An Author and Storyteller
Hello! Thank you for checking out my blog! I'm J. Alleyn Winchester, an imaginative storyteller and aspiring author. You might be wondering why I make a distinction between the two. If we define them individually, one tells a story while the other writes a document, typically a book. While I have written a few manuscripts to completion, I have been telling stories since I could talk.
I love stories. Not just any tale though. My father believed that stories were a powerful medium to teach, and it wasn't until I grew up that I realized storytelling is an actual learning style! I have always been able to hold stories in my memory, while note-taking and lectures tended to fade over time. The best way I've come to describe my experience as a reader was The Neverending Story film, where Bastian was completely sucked into the book he was holding and lived through Atreyu's adventure. To me, stories are living worlds, and they have been some of my greatest friends over the years.
Just as my late father, I think that stories have the potential to reach people in profound ways. The Hero's Journey is not just a form of entertainment. We follow someone else's experience that we may or may not connect with personally. If we do, it can help us cope with struggles we have been facing and give us strength to surmount them as the hero does. If we do not, it gives us a personal perspective we never would have known before, and we can learn to understand someone that has walked this path. I do not care for empty stories. They should be vibrant and alive, just as we are!
Look at how many stories have touched our lives in print and film over the millennia. One Thousand and One Nights and Scheherazade's clever skill tells us of how profound a story can be, changing the heart and mind of a cruel king and saving the lives of innumerable women from execution. That was a perspective from ancient times! Today, we have this thing called fandom where people come together to talk about their favorite stories and how they touched their lives. TV shows with epic tales fill streaming sites because people want to relive those moments, and studies are showing that this is a great thing! The stories don't even have to be fantasy. The Office, Friends, Scrubs, and many other daily life stories have changed us forever by moving our hearts just as profoundly as The Lord of the Rings and Supernatural. Don't forget video games either because they have both destroyed our feelings and inspired passions in millions of lives around the world! I am partial to the Final Fantasy, Sengoku Basara, Digimon, and Devil May Cry franchises myself, and don't get me started on Okami...
Why do I call myself a storyteller then? From the first spark of inspiration, a story becomes a unique entity to me. Only I know them inside my mind though. I want people to know the stories of the people and history these worlds hold. Over the years, I have ranted people's ears off about some of these worlds just so they can know they exist because I want their stories told. Just as an historian or archaeologist pushes to discover the secrets of our past, I follow my characters through their journeys not just as a writer, but a reader as well. I am just as excited to see where their path leads, but I enjoy the side trips along the way as well. That is a story, after all: a journey to a destination.
Now, this brings me to why I call myself an author. In this world, humans must produce something to make a living or at least provide for themselves somehow. Since I started working in high school, I have failed to find a job that I could truly apply myself and enjoy. I have worked in retail, administration, and even customer service support. I wanted to find a job that helped others, since my real passion would have to be on my own time and dime. I didn't want to invest in a career that I would just abandon because I hated it, which was why I dropped out of college twice. Sadly, nothing I have looked into met that desire, and I came to the understanding that the only vocation that would satisfy my need was an author.
Being an author does not limit me to just novels. I think that stories can be shared on a variety of platforms, especially in this era of technology. There are so many avenues to travel as well: paper, digital, audio, visual, and interactive! While my biggest experience is in writing physical books with spiral notebooks and typewriters, I have made the transition to digitally writing some of my works. During a brief time at the Art Institute, I learned short format script writing, and I discovered how fun it was! Currently, I am seeking out how to create my own audio books and visual novels, which is an exciting endeavor I can't wait to begin.
I could go on and on for paragraphs about my methods and inspirations, but this is a blog. I can dedicate whole posts to those in time. Again, I want to thank you for checking out my page, and I hope that you come back to read my musings and thoughts to come. Until next post, be blessed, friends. -J