Once upon a time my children and I played you-say-a-line-I-say-a-line, stories. It was amusing, imaginative and kept us all on our thinking toes, although my daughter had a habit of killing lots of our characters until we had created on that she liked.
But years have passed and we haven’t played the I say-a-line-you-say a-line game for ages!
A couple of days ago I shared a story idea with my daughter and she became excited. She was delighted with a creature and character I had invented and, being an artist, was immediately keen to draw them both in action.
She so loved the idea of my first two characters (a good sign I trust) that she enthusiastically began to look up names for them and several future characters and take notes!
‘They have to mean something Mum and then we can try different languages,’ and she popped along to some online translator which had audio of how the names would sound.
‘Do you like this name?’ Many words were clicked on, and the computer voice sometimes with a charming accent read them for us, and then we’d vote.
Now a writer of ego might have said –‘this is my story’ but she represents my potential readers and so she is very important to listen to.
Can’t tell you too much detail of our conversations, at this stage they are top secret!
Before I knew it my youngest son heard us laughing, haggling over the characters and generally having fun like the old days, and popped in to see what was going on.
Soon, at his insistence, he was involved and mapping the world. There were mountains, forests, and more. My children had become engaged readers keen to take ownership of a creative world in the making.
The story I shared with them had become a collaboration. Our past had become our present but now as my sage daughter noted ‘we are more sophisticated now.’
I created a world, and they began to help me fill it out, and paint it. I felt a connection to two of my readers, or should I say co-storytellers.
I am ready to embark on the journey of this story and take two co-creating travelers with me, although as group leader, they do give me final word on things, after a bit of to and fro.
Not to mention I can work on it when they are at school, in some peace, until they have their next input.