The stories we tell

There is not a long way from the stories we tell our family or friends to the stories we tell to entertain people through short stories, short novels or novels.

The kinds of stories we have built are the kind of stories that are told in commercial literature: suspense, action, thriller, crime fiction, science fiction, romance, and fantasy. Not so contemplative stories but extraordinary stories of people fighting against adversity in order to get what they want and in which their well-being is at stake.

In order to create them it is a good idea to know their parts and start experimenting with different ideas. New elements will be added then and the stories will become more complex, but it is only a start.

We can practice the basic exercise of building a character, which wants something but faces difficulty to get it. He fights against adversity and eventually accomplishes his purpose.

Let us see this again in a crude example that I make up on the air in which the only important thing is to take a look at these elements:

“Peter always wanted to work as a cab driver. After five years of hard work and requesting a credit, he bought himself a small new taxi cab that would let him make his dream come true. Before he took his car out of his garage on the first day he would start working, a man got in his way before he jumped into the car in a neighborhood around the city.

  • Peter Smith – he said with a strong voice, standing beside him.

Peter lost his breath and turned around.

  • Who are you? – Asked Pedro, aghast in front of the menacing presence of the man – How do you know my name?
  • We know everything that goes on around here. You must know that in order to drive a taxi cab you have to pay 4 grand to The Boss.
  • What? What are you talking about? I have just bought it”.

And so on.


What would happen if we mixed the three stories of the examples mentioned before?

What if the cop in the bank is looking for a promotion? If the rival that tries to sabotage him is with the police surrounding the bank complaining to his boss? What if his rival tells the police he is an accomplice of the robbers and makes up some evidence? What if the cop found inside the same bank a woman he had not seen in ten years, the love of his life? What if the woman’s husband is one of the bank robbers who threatened her to help him in the robbery?