Writing is a funny game. You make stuff up and it goes from your head to your fingers, then to a screen via keyboard, or a page via writing implement. But of course, we all know that’s not the oldest way of telling stories.

Really, stories began with cave drawings and people talking…presumably around a fire. And I’ve been thinking about this oral version of storytelling a lot this past week, because I just got back from a three-day boot camp on speaking. The theme I heard over and over again at the event: storytelling.

Businesses focus a lot of energy these days on telling their stories, but that’s not enough. If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to tell more stories…not the story of your business alone, but illustrative stories. For example, let’s say you’re a therapist. If you’re giving a talk about dysfunctional relationships, why make it a big information dump? Instead, tell a story about the power of “bad boys” (or “exciting” girls for a talk to men). A story with an example of a person, rather than a case study, will engage and drive home the point much better.

Dragons and Divas

So what does this all have to do with Game of Thrones? Not much at first glance, I suppose. But it’s on my mind today because the past couple weeks, I’ve finally gotten on board the GoT bandwagon. (Ironic, I know, now that the series has nearly run its course.) If you know me, you know I’m not a genre guy. I don’t typically go for fantasy or romance; I love the real-life stuff that makes up dramas, literary fiction, and so on.

Now, I hope people who are into the GoT series will actually pick up the books at some point, just because I want people to read more. The reason I bring it up in a blog post, though, is to focus on the importance of storytelling on the show. I have peripherally watched the series out of one eye, while my wife has been totally absorbed by it. And to be frank, I find long battle scenes to almost always be boring – the monotony of the violence, the soul-numbing aspect of man’s bottomless inhumanity to man. So I never got that into it.

However, I did pick up on a few major storylines, especially those involving the would-be kings of the north, south, etc. And last week, I watched most of the show because the stories of Cersei and Daenerys drew me in. Watching the confluence of events as we approach the endgame proved interesting enough to keep me entertained.

And last night’s episode continued the endgame, with a battle scene that was not only well-directed but also managed to avoid being overlong or monotonous. In short, these two episodes were masterly stories, which probably explains why people are already posting things like “best episode ever” online.

What about you? Do you have a story to tell, whether in your business or a fictional one? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

copyright

When Do You Need To Copyright Your Work?

​Over the past few weeks, I’ve written a couple of well-received blog posts on the publishing process, one of which is about the importance of having a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) and the other of which is called What’s the Risk to Not Having A...

All the News

It's been crazy busy for me lately, and this blog got neglected because Monday - my normal blog post date - was the 4th of July holiday. I know, I should have worked anyway, right? Isn't that what everyone does these days? Work any day and every day? Well, the heck...
Whizzers

Talking About A Metaphysical Work

On July 21st, I launched my fifth full-length work of fiction, Whizzers. I spent years working on about the first 30% of the novel, then burned through the remaining 70% from late 2018 through March 2019.So now it's the thing on the front burner. When I finished my...
rewriting

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #6: How Much Rewriting is Too Much?

Today's blog post was supposed to be an expansive one, delving in the subject of rewriting. In my own case, I spent years obsessively returning to manuscripts, revising them again and again until they were—as far as I could tell—perfect. As perfect as I could make...
litfic

Leaving the Litfic Category Behind?

Today’s blog is NOT an advertisement for products or services I offer. However, I do want to extend an invitation to join my email newsletter list to get content that’s (mostly) not available elsewhere.One thing about the author life that never fails to entertain is...
Ian

We Dodged The Bullet Known As Hurricane Ian

I've lived in Florida for almost 30 years. Sometimes when I write a statement like that, I imagine a reader at the other end: “Are you nuts?” or “Are you some kind of right-wing wacko?” Nope. And again, nope. Florida in the 1990s was a different animal, though. More...

Why Are You Being So Rude?

​Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut were two of the people most responsible for me wanting to become a writer. I was a teenager, and couldn't believe you could actually get paid to be so rude, irreverent, and just plain weird. I used to love to turn people on to...
creativity

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #5: Creativity vs. Money

One of the most daunting questions amateur writers face is whether they can make money following their most creative pursuits. Are they too non-commercial? Will an agent be interested? Will my work sell at all? The question of Creativity vs. Money isn’t relevant for...

How Do You Write About Sex—Seriously, Irreverently, or Not At All?

“Writing about sex is like engaging in sex: it’s hard. Or, it should be.” —Sean Murphy   Today I want to talk about fictional scenes where characters either discuss sex or engage in sexual activity. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit, because I’m working...

How Do You Write A Book?

This past week I had the chance to talk to a fair number of business owners. That's normal for what I do, but the interesting thing this week was the similarity of the conversations. Not all entrepreneurs ask me the same things. Some ask me what I do. Many of them end...