A true story…

Mar 1, 2023 | Newsletter

The best arguments in the world won’t change a person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.

Montesquieu

(The Overstory)

I’ve been listening to a new podcast (not new in general, it’s actually from 2018, but new to me). It is called You Are A Storyteller. It is two screenwriters (Brian McDonald and Jesse Bryan) talking about story and how movies succeed and fail at telling a good story. The main points apply to not only screenwriting but to telling stories in general.

They talk about the main point of the story being an “armature”. Armature is the frame that a sculpture is built around. The skeleton, as it were. They espouse that the armature not only is the point of the story but makes the decisions you make while telling the story clear.

The preparatory iron armature for an equestrian statue. Engr Wellcome V0049656

I have found their podcast very interesting and I agree: stories which last — classics — have a core message that shines through every decision, every character, and every plot point. There are so many stories that are sloppy and have scenes that don’t add anything… but the great stories all have a clear point reflected in every area of the story.

You call a star a star, and say it is just a ball of matter moving on a mathematical course. But that is merely how you see it. By so naming things and describing them you are only inventing your own terms about them. And just as speech is invention about objects and ideas, so myth is invention about truth.

Humphrey Carpenter

( J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography)

This quote, about myth being an invention about truth is something that resonates the same way. The stories worth telling are true whether or not they are factual. Truth is not always facts. Truth is that universal element that speaks to us all as humans.

“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”

Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

J.K. Rowlings

(Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

I am going to try, as I move forward in my writing, to always let the armature be the director of the story, fighting off the ideas that don’t make the main point clearer and taking the path that will bring that main point home. Story is made to communicate truth in a way that people will remember and hold onto. If my stories are not clear, then that point will be lost.

Project Updates:

I have gone through all my dummy pages and created my new spreads, as well as edited my existing ones, some extensively, to create consistent work throughout the dummy. I see that I had rushed through this process last time, hoping to be finished before I was really finished. I still think I will have a completed dummy by April, ready to submit. Hooray!

Books I’m Reading and Recommending:

Adult:

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Been working my way through this one. I read it a long time ago and probably didn’t understand it. I am finding it interesting, but not in a gripping, have-to-keep-reading kind of way. It’s more of a read-a-little-and-then-come-back-later kind of book.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to “Our Father Below.” At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging account of temptation–and triumph over it–ever written.

Picture Book:

The Rock from the Sky
by Jon Klassen

You can laugh at me, but this picture book literally made me yell as I was reading it the first time. Klassen’s humor is awesome, really deadpan for a picture book, and the story unfolds like a play. This story is enjoyable for everyone, from my three-year-old to myself.

Here comes The Rock from the Sky, a hilarious meditation on the workings of friendship, fate, shared futuristic visions, and that funny feeling you get that there’s something off somewhere, but you just can’t put your finger on it. Merging broad visual suspense with wry wit, celebrated picture book creator Jon Klassen gives us a wholly original comedy for the ages.

Picture Book:

Dude!
by Aaron Reynolds (Author) and Dan Santat (Illustrator)

This one is a book that “certainly illustrates the diversity of the word.” Using only “Dude” as dialogue throughout the book, is a story of friendship and adventure. I love the pictures and the humor.

Dude! You have to read this book.
It’s totally about this platypus and this beaver who are friends. They want to go surfing but dude, there’s this shark who’s in the ocean, too.
But don’t worry. This shark approaches and you’ll never guess what happens.

Until next time,

Charlotte J. Glaze

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Charlotte Glaze

Hi, I’m Charlotte!

As a mom, writer, and illustrator with a background in preschool education, I’m dedicated to creating picture books that inspire and empower young children. Join me on an unforgettable adventure where imagination knows no bounds, as we journey together through the pages of storytelling magic!