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Updated on March 13, 2013

HubPages is a place for writers, or, people who fancy themselves writers. I don't add that qualifier as a slight against any or some here - I add it in consideration of myself. I like to write, I don't think I'm dreadful or useless at it, but I'm not fully comfortable publicly announcing myself or privately counting myself 'a writer'. However, I do count myself a storyteller. I enjoy sharing stories, I see events and circumstances as stories, and I think stories are very largely the means by which we mature into the people we come to be and how we best express the people we are.

As I said, HubPages is a place for writers - and it doesn't take long to recognize there are, very basically, two types of writers here. There are folks who write about things they think others want to read about, things they research, things that explain 'how to' do things people are interested to do (and that produces a great many hubs on 'how to' write on HubPages and 'how to' make money, etc) - and there are folks who tell stories, whether it's a personal account of some event in their life, a poem, a reflection on an idea, or a flat-out fictional story with made-up characters and situations, etc. Now, please be assured I am in no way advancing either type of writer and manner of writing to be inferior or superior to the other - I am only acknowledging the reality of the clear demarcation of these two kinds of hubs we find here at HubPages.

My own personal attention, is given to storytelling and storytellers. But I must make clear that I count a particular approach to communicating, a specific mode of conversation and writing that is not commonly regarded as storytelling, to in fact be storytelling. To me, there are people who can tell stories and people who cannot, people who use language as a tool to tell you 'the story' of their point or idea or position, etc, and people who simply notify you of their point or idea or position. We see this in all areas of life, not just in direct fictional storytelling.

We all know the person who can make nearly any situation funny in the telling of it, and the person who simply cannot tell a joke . . . a formatted, rehearsed joke, yet they screw it up every time. I recall once asking a church piano player if she ever plays at home just for herself, not practicing for church. I meant like without sheet music, not the same song the same way she's played over and over, but just fiddled around with Boogie Woogie or Blues moods - she said she doesn't and wouldn't know how, that without the direction of a sheet of music in front of her she would have nothing to play. That struck me as very sad, and as illustrative of my point on storytelling; some people just have it in them, they see the world before them in pictures and words that simply appear to them as a story.

Today is the 53rd anniversary of the debut of television's "The Twilight Zone" . . . I recall once when one of my sons stopped by with his (relatively) new bride and, noticing "The Twilight Zone" was on the tv, she mentioned what a great show she thought it was. I ask her what some of her favorite episodes were and she mentioned a few. As I began to ask her if she'd ever seen the one where 'thus & so' or the one with the 'yadda yadda yadda', she asked "What was that one about" . . . my son quickly alerted her "Don't ever let my dad tell you the story of any 'Twilight Zone' episodes, or any movies for that matter". When she asked him why I was delighted to hear him respond "Because he always tells it so much better than it really is, when you finally do watch it you wish you left it as it was, with my dad's story in your head".

The thing is, we have to be careful with storytellers - just because someone is a good storyteller doesn't mean he's right or that he should be acquiesced to or agreed with. As I said, some people are just good storytellers, even if they're not directly telling you a fictional story. We come up against this in nearly all aspects of life. There are employees who are less competent than their fellow employees yet are able to advance themselves above their peers, because they are better storytellers than their fellow employees. There are politicians who are able to persuade voters to support them when their policies go directly against the interests and ethic of those voters, because they are better storytellers than the other candidate. There are husbands and wives who are able to run roughshod over their spouses because they are better storytellers than their spouse.

Understand . . . it's not that they tell stories, as in they don't tell the truth, that's not my point - I'm saying some people are just more apt at using language to share their perspective, to give their side, to provide an account of things, etc. While some stumble and poorly represent themselves and their interests no matter how right they might be, others can make the shallowest point seem significant, they can make the thinnest argument appear valid - they are good storytellers . . . not good at making things up, but good at telling their story, good at recounting a circumstance vividly, good at presenting their case persuasively.

So, while you may have initially thought this hub an accolade to the storytellers, in truth it is a caution - delight in the storyteller's capacity to make things interesting, but be alert to the objective truth behind a person's deficiency, or their gifted ability, in articulating things.

Please do visit some of my other hubs ~


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