Stories are told with endless possibilities. The locations, characters, the mythos, are infinite to you as long as you are able to create it. Words may be written, characters can be filmed, or starry nights could be painted. These tales often involve men and women we’ve never met. If they are told properly, we come to know these people, like a friend.
The people we meet in stories mean something to each of us. Real people, or fictional characters, it doesn’t matter. Some are more significant to me, others barley exist. We all have our own particular enjoyments, and the stories we tell, or are told, vary. That is the beauty of stories, and it’s also the reason they are so vital. We don’t care if these people are fictional; they are our family, our mentors…they are real.
I have yet to read or watch all of the stories ever told, that would be impossible. There are always a few that mean something to you. Deep down, a certain story will bull you over, or change the way you look at the world. They are the keepers. They are the ones you experience over and over again. Whatever story it is, to you, it’s a good one.
On the rare occasion, you may come across a story that feels like it was made for you. It may not literally be for you, but inside your gut, you know you belong there. Whether you want to travel the universe with a mad man in a blue box, hunt demons while driving an Impala, or visit galaxies far, far, away; they make you feel, different. They make you feel alive, and inspired.
That is why I write screenplays and novels. That is what it’s always been about; it just took a few decades to realize. I have personal goals for my life, vacations to Disney, traveling the world, etc. However, deep down, I want to share stories and I want someone to be affected by them. I want someone that is having a terrible day, week, or worse, to read or watch something I’ve created. I want to make them smile or laugh, or the ultimate flattery, to cry.
There are stories that have lasted for thousands upon thousands of years. The Iliad and The Odyssey, Gilgamesh, Hercules, the list could go on forever. Yet, in a way, they are all the same. That fact is so interesting to me; it makes me fall for writing even more. “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” by Joseph Campbell explains this, and can prove helpful for writers.
Every single story uses the same core, yet we continue to find new ways to tell them. We change the characters, the settings, the realities they exist in. It’s why people compare the movies they watch to ones they’ve seen before. In The Chronicles of Narnia, you could argue Aslan is much like Jesus. The Walking Dead, people have theories it shares the same plot as Toy Story. Take the story of two friends going on a journey with wild hijinks, running away from something or someone. That’s Thelma & Louise, and Pineapple Express. One of which my mom loves, while the other she may not even know exists.
I have my influences, both new and old. They are important to me, and they will be the rest of my life. For me, a majority of them have been writers. All forms of art matter, but the ones that imprint on you, they are expressed with emotions. One story can be heavily criticized by one person, and adored by another. Regardless, they were told with feeling. Never be afraid to use what you feel. Create whenever you can, and as much as you can. There will never be enough stories.
“…we’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? Because it was, you know, it was the best…”
Do Something Good