February 9, 2011

The Writer’s Equivalent of Chamber Music

Posted in Chamber Music tagged , , , , at 9:55 am by Rebecca Hein

The most fun I’ve ever had with the cello is playing string quartets for fun, with no thought of rehearsing or performing. There’s something supremely enjoyable about just sitting down with other musicians and creating beautiful music with the skill you’ve built up over so many years.

Writers don’t often think of getting together for the sole purpose of improvising stories, but this is like chamber music, and it’s nearly as enjoyable. In roundtable storytelling, one person starts a story, talking as long as he or she wishes. Then the next person takes up the tale and steers it in any direction desired. As the story grows, more ideas suggest themselves, and by the end everyone is involved and has had a good time as long as they’ve followed the rules.

Next: What are the rules of roundtable storytelling?