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Sep 23, 2019 15:59:16

Telling Stories

by @basilesamel PATRON | 204 words | 389πŸ”₯ | 437πŸ’Œ

Basile Samel

Current day streak: 389πŸ”₯
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You probably heard this quote before: small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas. Let's think about it for a second.

This statement proposes that engaging in idle talk about people and events is shallow to some degree. Gossiping doesn't elevate the mind, and thus it is of little worth. 

I agree, but let's consider what's great literature: it's always about people. We are social animals, and ultimately we all do things for someone else. 

The best writers use events and people to discuss universal ideas. Camus comes to mind: in his novel The Stranger, the fresco of characters and events is an allegory of the Absurd. Balzac's Human Comedy is the living portrait of an age, but also a reflection on human nature. The examples are many.

Discussing ideas is important, but a good story will always make them more memorable by leveraging deep primal emotions in the reader.

More generally, storytelling is all about people. People are both the audience and the messenger.

Even when you write non-fiction, there is no substitute for actual humans: illustrating ideas with the life of someone is more powerful than merely telling them.

From Basile Samel's collection:

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    @basilesamel Yess stories, events and people are what sticks with people.

    I think Great minds don’t discuss anything 🀣

    Ali Salah avatar Ali Salah | Sep 23, 2019 23:12:49
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    @basilesamel William Zinsser talks about this as well in On Writing Well. He gave an example of a time where he had to write a piece about the anniversary of an old library. Who would care about such a story, right?

    Instead, he interviewed the various interesting people that have worked for the library for years. He listened to fascinating stories from different people.

    Telling stories about real people is the best way to connect with your audience.

    David Neuman avatar David Neuman | Sep 23, 2019 13:15:45
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      @davidneuman nice! :D I have to read this book then, "On Writing Well".

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Sep 23, 2019 19:23:05
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    @basilesamel great interpretation of the quote! Full circle

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Sep 23, 2019 22:41:42
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