Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Storyteller

I've noticed comments on various blogs over the past few months that insist the term "storyteller" has now become code for inane hack--i.e., writer of popular fiction.

I don't see any reason to let either the hoitys or the toitys approriate that term. I grew up reading very strong stories and that's what I've wanted to be since sixth or seventh grade. A storyteller who writes, at least upon occasion, strong stories.

What's wrong with entertaining people? Looking back through history you can see that it's always been a popular calling and craft requiring an abudance of skills. And this applies to everyone from Max Brand to Leo Tolstoy. Whatever their differences as writers, they both made readers turn the pages. That compulsion is in both Mystery Ranch and Anna Karenina.

So when somebody calls me a storyteller, I'm flattered, even if he means it as an insult. The hell with him.
And speaking of supreme storytellers, it's good to see Stuart Kaminsky named the MWA Grandmaster this year. He's done it and and he's done it well.

2 Comments:

Blogger Vince said...

Preach on, Brother Ed. I remember reading an interview with novelist and screenwriter extraordinaire William Goldman in which he said that 'storyteller' was the word he wanted carved on his tombstone.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Craig Clarke said...

As a reviewer, I save the word "storyteller" as my highest compliment. A good writer gets praise, a good storyteller gets readers.

7:27 AM  

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