Listening to and reading other peoples work has inspired me in a way I didn't think much about. I person who had read my essays before commented that a lot of it seemed like I was rushing through and didn't go into enough detail. As though each paragraph was like a story in itself. I listened but didn't know what to do with the information.
After listening to Chelsea Handlers books I see what he means. She adds detail to what I call a small story and stretches it out to quite a performance. I can do that.
As I think about this I remember and old queen telling us about an erotic story he was writing for a local gay magazine in Kansas City. It was the 80's and the magazines photocopied and sometimes had no advertisers. He told us his current piece started out with a couple of guys grabassing around in a warehouse and their supervisor comes in...
The next month I found the magazine and looked up his article. The first line actually said "A couple of guys were grabassing in the warehouse". That could have been the story and that's what I wanted to read! Alas. A lost opportunity for a real story.
I looked over some of my essays and see the same thing. I also thought back to some things that happened and realize they can be full fledged essays. Like getting arrested, watching a friend freak out when seeing some dwarves shopping... etc.
I think that's really what a good story teller is. Besides conveying a story in a way that can inspire emotion in others also being able to see a story others tend to gloss over or not see as important.