At the start of Adventures in Storytelling, before this website existed as a place for us to meet and share ideas, as James and Luke were gathering the community, they sent around a Google-doc that detailed the vision of the project, its goals, direction, and a brief how-to in regards to getting started. Though the original dates were full of hope and failure (and rightly removed from this rendition), the doc nonetheless played its part in bringing this group of creators together.
We are all storytellers. We are _______.* We are creators. Our stories explore the reflections of the world in which we live, because we all share a single binding belief: storytelling is how we define ourselves as human beings.
Adventures in Storytelling is a growing community of creators questing together to become better storytellers. We learn through storytelling, and by sharing our reflections on our stories side-by-side the stories themselves. We seek to tease out the lessons that cross media and genre and share what we learn in an evolving storytelling guidebook.
* writers, novelists, poets, journalists, musicians, dancers, directors, visual artists, documentarians, painters, sketchers, actors, speakers, …
What is a storyteller? We believe anyone who engages in an act of creation in order to communicate with another being is engaging in an act of storytelling. Becoming a member of this community means working towards our collective goal: becoming better storytellers. Our website will be a homebase for storytellers from any medium to share their works, reflections, inspirations, and criticisms.
How It Works
The Left Pillar:
This is where we engage in acts of storytelling.
The Left Pillar is a list of creative content; the stories we’re telling (along with some of the rough work that has gone into their creation).
This list will link to the place where your story lives, whether you choose that to be the Adventures in Storytelling website or your own personal website. If you work in a medium that doesn’t translate well to the digital realm, that’s great! We’d love to work with you to find a way to share your story regardless.
If you would prefer not to host or link your creative works for any reasons, that is okay! The meat and potatoes of Adventures in Storytelling is the central pillar.
As part of this process, we encourage you to post links or offer a description of how you create & tell stories; but, as always, your level of engagement is up to you.
We (Luke and James) are working together on a genre prose fiction story, “Charlotte’s Journey,” that will live on the Adventures in Storytelling site. As we create this story, we will continue to share our rough notes & work, to give a glimpse into how we create together.
Much of the content in the Center and Right pillars will be commentary on the works living on the Left Pillar.
The Central Pillar:
This is where we talk about our acts of storytelling, and where the community really lives. It’s in the middle because it’s the most important!
The Central Pillar is where we write & post articles and content, and have discussions about the stories we tell, reflections on the creative process, and musings on the challenges we face while creating stories.
How working with another creator can be difficult when the two creators approach scheduling in fundamentally different ways.
The advantages to using storyboarding—and how you storyboard—to plan out the story you want to tell.
The content in the Central Pillar will come from our personal experiences crafting the content in the Left Pillar, but also our interactions with storytelling outside of our community; it will also directly inform the content that lives in the Right Pillar.
The Right Pillar:
This is where we keep the “Storytelling Guidebook.”
The Right Pillar is the exciting part of Adventures in Storytelling. As our community grows, we hope to distil the combined knowledge of the Central Pillar into a liquor of storytelling wisdom.
This is where we collect the best techniques, advice, or what-have-you that crosses genre and media that helps us define what it means to be a storyteller—because we’re still learning what a storyteller is.
Storytelling must include a “story” that is “told.”
(We don’t actually have a real example yet; if we did, we wouldn’t need the adventure!)
While we write in the Left Pillar, we discuss, comment, and explore storytelling in the Central Pillar, and finally we distill this learning into gems of wisdom in the Right Pillar.
Before you say it: yes, we’re re-inventing the wheel. We know. Writer’s advice or learn-to-play-guitar websites are a dime a dozen (really, Google it!) What we aim to do is understand the lessons for ourselves in order to become better storytellers. A creative writing course or music lessons would pair you with a teacher that has the experience and authority to teach you the important lessons of your medium. Our project is meant to be broad instead of niche; it is a purposefully wide net, and it all has to do with that ill-defined Right Pillar, and the storytelling lessons that are important to us all. We’re excited to see what the community builds.
With that said, we need something from you: participation. This community can only succeed with the engagement of its members. Your level of engagement is up to you, and we mean that, but we will ask this: one reflection a month. We’ll be submitting at least one article every month, so we’re not asking you for anything we aren’t doing ourselves. A single contribution to the central pillar every thirty-ish days. It’s not a deadline, and you’re not going to get booted out if you don’t do it, but especially with early membership, we’re interested in activity!
What do you get out of this adventure? A place to help funnel attention to your own work. That’s the role of the left pillar: we put up a link to your story (wherever it lives) and any advertising someone does for Adventures in Storytelling draws the eyes of the Internet to your work as well. Of course, by participating in the process, you get to connect (and hopefully work with) other creators just like yourself, or more importantly, somewhat different than yourself. Who knows what great works we can inspire each other to craft when we work together!
Perhaps you’re visiting our site for the first time after stumbling across it down some strange Internet hole; or you may have been directed here by a friend, an existing community member that thinks you’d like to participate. You may read a hundred words and bounce, or maybe you’ll stick around and peruse some articles; maybe you’ll like what you see and return, or ask to join the community.
Whatever brought you here, however long you stay—welcome!
We hope you enjoy your time here and think of us fondly in future moments. We hope you get something out of our odyssey, and if you have a thought you think would be beneficial, leave a comment somewhere; wherever speaks the most to you. And if you choose to stay, to participate, to join, well, welcome all over again, and we’re happy to have you. A community is only as strong as its members.