10 Key Ingredients in Creating and Telling A Story
Transcript of 10 Key Ingredients in Creating and Telling A Story
10 Key Ingredients
Google Hangout On Air Tuesday 17th of June 2014 20:00 – 21:00 Romanian Time
Alex Glod Storyteller
Let me tell you
Who’s in the house?
Disclaimers This presentation will outline 10 Key Ingredients for creating and telling stories
They do not represent the absolute truth and they are not the only ingredients used in storytelling
The objective of this presentation is to introduce you to a basic understanding of how stories can be made and told
Use this presentation as a source of inspiration, rather than a space for debate
Let’s start with
What is the point of my story? What are these
people going to leave with after they hear it? What is
the thing that will remain in their heads?
This is a vital question to consider when crafting
your story, more vital than whether to choose a village or a city setting for your story.
If you build your story well around the point,
people will be hooked on your idea.
You can name it or you can let people fill in the
blank for you and that is when you empower them, just
that it takes a lot of practice to achieve that.
Put some work in the context or in the various
contexts in which everything takes place.
The environment is key and it’s not just for you to
show off your vocabulary and ability to describe, it is
there to mirror the characters and to connect with the
places in which your audience also lives.
I know you can dream of so many beautiful
landscapes, but what’s the use of a 20 km waterfall if no
one can create that image in their heads and relate to
it as well?
Enter the setting and ask “What is this place?”
There has to be someone or something that
anyone can relate to in your story. It doesn’t matter if it’s
a male or a female, a human or an animal, a star or a
rock, a river or a mountain.
Just make sure you craft a personality and
character around it.
You can choose from one’s life history,
upbringing, the family one grew up in, people one spent
time with, ideas he or she agreed with, emotions which
one experienced, accents one used, clothes and colors
one wore, physical features or even similarities to certain
In every good story, there is something that
happens to the main characters or there is a big
change in the setting that occurs and to which the
characters are simple witnesses.
Regardless of the case, make sure to introduce a
process of change and to point out how it is occurring,
as well as its implications.
You can use the classic before and after
reference, but you can also approach it differently –
stages of change, elements of change, parallel
processes of evolution, beginning with the change from
a different time in the past etc.
Like a Photoshop designer, craft several layers in
which you place your story. It might seem stupid to put
so much work into dividing and diversifying your story
across several layers, but trust me when I say that it
could turn out to be your coup de grace.
After carefully exposing your point in so many
different characters and settings, or by taking your
audiences to different places and by later bringing
them all together, you might have a hard time trying to
leave the stage. You might start a new trend of
addiction – Story Addiction…
Paint beautiful images in our minds. Not just of the
natural landscapes or of the high-class bars in which the
story takes place. Paint the image of the characters as
They don’t have to be symmetrical, make sure
that it all fits perfectly in the whole mix.
Surely you will have bad guys and scary settings,
make sure to not be sloppy about it. Just because you
might not agree with a character, don’t denigrate him.
Paint him or her as visually as possible.
Oh and also convey the sounds as accurately as
Storytelling should not be confused with narration
of facts. Sadly, that is what most people choose to do
when they tell a story – excess narration and little
Dialogue is the platform for building characters,
settings, intrigue and emotions.
Carefully craft the content of the dialogue. Make
it more than just the usual Hello! How are you?
Through dialogue, you can transmit many points
and share words of wisdom, thus making the story a
fruitful listening experience.
Don’t bless us with lots of characters, details of
the setting or delightful metaphors, if you don’t maintain
sufficient emotion to illustrate it.
Don’t speak of pain and suffering, express pain
Don’t talk of the beautiful settings, impersonate
the character witnessing it in awe for the first time. Don’t
talk about what the stepmother thought of her, speak in
the same tone and with the same hate and envy.
Connect with the emotions that accompany your
story and transpose them using all of your authenticity…
I’m not talking about sailing anchors of course,
but of elements which have the same function – to keep
the audience in place, as well as bringing the audience
Either build an intriguing situation, which seems to
have no end to keep people hooked, or impersonate
the character in a very familiar way.
Ask the audience to empathize with the
character or ask them how it felt when they
encountered the same challenges.
Make them a part of your story, or even better,
build the story with them…
Everyone enjoys a good laugh and humor should
have a special place in your story, regardless of whether
it tackles sensitive issues or not.
In case of emotional stories, it is easy to send
people through a negative emotional whirlpool so a bit
of humor might wake people up.
Or in the case of scientific or complex stories,
humor can make them easier to follow. Remember,
listening to a story must be an enjoyable experience
since you are hoping that this valuable story will be told
to other people afterwards…
So, what do you think?
Let me tell you
Our next Hangout Tuesday, 1st of July 20:00 – 21:00
with me again!
+4 0742 334 458
Have a great evening!