Becoming an effective storyteller

Shawna Baca
Shawna Baca

On International Women’s Day, I’m looking back at an interview I did with writer/filmmaker Shawna Baca. Baca’s production company, 4 Elements Entertainment, develops film and new media projects that target America’s growing multicultural audience.

I had asked Baca what an emerging writer needs in order to become an effective storyteller. “When I became a filmmaker,” Baca said, “I considered myself as a storyteller, not necessarily a writer. Even though I wrote my own material, what I gravitated to more than the material was the intention or purpose of the story and how we were all emotionally influenced by that story. I didn’t go to school for screenwriting but what I was good at was strumming up the creative imagination to sit around, make up stories in front of small audiences, mostly family and friends, that would engage and hook them in.”

knowing how to make that story breathe life is the magical part

Filmmaker Shawna Baca
Filmmaker Shawna Baca

For Baca, “… writing a good story is key but then knowing how to make that story breathe life is the magical part that makes each filmmaker unique in his or her own right. You can give ten filmmakers the same script and I guarantee you they will all have their own artistic value and uniqueness. No two films will be exactly alike when you add in color palettes, tones, editing, score, etc.”

Be still. Write.

“Stop running. Write. Write about what you’re chasing. Write about what’s chasing you. Feel panic beckon but don’t give in. Be still. Write.”

Another encouraging tweet from author John Patrick Shanley.

boy with kite

A similar note of creative encouragement from YA author Maggie Stiefvater: “If you tell yourself you’re a winner, you know what kind of story you’re telling, and you will march toward that.” She notes that the story she was telling herself had to move from “loser” to “winner.”

This is the moment for us as writers to make a hard choice. Choose to be a winner. Be still. Write.

 

Finding the way to greatness

I find the tweets of playwright John Patrick Shanley to be inspiring. Today’s tweet: “Martin Luther King found his mission and became a giant. Kids want to find their way not simply to prosperity, but to greatness. Help them.”

Bud

Worthy words for teachers and for storytellers. In story our kids will find their voices, and in their voices they will find their way to greatness.

Story is the message of giants.

Launch Day!

Apart
Launch day for “Apart”

Launch day! My novel “Apart” launches on Amazon today.

When Cabe Wray, sixty-one and a business technology salesman, abruptly quits his job and his career, he feels himself drawn to intensify the search for his long-missing twin sister. On the advice of a friend, he hires a documentary filmmaker to create an Internet-based video about the search. The hope—that someone will recognize her and provide answers to her whereabouts.

The filmmaker, driven to make this project a success, brings on a young woman friend to help with the production. Her role in the video project quickly deepens, as she becomes the catalyst that forces Cabe to grapple with his own long-buried memories and emotions…

And to understand what drove his sister to disappear.

Find “Apart” on Amazon.

Long-missing Twin

Apart
Apart

My new short novel, titled APART, launches on Tuesday, October 21. All about a long-missing twin.

When Cabe Wray, sixty-one and a business technology salesman, abruptly quits his job and his career, he feels himself drawn to intensify the search for his long-missing twin sister. On the advice of a friend, he hires a documentary filmmaker to create an Internet-based video about the search. The hope—that someone will recognize her and provide answers to her whereabouts.

The filmmaker, driven to make this project a success, brings on a young woman friend to help with the production. Her role in the video project quickly deepens, as she becomes the catalyst that forces Cabe to grapple with his own long-buried memories and emotions…

And to understand what drove his sister to disappear.

Watch for a special promotion coming before the launch.

Available on Amazon Kindle: APART