On Stories: Your story purpose: understanding your theme.

The purpose of telling or writing any story is to keep the audience/reader interested until you reach the end.  To keep the reader reading…Having said that, though:

What is your purpose in telling/writing your story?  You may think you simply have a good story idea, but I would argue that every story has a purpose.  To understand what I mean, we need to do a little self-examination.

What is your worldview?  Don’t say you don’t have one.  Everyone does.  It is the lens created by nature and nurture through which each of us perceives the world (lives, moves and have our being).  You may not know what it is.  It is most nearly subconscious, but it stands behind our every motivation, determines our faith (what we believe to be true) and morality (what we believe to be right and good), drives our behavior, makes and breaks our relationships, and creates our social systems and cultures which in turn help drive the worldview of the generations that follow.

Everyone has an unique and independent worldview, and there is no escaping it.  This is the reason that journalists, some years ago, gave up on the whole idea of objective reporting (a mistake in my opinion).  Today, journalists attempt to present both sides of the issues.  Of course, the reality is those on both the right and the left present their point of view most eloquently and find the dorkiest idiot to present the other side…but that is another story.

As far as storytelling/storywriting goes, it is enough to recognize that we all have a worldview and every story we tell and write will be filtered through that lens and reflect that view.  It can’t be helped.  We cannot avoid telling how we perceive the world to work and either propose how it ought to work or suggest our fears if not hopes about where it is headed.  That is a lot of what storytelling is all about.

This is the make you think stuff, the theme if you will, and even the most “deliberately entertaining and shallow, anti-thought” work will portray something about the world and the author’s view of it.  It is inevitable.  It would be easier to separate ourselves from our left ear in Van Gogh style than eliminate our worldview from our tales.

The Point:  Every story will say something.  What will yours say?  What is your purpose in telling the tale?  Take a good look in the mirror.  They say writing can be good therapy.  This is why: because it can help us get in touch with our worldview: what we truly think, feel and believe, and why we do the things we do.

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