How to design stories worth telling
Everyone has a story to tell. I’ve never had a doubt about that.
Aspired storytellers – writers, film makers, marketers, journalists, and many more of us – are constantly under the pressure to produce “stories” faster and more often. It’s often hard to slow down and think about the craft of storytelling.
One of my new year resolutions for 2014 is to be much more mindful about storytelling. So I had signed up for a 4-week course on Story Design for Non-Fiction by Adam and Marc. The course cleverly fit into the full-time working schedule with an intimate group of 17 students across the world and diverse disciplines sharing the passion on stories. The collaborative nature of the group added so much to the course, which itself allowed the interaction amongst everyone.
For those who are looking for the fast lane to become a storyteller, this is probably not for you. This course will give you plenty to think about. It will show you various paths you can take to find your own voice, and it will show you the way you can experiment and prototype your stories. And most importantly, it’ll make you think about why you’re telling stories.
My key takeaways on story design -
Mind the Gap
Don’t create a master piece and hang it on the wall with fences blocking people from it. Instead, create a fantastic world and open the door to let people come in to play. Involve your audience and let them participate in your stories. Listen to their feedback and comments. This will not only help you tell better and better stories but it will also get more get more people behind your stories and spread its impact.
Make Them Care
Always think about your audience. How would they react to this paragraph? How would they feel in this scene? Why should they give a damn about this character? Every story is an experience created to trigger some kind of reaction. What makes someone stick to the end of story, and what would they take away from it? One of my favourite directors Andrew Stanton puts this best:
Find Your Purpose
Start with why, always. Our desire to tell stories because we want to connect with each other through shared values, meanings and beliefs, so tell stories that represent yours.
BONUS – Recommended Reading
The next Story Design for Non-Fictions is already sold-out, but you can still sign up for future course here.
What matters to you as a storyteller?