When you hear the word "storyteller," you probably imagine a man with a luxurious white beard, or a woman with elaborate robes and some kind of talking stick. Either way, they sit around a campfire and weave a spell with their words. But we all have a storyteller inside of us all the time — you probably told five stories so far today about little things that happened to you. In this talk, I walk you through how to recognize the storyteller inside of you, and to harness the way you naturally turn lived experience into narrative to make yourself a better writer.
Charlie Jane Anders is the author of Victories Greater Than Death, the first book in a new young-adult trilogy, along with the forthcoming short story collection Even Greater Mistakes. She's also the author of Never Say You Can't Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories. Her other books include The City in the Middle of the Night and All the Birds in the Sky. Her fiction and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, McSweeney's, Mother Jones, the Boston Review, Tor.com, Tin House, Teen Vogue, Conjunctions, Wired Magazine, and other places. Her TED Talk, "Go Ahead, Dream About the Future" got 700,000 views in its first week. With Annalee Newitz, she co-hosts the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct.