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November 22, 2013

Telling Good Stories

Everybody seems to love a good story. Not everyone, unfortunately, can tell a good story.

Every story has a captivating opening, a few memorable details and...

...a satisfying conclusion.

But that is only one way of looking at the absolute basics of storytelling.

With this blog, we'll be looking at someone who makes a good living by telling stories.

Filmmaker Andrew Stanton ("Toy Story," "WALL-E") shares what he knows about storytelling -- starting at the end and working back to the beginning.

You can see his Ted Talk here - http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_stanton_the_clues_to_a_great_story.html.

Here's a short summary: the first principle is to make others care about your story. Help us care about your situation or your characters. The second principle is to take your listeners with you. Make us part of the story. Welcome every possible person.

The third principle is to be intentional. Give your characters depth and purpose. Give us as readers a stake in the ultimate outcome.

The fourth principle is to let your listeners like you and relate to you and your challenges.

The final principle is to leave your audience cheered and encouraged. Make them glad they heard your story.

Take a look at this graphic which sums up this approach to storytelling.


Let me know what stories have the most impact on your life.

Take time to take delight in your discoveries and be sure to send me any stories or styles of writing that interest you, and be sure to let me know what it is about language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.


Posted by mmorf at November 22, 2013 09:48 PM


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