Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How to Write a Story

by Joseph

[Would you like to tell a story?]

Stories? The things in books. Well, you see, that will require a description of what the story looks like, what it is all about. The main, basic story you are looking for is what? Somebody is running away? I cannot write or talk or say anything about anybody, because that would be false.

Number one - A long time ago, when I was watching television, I could get interested in a story. Now, my mind is on something else: how to find my wife, my grandmother, and Poland. I don’t want a person to separate Poland from the story. People change. The whole country changes. That is why I cannot tell you the story. It is impossible.

Number two - I am quite old, myself. I am over eighty. I cannot tell you what the story will be. When you are born, the story will be right there waiting for you. When you were dying, the story was already written. It is very difficult. You have to be really right there in what it is all about.

If you try to make a story, you try to know something with your own eyes. Pictures don’t say nothing. That’s right. It could be Russia. The city is extending further out, further out, further out. It was a town in the western part of Poland. If you go to Poland, you can buy a thousand stories. I will have to translate them for you. If you read the story, you will know what Poland is about.

[I show the workshop participant a picture of a Seattle. I tell him that the story begins in the city.]

Who is against the city? Against. In the start of the story, you have to tell the reader what the story might be that will be interesting. Slowly, you expand to the point until you know. You write the story. Create interest. When I was in school, the teacher was telling us to read the stories, small stories each day, for each one of us. You know, when you are a small boy, the story is simple, but for older people, the story must be complicated, or else you have nothing. Different sources.

[How can we make this story interesting?]

Interesting is a word that is very hard to describe. For example, when I walk on the street, I see two girls. One is interesting; one is not interesting. The interesting girl has many stories. On the basis of this story, there is more and more and more, until the whole story comes out.

The point is, I don’t write stories, I read them. Sometimes it is interesting for you, but it is not interesting for me.

[Do you want to end the story now?]

Are they going to leave me?

[He looks around for the nurse who was with him when we started the storytelling workshop. She assures him that she is not leaving.]

Please don’t.

Okay, I am explaining how to write a story. I have already explained this twice. Interesting depends on who writes the story. You can tell a story with two words.

Who killed such-and-such? The person who is talented will listen, and in writing, will learn these things. The one who really tells a story of interest is writing one year, someone who likes this kind of stuff.

[He says something in Polish.]

That is how the Polish saying goes.

[He says something in Polish.]

Do you know what that means? It means, I will tell you something.

[He says something in Polish.]

It means, what do you want to know?

[I tell him that I want to know if anything interesting happens in the city.]

Interesting is very difficult. It has to be written in itself, because pictures take all kinds of stories of light, luck, or heaven. They show you something in mountains or walking on the street.

Who is this guy?

[Tell me about the guy.]

What happened? Where? Why? Who committed these crimes? What are you writing?

If you go to New York, you will witness this kind of struggle. There are writers who do write, and there are writers who do not write. You must be educated and corrected.

Who is that guy over there?

[I don’t know.]

That’s my brother, Peter.

Say, “Peter.”

[I call out Peter’s name. I tell the him that Peter did not answer.]

Maybe he learned not to say anything when they call his name. He left home a long time ago. He had many, many stories. I cannot tell you a story. I am not able. I know nothing.

Look here, something over here.

“Hi, Pete!” You see? I can hear his voice. I can hear his voice. I did.

I cannot tell you a thing about making a story interesting, because it takes talent.

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