Today I happened to step into a classroom in which students were watching novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk. It was the starting point for a writing lesson about stories. If you don’t know it, it’s worth 18 minutes of your time. We all tell stories, and of course try to make them interesting for the listener or reader. What makes a story interesting? What makes a story balanced? Why do we have a need to tell stories?
Most of us probably don’t remember the first story we heard or the first one we told. We are surrounded with stories from the beginning of our lives, probably shared with us by loving family members. Some are the stories in beloved books. Others are stories handed down through our families, perhaps through generations. Through this sharing, the stories may have evolved to be somewhat different from the original. However, they are shared over time and become part of the way we define our lives. They provide comfort and add to our identity as we grow from childhood to adulthood and often repeat the same stories and share the same books with the next generation of little ones in our families.