April 21, 2012

Story Strengths = S: Blogging from A to Z

I love stories, whether in book form or oral, and find myself attracted to storytellers. Some of my dearest friends know the art of spinning a tale; it could be about their husband, their children, childhood memories, something that happened to them, and so on. Not only do I find sharing stories entertaining, I find it a way for us to bond and relate to each other.

My Favorite "S" Story Elements

Sarcasm
Ah, I adore the wit and humor needed to pull off sarcasm. I've always been a fan. However, a warning to anyone who loves sarcasm and is considering becoming a parent... the two don't mix. Children do not have the capacity to understand sarcasm for many years. Case in point: my middle daughter is quite verbal, and I quite sarcastic. When she was about five, she was having a meltdown (about what, I can't remember... God grants Mommies the gift of amnesia so our children survive). The crying was so fake, I could barely stand it. Then she said she was going to keep crying until she got what she wanted. Distracted and bored with the drama, I offhandedly said, "Like that's going to work." She looked at me, slightly confused, and asked the obvious question, "It is?"

Sweet
Nothing's better than an endearing story, especially about children or loved ones. Sweetness, at least for me, can wear a bit thin if it gets gooey or downright over the top. But it's a nice element when mixed in with others. (Note: sweet should never be confused with sweat. Ask my husband who once started a card to me with, Dear Sweaty.)

Saucy/Sexy
We all want a little sexiness in our lives. Look at the success of Fifty Shades of Gray by E L James. It's tantalizing and tempting, or so I've been told. As far as sharing stories with friends, the sexy element is in the delivery. Sexiness doesn't always have to be about sex; it's something alluring and that piques our interest. (Note: Another argument for e-readers... books like Fifty Shades of Gray. Nobody on an airplane or in the doctor's office will ever know what you are reading!)

Sincerity
Without this, you have little. I don't mind a tall tale every now and again, but what I really want is to know someone means every word they say. Readers and listeners are savvy, and they'll know when you aren't being genuine.

Secrets
We all love a juicy secret. Gossip has survived for generations due to our desire to be privy to knowledge. It's not just the secret, it's the feeling of knowing someone wants to confide in you. In novels, the reader gets to be privy to the secret and see the repercussions.

Silly
The best source for these stories: children. I love listening to a child, particularly my own, go on and on and developing their own sense of storytelling. A bit of silliness from adults and characters in books is usually a welcome breath of fresh of air, too.

Sadness
Life is a grand mix of happy and sad. Happiness means more when it comes out of or after moments of sadness. Without one, the other is cheapened. Sadness helps us relate and realize we all have our struggles. I believe sharing sad stories can bring us all together quicker than the happy ones.

It's all about balance and moderation. Too much of any of these hurts a story.

What do you think is the best S element of storytelling?

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5 comments:

Medeia Sharif said...

Great S words. I think I like Secrets the best.

I used sarcasm a few days ago on a student and it went right over her head.

Linda Luke said...

I like books that Surprise me and when I've been working hard I will take a break with a Sweet Story.

Sue H said...

Since I love to write thriller fiction, I'd say my favourite stories have to be full of Suspense! :-o


Just arrived here via the 'surprise me' button on the blog-hop. Happy A-Z'ing!

SueH I refuse to go quietly!
Twitter - @Librarymaid

Eloise said...

I like all of your elements, but I would have to go with sincerity. As you say, without it there is nothing. But I loved your mention of "Dear Sweaty" 8). Hope you saved that card. 8)

Tia Bach said...

Medeia, I like secrets a lot, too! :-)

Linda, I can't believe I forgot surprise. LOVE that one.

Sue, Suspense, another great S. Didn't realize there was a surprise me button... hope it was a pleasant surprise! ;-)

Eloise, Yes, I kept the card. Had to. And I totally agree on sincerity. Smart readers know.