02.25.14

Adding Intriguing and Inspiring New Dimensions to the Art of Storytelling

When you look at the art of storytelling as simply a set of ideas, plots or lessons conveyed through words, the overall prospect of communicating with your audience will be quite limited.

Although words are quite possibly the most accurate, widely used and easily understood means of communication between human beings, the modern storyteller needs to add a whole lot more to his/her repertoire than just the ability of writing down a few words on a piece of paper.

Polymaths Are Back

To be a successful storyteller these days, you need to use as many means as possible to convey your message – or parts of it at a time – if you want to keep your audience interested and avoid boring presentations and misperceived ideas.

While in the past century, an author, novelist or any other type of storyteller, simply needed to have something to write, today the potential is much vaster.

Polymaths – people associated with multiple areas of expertise – have been more and more in the spotlight showing just how fun it can be to use combinations of text, images, music and other forms of expression, together in harmony for telling a single story.

Redefining the Puzzle

The art of storytelling is constantly being enriched by new forms of communication and expression, some of which most people rarely even think of. These can include anything from rhymes and music to computer generated animations or 3D printing.

Nowadays, the sky is the limit – quite literally – and depending on the story you’d like to convey, you can even create your own unique form of art either by coming up with something completely original or using a mix of all the methods currently available both through technological and traditional means.

The most important thing to keep track of, however, is the puzzle you’re creating through the use of multiple storytelling techniques. Each of these methods will hold a different piece of the puzzle which has to fit in harmoniously to introduce and convey the story as clearly and presentably as possible.

The Fun Approach

Some of the most successful storytellers and polymaths out there claim that the whole secret to their success came from experimenting with their storytelling ideas just “for the fun of it”.

Although you may intend to become profitable from this endeavor, it’s important to remember that ultimately, everyone who has ever sought out a story has, in some way or form, done it to obtain a happier, better state of being. In order to inspire or help people to attain that goal, a joyful, positive approach is often essential and always welcome.

02.25.14

How to Select the Best Inspiration Sources for Mastering the Art of Storytelling

Very few people realize that, when narrating a new story, they basically give birth to a whole new world where their thoughts, memories and realizations are the only creative force capable of defining anything from landscapes and events to heroes or foes.

Despite having the power to create a whole new universe at your fingertips, it can often be difficult to get the inspiration necessary for even filling half of your first blank page. A few of the following ideas, however, may be able to help you polish your skills and use the art of storytelling to your advantage.

Stories Passed Down Through Generations

One of the most obvious sources of good stories is your own family heritage. You may recall when you were little, and your parents or grandparents told you about past events from their youth or recalled stories passed down through the generation by their parents’ ancestors.

Depending on how rich your family’s heritage may be, you could find quite a stash of good stories to choose from and alter to your heart’s content, or you may simply use a few concepts and simple events as the seeds of your new creative pursuits.

Art, Music and Intuitive Thinking

If you have an artistic mindset, you’ve probably already tried using abstract art, paintings or classical music to get inspired before writing a story.

One thing not everyone thinks of, however, is that sound and color tones, as well as motifs present in paintings and sculptures or styles and tendencies that have influenced the songs you’re listening to can often trigger unique symbolic meanings that you will intuitively turn into a story played out in your mind, sometimes without even being aware of it.

One Idea at a Time…

A more structured method for those with more affinity toward logical and step-by-step story planning is to write down simple ideas you can later fashion into a story.

There are countless approaches you can use, starting with defining the most important events in your story with a quick bullet list, to creating a detailed table with your characters’ names and their most essential tendencies and traits.

Soon enough, you’ll have yourself an initial “skeleton” that you can dress with narrative and descriptive elements, as well as dialogues and plot twists to create an engaging and intricate story.

Although mastering the art of storytelling can rarely be achieved overnight, you will quickly find that some of these methods can work quite effectively to give you an edge on coming up with a fair story that you can work on polishing later on.

02.25.14

5 Simple Ways of Using the Art of Storytelling as a Sales Tool

Very few people are aware of the full potential that the art of storytelling has in helping marketers to be more convincing, relatable and overall successful when trying to sell anything from toothpaste to the next generation voice recognition software.

