Inverted Commas 20: Ribbons of space-time
People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way around.
Stories exist independently of their players. If you know that, the knowledge is power.
Stories, great flapping ribbons of shaped space-time, have been blowing and uncoiling around the universe since the beginning of time. And they have evolved. The weakest have died and the strongest have survived and they have grown fat on the retelling […] stories, twisting and blowing through the darkness.
“Stories are important,” Terry Pratchett wisely wrote, but he recognised that narratives are very much chicken-and-egg issues. Unconsciously we grow up playing out scripted roles: we are a good child or a naughty one, we sense we’re masters of our fate or else forever fated, we’re loved or we’re rejected. Some of us are princesses in disguise, others ugly sisters; some feel they are the knight in shining armour, others the dragon. For every one born with a silver spoon in their mouth countless others will hear resonances in Albert King’ s lyrics: “Born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl. If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”
You would think that a creative writer would claim credit for coming up with original plots, that they were the one shaping stories; but Pratchett knew that he was just recycling or repurposing existing blueprints, because stories do indeed exist independently of their players.Continue reading “Stories shape people”