Storytelling originated with visual stories, such as cave drawings, and then shifted to oral traditions, in which stories were passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. There was then a shift to words formed into narratives, including written, printed, and typed stories. This book is dedicated to all storytellers who have walked the earth from the beginning of time, and into our future.
It has been an absolute pleasure and honor to facilitate the Creative Writing Group every week. Over the months, membership has increased bringing yet more talented folk with their individual unique imaginations. No two stories are the same, yet all are imagined from one image in each chapter. Their short stories are printed in this collected work.
Creating a story limited to five hundred words is no easy task but there are sound reasons behind the weekly exercises. Storytelling is a skill that if honed, and directed can result in stunning portrayals with words, and images leaping from a page like a mini film. Each week the group shared an image then in their own time, wrote a story to reflect their ideas about how the picture spoke to them.
The completed stories though limited to five hundred words, excludes the word count of a title. Many writers have issues keeping a story on track as ideas keep coming to mind during the creative process, and blurring an intended storyline. Initially, this exercise assisted members of the group to stay on track with their stories, moreover, to spark an intuitive drive.
In the beginning, I was not overly concerned about spelling, punctuation, or the finery of presentation, these things can be learned easily, but good storytelling cannot. So directing the writers to limit their word count for a story encouraged them to be careful around structure whilst maintaining an emphasis on an intuitive theme. My only guidelines were to study the image, leave it alone for a few minutes perhaps whilst having a coffee, then revisit it, close one’s eyes, and then write everything coming to mind stimulated through intuitive thought.
When folk were happy with their story it would be emailed to me for viewing, formatting, and editing. In the early days, there was a lot of editing offered, and there would be learning points to share with the writers. At the next meeting of the group, members read their stories out loud in order to encourage feedback which in turn slowly increased their confidence in storytelling.
The publication of these collected works is intended to increase their confidence as writers even further. Nothing is finer for a storyteller than to see their tale and name in a book. Our writers have achieved this, and it is with pleasure and bated breath I await more stories and possibly even novels from them.
I hope you as a reader enjoy the tales as much as I enjoyed witnessing their growth as storytellers.