Friday, May 21, 2010

Someone Else's Story

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about who a story truly belongs to. When you tell people you are a writer, people often say they have a story for you. That they are willing to give it to you. It becomes an offering and you must care for it as if it were yours.

Characters themselves take ownership. We feel a sense of duty to tell their story, a story that slowly becomes ours.

In my novel, Spared, my main character struggles with ownership of stories. She struggles to take responsibility of a story she wrote for someone else. She learns that a story she once told someone is no longer hers. She wonders about the stories she does not know, the ones a non-verbal sister can not tell.

And, I always think of the haunting song, "Someone Else's Story" from the musical "Chess" about a woman who stands outside of her own life. Who has trouble accepting her own story. (For a beautiful rendition, check out the video below)

I am not sure you can ever pinpoint who a story truly belongs to. A writer. A character. A reader. I just like this idea of sharing ownership. This is her story. His story. Mine. I like that very much...


  1. I love this post. It is so true! Who does the story belong to? It's a gift, it's a possession, it's a learning tool. It's so many things. I have to listen to the song later--I'm in a public place, but I love Lea Salonga's voice!

  2. Good point. But what I thought was so true is I have had so many people tell me they have a wonderful story I should write about. LOL I want to tell them they should write it themselves as I have plenty in my own head.