How “an adventurer” tells stories

6 Jun 2009 by Jim Gibbons, No Comments »

Lately, I’ve been on a big Conan (the Cimmerian or barbarian, not the late night host) kick and stumbled across this quote from Conan creator Robert E. Howard featured in an essay about the author bookending a graphic novel collection I was reading. I think it applies to this blog, so here it is:

Conan: An Adventurer.

Conan: An Adventurer.

“As for Conan’s eventual fate—frankly, I can’t predict it. In writing these yarns I’ve always felt less as creating them than as if I were simply chronicling his adventures as he told them to me. That’s why they skip about so much, without following a regular order. The average adventurer, telling tales of a wild life at random, seldom follows any ordered plan, but narrates episodes widely separated by space and years, as they occur to him.”
-Robert E. Howard, March 10, 1936, critiquing an article entitled “A Probable Outline of Conan’s Career” in a letter to P. Schuyler Miller.

After reading this quote, it dawned on me that most of my creative struggle with this blog has been based on trying to keep an element of chronology to my stories and posts. Thanks to Howard, I’ve realized that as an average adventurer—a title I think applies to most who attend summer camp—I need not worry about relating my yarns in order, but should simply make sure they get told.

That said, I’ll be telling tales more frequently here, but they won’t be in any order. I’ll just let them flow and explain the “when” during the story itself. What would Conan do if he had a blog? He’d do it this way!

This guy has some stories to tell, to be sure!

This guy has some stories to tell, to be sure!

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