“A story is like a black box, and you’re going to put the reader in there. She’s going to spend some time with this thing you’ve made, and when she comes out, what’s going to have happened to her in there is something astonishing. It feels like the curtain’s been pulled back, and she’s gotten a glimpse into a deeper truth. As a story writer, that’s not as easy as it sounds.”
This comes from the wisdom of George Saunders, one of the greatest writers in the contemporary fiction scene. Saunders discusses Story and how to tell it well in his video from The Atlantic‘s site. At the CYC, we believe in the power of Story–which is why we can’t wait for our Story Slam. If you haven’t heard of this event by now, Facebook has all the details. What you need to know is that on Tuesday, April 18, your fellow Grand Rapidians will assemble at The Pyramid Scheme to share true, personal stories from their lives.
This event will feature the true, brief narratives of our fellow Grand Rapidians; we have a mix of humor, heartbreak, and humility among these storytellers. It will be judged by a panel of local celebrities. On top of that, The Pyramid Scheme will host (so it’s a 21+ event). If you’re wondering what kinds of narratives you’re going to hear on Tuesday, April 18, we’re providing a taste of it here.
We have a variety of stories that promise to astonish you in myriad ways. Evan describes “First and Final Fight” as “a story from the world’s worst bouncer in the days following 9/11.” In Danielle’s story, “Backpedaling,” we’ll hear about a five year old drowning in a mill pond and the lasting effects of that experience on the survivor’s life. Nate will tell the story of helping his friend score the drug that was taking over his life and the adventures that ensued–a story of addiction, and the dangers of pre-judgment.
We invite you to step into that “black box” George Saunders describes. And whatever the stories you hear, whoever the storyteller, we are confident you’ll see that curtain pulled back. We’re offering a chance for a glimpse of the deeper truth, and we look forward to experiencing that with you.
To finish with another quote by Saunders: “I think a good story is one that says…we’re both human beings. We’re stuck in this crazy situation called Life that we don’t really understand…Can we put our heads together and confer about it?”
That’s just what we intend to do.