“Let’s start at the very beginning / A very good place to start”
—Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music
Today, as Julie Andrews suggests, I want to go back to the beginning and explore a basic question: Why do we tell stories? Not only in creative writing, but in daily life as well.
A couple of years ago I listened to a lecture series by Professor Hannah B. Harvey, an Adjunct Professor in the Storytelling program at East Tennessee State University, on the art of storytelling. While Harvey focused mainly on oral storytelling, nearly all of her lectures are also applicable to creative writing. In the beginning of the series, Harvey lists some of the functions of story. I would like to use this list as a starting point for my own investigation into the reason we tell stories, what functions they serve, then in later entries explore what story is.