minstrel: Long stories

Edwin Hewitt brogoose at pe.net
Wed Jul 30 22:17:12 PDT 1997


At 08:31 AM 7/30/97 +1000, you wrote:
>>	Long stories?
>>	Well, I tell my students that a good tale can be any length, so
>>long as you follow a few basic rules:
>>	1.  If it takes one minute to set up, don't do it!  An intro
>>should never really be needed.  (Unless it is crediting an author!)
>>	2. If your story won't deliver a laugh, a sense of wonder, or a
>>scare every three minutes, (Two if you can,) don't do it.
>>	3. Ten minutes is about the maximum.  That means four to five good
>>giggles in a funny story, etc.  
>>	I do a lot of stories.  
>>	Mikal
>

This is a good rule of thumb all in all.
I also have a lot of stories - some better than others....
I have one particular favorite which is a legend from the local
Indians, "The Tale of Tahquitz."  It is a sad and tragic story, 
with a wonderful sense of doom and foreboding.  It has action 
and good adventure.  It is also very long.  

I am careful of when I tell it.  Because the audience really needs
to be receptive to the type of story, it is best left for when the 
night is dark and cold, and the camp has grown quiet.  A fire is
almost a necessity.  The only complaint I've ever heard about
that tale, was that one person kept hearing the story in their heads
late at night for a very long time.  It also made them dread the 
dark trip back to their campsite.

Like I say, I love that story.  No, I can't write it down, it's 
part of an oral tradition, but if you catch me at a Portrero or
Great Western, I'd be happy to share it.

Edwin
Full-time Idealist, Part-time Realist.

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