TELL Me A Story: Prompt One

April 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

Before I moved to Chicago, I had no experience with hearing my work read aloud, unless it was excerpts of my English paper the teacher wanted to share with my British Literature class Sophomore year. Right from the start at Columbia, however, there was this idea of writing not just as words on a page, but as words to be spoken, passed through the vocal chords. That is, after all, the way stories were told long before they were written and paragraphed and comma’ed.

This is something I want to experiment with.

What if we could make an online community, right here, right now, of sharing stories orally with one another?

It can’t be too difficult.

If you have any kind of a new-ish computer, you have a built in web-cam, and it takes hardly longer than a snap to set up a YouTube account. Even better, YouTube has the option of recording a video directly from your webcam to the website to upload. It’s incredibly easy.

Now, you might be asking why it’s important or practical to tell stories orally. First, look at the phrase: TELL me a story. When we were young, we didn’t ask our mothers to WRITE us a story so we could put ourselves to sleep by moving our eyes over words. We wanted to hear the story woven from the fabric of her voice. Second, it’s the way most stories are told. You tell stories to your friends and family every day, about what happened to you at work or on the train, or something you wished had happened to you, but really didn’t. By this logic, it should come naturally, so it couldn’t hurt to try.

The first prompt, given to me by my tutor in our session on Tuesday, will be this:

Write about something that happened to you in the past week using a third person voice.

You can add in fictional elements; it doesn’t have to be completely true. But you must first write it, then TELL it to us.

If you’re nervous about making a video (or too young), feel free to still post your response to the prompt as text in the comments of this post.

Okay, fine, let’s get to it!

Without further ado, the first TELL Me a Story submission:

Happy writing and happy telling!



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§ One Response to TELL Me A Story: Prompt One

  • Manuela says:

    I officially love this. There’s just something different about listening to a story instead of reading it. You don’t focus on grammar or plot or anything, you just listen and enjoy the story.

    Hope you’re having a marvelous Easter and thanks for the comment on my blog! It made my day even better. :)

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