Beside/s: Why do we tell stories?

As I continue to work on my own storytelling (and possibly a new site…), I want to put these ideas about why to tell stories beside each other:

To Provide a Mirror

Junot Diaz.

You guys know about vampires?” Diaz asked. “You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, “Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist? And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might seem themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.

To Craft Worlds Where Everything is Possible

Dorothy Allison.

I talked—story-talked, out loud—assuming identities I made up. Sometimes I was myself, arguing loudly as I could never do at home. Sometimes I became people I had seen on television or read about in books, went places I’d barely heard of, did things that no one I knew had every done, particularly things that girls were not supposed to do. In the world as I remade it, nothing was forbidden, everything was possible.