What Are The Elements Of A Good Story?
Part One of Two
Telling good stories are about forming connections. Before film, television, social media – even before books, people have been telling stories. They are a way to preserve culture, share family history and connect with others. Creating good stories now isn’t all that different, we just have more technology to help us.
Storytellers are the keepers of history, culture, tradition and the zeitgeist. The ones we turn to when we want to know more about something – be it in history books, or in publications like Wired and Fast Company, both of which tell stories about what the future will or could look like.
In sitting down to write this – it got me thinking – telling a great story is a lot like creating a great video or taking a great photo. You want each to elicit an emotion or a connection. You want to communicate something of value to your audience.
Being a good story teller may also get you more dates. A recent study covered in The Wall Street Journal found that women found storytellers more attractive and desirable. The article went on to talk about how storytellers (in this case male storytellers) show vulnerability and the ability to connect with others. This translates into being better able to provide and gather resources, qualities that woman apparently find attractive in a mate (hubba hubba!).
Of course the story should have a beginning, middle and end. But just following those strict rules does not a compelling story make. Use bold, beautiful language. Be concise where you need to be, but also use your words to paint a picture and show your listener/reader what you can see in your mind’s eye. Be willing to open yourself up. It feels vulnerable, but after telling your story, people should have a better sense of who you are and what you stand for.
We’ll be back next week for more tips on how to tell a great story. It will be a topic we visit often on this blog…