Thursday, October 7, 2010

Storytelling Here

"Put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it."
- Colette

Elana Johnson had this wonderful post on her blog yesterday about the difference between writing and storytelling. And there really IS a difference. My composition students are writers. Brandon Mull and J.K. Rowling and Tolkien are storytellers.

Think about what the differences are - how we feel those differences when we read something. Textbooks are created by writers. Newspapers and most magazine articles are written by writers. But good books, the ones that make us want to savor them and delay that last page, are written by storytellers.

Check out Elana's article (if you're one of the FEW people who doesn't already read her blog every single day). It's thought provoking.
Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I'll tell you a story.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Do you think there is a difference?

29 comments:

Bethany Mattingly said...

I read that post too! It was very thought provoking. There really is a difference, and the difference is amazing.

Karen Lange said...

I do think there is a difference. I think people assume all writers are storytellers. Thanks for the link, heading over now.
Blessings,
Karen

Kelly said...

Absolutely!!

Diane said...

Great contrast. Thanks for the link! :O)

Patti said...

There's definitely a difference.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I thought her post was great! And yours too :) That's a great way to describe the distinction.

Nicole Zoltack said...

There is a huge difference between writing and storytelling.

Catherine Denton said...

Definitely! I like the imagery of students in your class versus J.K. Rowling.
Making Life a Work of Art!

Theresa Milstein said...

YES! I love her post too.

And if you want some beautiful storytelling, read this:

ttp://www.amazon.com/Where-Mountain-Meets-Moon-Grace/dp/0316114278/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1286481429&sr=8-1

Now wonder it won an award.

Laura Marcella said...

Yes, absolutely! The words aren't synonyms; they have different meanings. So of course the action of writing and storytelling are different!

Great post!

Jennie Englund said...

Shannon, good question!

I'll keep this in mind as I revise...AGAIN!!!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great point! Storytellers make you feel like you are in the story not just an observer of the story...

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Good issues were made, enjpyed the post very much.

Yvonne,

Stephanie Thornton said...

I definitely think there's a difference. I did a post a loooooong time ago about the power of storytelling- it's more that just conveying information. You have to capture your audience!

L.T. Elliot said...

Oh, I totally think there's a difference. Elana nailed it, IMO. =] Love the quotes!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I was just talking about this the other day. I think there is a difference, but I think there is also room to be both. The best authors are ones who do both. But I think I'll have to read Elana's definition before I make any final decisions!

Jemi Fraser said...

HUGE difference. It's a totally different skill.

Elana's awesome - she always makes me think :)

Raquel Byrnes said...

Ooh, how true! This was a great post. Will saunter over to Elana's for the full read. =)

Edge of Your Seat Romance

Kari said...

I think I'm a writer : (

Susan R. Mills said...

Yep! Definitely a difference. I hope to be a storyteller. Still working toward that goal.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Yes, huge difference. Storytelling is more than just conveying something by stringing words together- it is about really engaging the heart and the mind.

Carolyn V. said...

I couldn't agree more. I really think there is a difference. I hope I'm a little of both. =)

Elana Johnson said...

Okay, yeah, there's totally a difference. I love the example you gave of your students vs. the authors. I think most of us start out as students. Some of us succeed as students, even. Because not every novel is done in storytelling.

But I want to keep learning and getting better and become a storyteller.

Cleverly Inked said...

Never thought of it like that. I couldn't imagine putting in your heart and then scrapping half of it. CRAZY

Heidi Willis said...

Definitely a difference.

One of my big fears is that I'm a good writer, but not a good story teller.

salarsenッ said...

Yeah, Elana's post was great. There really is a difference. I see one with more freedom, more emotional. The other is more technical. Combining would be great.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

this is interesting! I've missed this post, but good point! I'm heading there now. Thanks.

Nathalie Schiltz said...

A difference? Yes and No. A writer may not be a storyteller, but a storyteller is - and has to be - a good writer. You can have all the best ideas in the world, if you don't know how to let the words do the talking, you won't get that great story accross to the reader.
I'm a sucker for a fab story!

Heather said...

You're right. I think there's a huge difference. Being a good writer does not mean you're a good storyteller, or vica versa.

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