and more wise and seasoned teacher. He described storytelling as a noble enterprise:
“When the storytelling in a society goes bad, the result is decadence. So you need wonderfully honest insightful comedies and dramas to look into the dark corners of human nature and give human beings equipment for making sense out of their lives and themselves”.
Great stories, apart from entertaining us, also civilise us, by creating understanding.
I don’t know why, but I haven’t been able to get those words out of my head since. Shortly after, I decided to apply to study Screenwriting, to formally learn my craft from scratch, so that I can be the best storyteller I can be.
And that’s what I’m doing now.