by Raji Singh
‘Of course it never ever happened. But wouldn’t it be fun if it did.’
What better premise for writing fiction or composing for oral storytelling?
Maybe an event that really did occur is interesting, yet deserves little more than an anecdote. This is when the storyteller experiments in veering the idea off into many directions. Soon, Voila! A legend, myth, tale, or fable is born.
How did Cinderella first step that glass slipper into the giant pumpkin and ride with the rodents to meet her charming prince? The historian Strabo in ancient Greece probably questioned, “What if?” when he wrote about a Cindy-like character. “What if?” asked fictionalist Perrault in France 1800 years later and probably other little remembered Cinderella-ist storytellers in between those two.
Kansas City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of America’s largest, started with local DJ Michael Murphy, a couple of cohorts and a three-legged dog marching down the street. Legend? Truth? Maybe a little of both. A grand parade and even grander tales have emerged from the anecdote.
Taking a hint from this story, I asked myself, “What if my major characters started the first Fourth of July parade in old Cincinnati where they lived?” Voila! An ancient Mariner, a foundling orphan, a giant shelled land-sea creature, and a one-eyed cat start the fireworkin’ and it’s blasting yet to this day. Not only did I have fun writing it, (isn’t that what much of creating a story is all about – having fun) but it has become an integral part of my novel.
A few page excerpt of it is over on my website Tales of the Fiction House. I think you’ll take away some laughs with it. Maybe it will trigger ideas for your own Fellini-esque promenade.
Here’s hoping you had a surreal Fourth of July.
©2013 Raji Singh