Following are a few of the most essential and helpful tips on how to refine your storytelling skills and get better results with potential leads and buyers.

Be Authentic

The first and most important rule when typing up a story with the purpose of selling something is to be as authentic as possible in conveying your message and intention.

While many salespeople and marketers believe people to be malleable and easy to manipulate, it won’t take long for even the slowest readers to catch on when there is a significant difference between the stories you’re telling and the product you’re selling.

The Benefit of Dynamic Storytelling

Shocking, unexpected and intriguing twists always have and always will make for an attractive story. While keeping track of the lessons, messages and approaches you wish to convey through your story, always try to use your imagination in making characters and events as life-like, active and dynamic as possible.

This lack of “control” and predictability will not only keep your readers interested, but will also open up new possibilities you may not even have thought of when you first started writing.

Use the Human Element to Your Advantage

The art of storytelling is never complete without the human factor. Emotions, human mistakes, common clichés and relatable events may bite a slight chunk out of your story’s authenticity and originality, but it may keep people more interested and open to suggestion than you’d expect.

Get Inspiration from Real Life Stories

If you’re not a very imaginative person or you simply have writer’s block, the surest way to get a few ideas for a new story is to listen to others.

Take a look around on social media, review sites or message boards where people have talked about their experience with a service or product such as the one you’re promoting, and try to come up with something remotely similar, but remember to add your own unique spin to it.

Make Full Use of Your Spontaneity

Being spontaneous may seem like simple minded advice, but it is often the easiest way to use the art of storytelling to your advantage. Instead of planning out all the details, try this: sit down and just start writing down the first story ideas that come to mind about the topic at hand.

Even if it’s something that makes no sense at first, the intuitive part of your brain will soon kick in, and the story will appear extremely elaborate.

02.25.14

Mastering the Use of Context and Content in the Art of Storytelling

As the dawn of the age of information has long passed, there have been about as many approaches to improving the art of storytelling as there are stories, with each author striving to paint his or her own unique perspectives on the canvas of dynamic narrative content.

A growing number of writers and storytellers, however, have started diving deeper into discussions about the role of context in the creation of new story ideas, many considering that the old approach of creating complex characters and personalities may have far less attention-grabbing than the idea of altering the “regular Joe” character with unique, dynamic developments.

Ordinary Lives and Unusual Situations

Whether you’re writing children stories or you need a catchy idea for getting people to buy your new product, introducing characters with no apparent complex traits can be an excellent way of turning a few heads.

Of course, no one likes a boring story, so what can you do to make things more interesting? The seemingly simple answer is to change the context and combine events that will trigger unexpected situations to spark the reader’s – and sometimes even the narrator’s – attention.

Common ways of doing this may include:

• Creating “out of this world” events as triggers to induce an unexpected reaction from one or more characters in your story;

• Placing practical and “real” premises in contrast with completely unexpected or improbable events geared towards obtaining a surprising or shocking effect;

• Manufacturing a nearly unsolvable problem that will challenge your readers’ intellectual abilities to the very end;

• Creating events that allow for multiple interpretations – such as synchronicity/providence vs. coincidences – while leaving it up to the reader to fill in the blanks regarding the meaning and lessons of the story.

Context as a Character Building Tool

Probably one of the greatest incentives for mastering the art of storytelling is to use it as a tool for conveying lessons and meaningful, often life changing advice to your readers. Although the creation of a unique and complex character to exemplify such lessons may be used successfully, simply adding various context elements to the story’s content can often have the same desired effect.

For instance, while a story that emphasizes how your character has overcome certain hardships in life for motivating the reader to consider new problem solving alternatives, creating a more colorful context and showing how various circumstances have redefined the character’s personality and approach in time can better exemplify how a larger number of people may relate to the same lessons.

Contextual elements such as time, space, altered observation points, event reinterpretation and character development changes can be some of the most powerful tools you can use to create majestic stories and make them as catchy as possible.