When I was a little girl I was entranced by the TV show Lassie. Remember that one? The beautiful Collie dog who managed to save everyone she came across?
I used to sit down, not intending to watch, but ending up glued to the TV screen, captivated. So captivated that I would usually end up in tears by the end, (even though it was always a happy ending) and I would cry for half an hour after.
In the end Mum banned me from watching it, as it upset me so much.
Although I didn’t realise it then, I realise now it was the power of the story that affected me. Lassie’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and really not the sort of thing I was interested in at the time, but the storytelling grabbed hold of me and my emotions, right down to the core.
I haven’t changed.
Last weekend I went to the stage show ‘Dirty Dancing’. Now if you’re a regular reader you’ll know ‘Dirty Dancing’ is one of my favourite movies. And even though I’ve seen in a thousand times (and know it word for word… “I carried a watermelon?”), the story reaches in and squeezes my insides everytime.
For the whole second act I had tears welled up in my eyes and goosebumps pricking my arms. The dancing, the music, the acting, the emotion and again, the power of story.
I’ve always been one to look past the superfical aspects of most things and see the deeper story within. (The over-thinker in me maybe?) I feel the story, I am the story. As crazy as it sounds. It’s something within me that really, I don’t know how to articulate.
And it’s not only TV, movies or even books for that matter. Music is the same.
Although I love a great 80’s tune to mindlessly dance along to, I’m most drawn to a song that tells a story. Some of my favourite artists aren’t just musicians and song writers, they are storytellers.
John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, even Guns n’ Roses (yes really!), so many of their songs completely draw me in to the stories woeven through the lyrics and soundtracked by the music. I feel it in the meaty depths of my heart.
Good stories do that.
Stories have the alienlike ability to crawl under your skin, into your bloodstream and transfuse throughout your body. They prick at every emotion and draw you in to another time and place. A good story makes you feel as if you lived it.
That’s what I love about stories.
And that’s my goal.
To one day be able to write a story that grips the reader so much so, they need to catch their breath. To whisk them away on a spectacular journey of emotion. To capture them with the power of story. That’s what I want to do.