This week is National Storytelling week in the UK – the seventeenth since it was conceived at the turn of the millennium. Storytelling is at the root of many art forms: we wouldn’t have books, films or television drama without it. Even the news is told in terms of ‘stories’, as we try and make sense of our world with narratives. Here are some tips to becoming a great storyteller – which in turn can only be good for your writing.
“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
― Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works
Reading storybooks with young children is something that most parents and grandparents do. But storytelling is a little different, as the tale is more tailored to the storyteller and their own unique style. Telling stories is a way of passing on family history between generations -the story could be about your own childhood. Or you can make up or adapt stories to personalise and make them more relevant to your listeners. But what if you want to tell stories to a larger audience, for example at a school, or a festival?
Here are some guidelines to help you become an expert storyteller, gathered from information on the Society for Storytelling’s resources for National Storytelling Week. Visit their website for more details.
“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
1. Run through the story – essentially ‘what happens’. Be clear about the mechanics of the narrative.
2. Identify a main image, visualise a picture of something that stands out to you. It is your pathway to the visual world of your story.
3. Explore that picture, and focus on the details. Get the picture clear in your head. As you tell the story, it is as if you are watching a film, and describing what you see to others.
4. Choose a few other dramatic moments and turning points in the story, and visualise them.
5. Practise telling the story – to yourself, to your cactus, to your cat. You’ll only learn how to tell it effectively by actually telling it.
6. Try it out on someone else in a casual way – perhaps just going through the main events without ‘performing it’ as such.
7. Try it out a few more times in a relaxed setting, and then go for it with a larger audience!
8. Repeat the process again and again – learning where you need to slow down, speed up, add more details, take them away – or change parts altogether.
And then try another story. Storytelling aloud in this way can also be a great way of finding out what really works with an audience, and helping you write better stories.
Do share your storytelling stories with us – and any tips and tricks you’ve learned along the way!
It’s that time again! We’ve gathered together 13 writing competitions (lucky for some) to enter before Easter. It’s April 14th this year, in case you were wondering. As ever, we wish you all the best of luck, and look forward to hearing all about your winning entries…
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In the early moments of the interview, Le Batard asked Manfred whether he knew prior to the recent sale to the group fronted by Bruce Sherman and Jeter whether the new owners planned to slash payroll. After some prodding (and Le Batard’s saying that the commissioner was lying), Manfred answered, We do not get involved in operating-level decisions in chicago white sox jersers the ownership approval process.
We did not have chicago cubs jersers player-specific cleveland indians jersers plans from the Miami Marlins or any other team that has been in the ownership process. Those are decisions that the individual owners make, and they do not have to be cleared by us or approved by us. … Those are local decisions that really are not part of the approval process. Those are decisions that the individual owners make, and they do not have to be cleared with us or approved chicago white sox jersers by us.
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But some of that may not be true
Here’s a key excerpt from a must-read Barry Jackson piece in the Miami Herald:
A source directly involved in the Marlins sales process, after hearing the Le Batard interview, said, miami marlins jersers via text: Commissioner said was not aware of [Jeter] plan to slash payroll. Absolutely not true. They request and receive the operating plan from all bidders.
Project Wolverine [the name for Jeter’s plan] called on his group to reduce payroll to $85 million. This was vetted and approved by MLB prior to approval by MLB. Every [Jeter] investor and non investor has the Wolverine financial plan of slashing payroll to $85 million. Widely circulated.
First off, Project Wolverine is ludicrously self-important and sinister-sounding, as budget strategies go. That’s the name of a secret NSA laboratory deep under the Caballo Mountains in New Mexico, not a financial schematic. Do better, Jeets. Anyhow, there’s enough careful phrasing in Manfred’s comments (operating-level decisions, ‘Player X’ or ‘Player Y’) to give him some plausible deniability. However, the idea that he didn’t know about plans to engage in yet another demo job by Marlins owners strains credulity.
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