Is Story-Writing Encouraged?

Sandra Santhosh, IIK Young Contributor
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Sandra Santhosh
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“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.” —Peter Handke

As I walk out of class, completely ready to go home and finish another day of school, I idly flip through my rough book to review my ideas for stories. It is an everyday occurrence, and one I enjoy, if only for the sake of composing new worlds of fantasy for the countless stories I want to tell.

But today, I wonder as I walk – is story-writing encouraged for students?

I come up with an empathic answer of ‘No!’ Let me explain myself.

In my English class just a few weeks back, I remember asking my teacher if we would ever learn story-writing. After all, for our writing section, we had messages and letters and e-mails. Why not story-writing? It is an incredibly tough art, with its own rules and regulations – Background, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action and Resolution being the main points to follow.

The answer I received was no. And I want to ask, why not? Everybody has their own story, or many more, to tell. It may not be perfect, but it’s a story all the same. Why not give us a chance to write and bring a whole new world to life?

Just to note, I am talking about the school system, not the teachers. There have been many a teacher who supported me in my writing, and I thank each and every one of them for their unrelenting patience and encouragement when I eagerly shoved my stories under their eyes and asked them to read it.

We can argue that more books are being published every day than one could ever read in their lifetime, but those authors write not because of the school system, but despite. We have many events for story-writing – the SIF Ignite and the recently conducted Mega-Fest – but compared to the countless programs of music and dance, I feel that’s too small a number.

Let me ask another question. How many of us know about NaNoWriMo? I think it’ll be very few. I myself only stumbled upon this event by a chance mention on the internet last year, rather than anybody telling me.

NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month) is a program conducted throughout the month of November, during which the goal is to write 50,000 words in one month (considered the average length of a novel). It’s an inspiring event for writers, and this year was my first participation in it. But how many amongst us took part in it?

Now, it can be argued that not everybody has a flair for writing stories. There may be many who struggle with putting their ideas on paper, and many who cannot find the proper words to convey it. But isn’t it the same with writing articles? Not everybody can write articles. But isn’t that something taught in schools?

Then why not story-writing? One thing about it is that not every story written has to be published. Like knitting and cooking, story-writing can be taken on as a hobby. It is the same way someone who loves cooking doesn’t have to be a chef; someone who loves writing stories doesn’t necessarily have to be a published author.

So, I urge the school system to introduce story-writing in English class. Perhaps we’ll uncover amazing writers of the future, and many more amazing stories that would steal one’s heart away. But first, we all need the chance to try.


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