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Storytelling: From Concept to Delivery, Learn How to Tell Stories That Make Positive Impact in The World
I would like to start my article with a brilliant quote by Seth Godin –
Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories, you tell.
In our new world, many questions are rising about the future of marketing, new business models, lifestyle activities, and the ability to make money and enjoy life as it is. Oh, also, there are more and more questions about how to embrace our inborn potential, so we can use all our talents and skills to improve our new reality and positively impact the world. Seems like a lot?
Probably, but we all must find the best way to adapt ourselves to new lifestyles and adapt the business to the new reality. And we have so many tools that can help us in this transition.
Harvard Business Publishing Education started researching this topic in 2020, suggesting challenging traditional ideas and searching for new ways to adapt your business to the new reality. But we have already overcome the pandemic and are faced with new challenges that we could not even things about back there two years ago.
Watching everything happening in the world lately might be a bit scary, but the truth is that the new world order change brings enormous opportunities for growth and prosperity. With more than 15 years of experience, I can say that one of the essential skills to embrace to survive in the new world is the art of storytelling.
So since my blog is an inspirational destination for digital entrepreneurs and creative freelancers looking to expand their minds and improve their exceptional skills, I would be happy to share my experience of embasing the art of storytelling and my understanding of the art of creativity.
The art of storytelling is difficult to quantify, but you notice it when you see it. You read a passage of a tale that makes your arm hairs stand on end, your heart race, and your blood tingle, and of course, you want to be part of it.
Indeed, writers appear to have certain storytelling magic and understanding using the symbols of creativity —but anyone can learn these art secrets. This guide highlights the storytelling tactics that make readers cry, laugh, gasp, and stay up past their bedtimes, from story structures to style advice. So before heading towards the critical aspects of storytelling, let’s find out what storytelling for influence is.
What Exactly Is Storytelling?
The definition of storytelling depends on who you ask. A sociologist will tell you that it is humanity’s way of retaining identity and history; an anthropologist will tell you that it separates man from the animal kingdom.
Storytelling twists language into a real narrative to generate rich, believable experiences. Storytellers do this by weaving together plot and character, resulting in stories that serve as metaphors for the human experience. In other words, storytellers don’t just relay facts; they use words so the listener or reader can immerse themselves in the story as if they were there in person.
So whom will we ask first, what is the definition of storytelling? Let us ask the brightest talents that introduced storytelling to the world, and I am not talking about the Instagram or TikTok storytellers (I’ll get back to that later) but the big names in history.
In this well-researched article by mirror.co.uk, you can discover a great list of the top 50 storytellers of all time, such as Shakespeare and Dickens, as well as Kevin Spacey. Everyone significantly impacted history, and there is much to learn from them. But you are here for some subjective and personal choice, so I would extend this list with 10 of my favorite storytellers I look up to.
10 Of My Favorite Storytellers That I Look Up To
Richard Branson (business, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle)
Richard is an entrepreneur, creator, billionaire, and adventurer. Highly recommend subscribing to all of his social media, he uses Linked In as his main communication channel with his audience.
If your life is one long success story, it won’t make for a good read.
Christopher Nolan (filmmaker, and director)
A legendary filmmaker, and an exceptional storyteller. Nolan Known for his Hollywood blockbusters with complex storytelling tactics always challenges his audience with phenomenal, futuristic creative ideas.
Kellie Gerardi (science communicator, future astronaut)
She is a well-known aerospace professional and a popular science communicator. She is a Director of The Explorers Club and so much more. Kelly uses her creative approach to social media, using platforms TikTok and Instagram to promote space exploration and encourage women in STEM. Her book “Not Necessarily Rocket Science: A Beginner’s Guide To Life in the Space Age” made a revolution in science communication.
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Tim Dodd (YouTuber, space, and science communicator)
Bringing space down to Earth for everyday people
Tim knows how to talk about space exploration and lift up those who are obsessed with space and the future of our planet. He is often a guest at a Starbase interviewing Elon Musk.
Matt Diggity (SEO, digital marketing, YouTuber)
Matt shares tips on truly working SEO techniques. He conducts endless SEO experiments and shares accurate test results with his audience.
Elements of Storytelling
Now you know who you must follow to get your daily dose of creative inspiration. As you can see in my list, I have several people in the space industry; I look upon them because they learned how to chatter and engage about very complicated topics. That is not as easy as it might seem. So here are elements of storytelling I’ve learned from them.
The backbone of storytelling is the plot. You can have a beautiful prose style and passionately relatable characters, but the reader will be confused if your story lacks a logical flow of events. To be realistic, an account must follow an accurate set of plot points. Remember that your characters create your plot, not the other way around.
The characters that populate your work are utterly crucial to storytelling. Your story’s events are defined by your characters’ feelings, thoughts, and actions. Although some plot elements are beyond their control, your characters’ reactions to disputes make a story worthwhile.
Writers must deem how the reader will interact with the characters in their stories. The reader will be much more engrossed in the story of the protagonists having depth, understandable ambitions, and relatable flaws.
The setting, in its most uncomplicated form basic, is the location of your story, but it can also serve many other purposes. Your characters’ relationship with their setting influences the story’s plot, pace, conflict, and themes. Your surroundings will define your feelings in some way.
The setting also has an impact on the dialogue and action. An argument at the dinner table will (most likely) sound very different from an argument in a hotel; a fistfight in a parking lot will differ from a fistfight in the office.
POV specifies who is communicating with the reader and from what perspective. The story’s narrator impacts how the narrative unfolds and what information the reader gets access to.
Writers can select one of these points of view:
- The storyteller is the protagonist, and we see the story from their point of view;
- First Person (“I”): The narrator is a close friend of the protagonist, and we see the story through their eyes;
- Second Person (“You”): The narrator imposes the reader as the story’s protagonist;
- Third Person (“He/She/They”): The story is told from the perspective of one or more protagonists.
Wording & Style
Style, one of the more intangible aspects of storytelling, refers to how an author tells their story. Kindness exists at both the line and global levels. At the line level, fashion is influenced by the author’s word choice, sentence structure, syntax, and observational details.
At the most general level, style is influenced by the story’s pacing, how information is presented, the length of scenes and chapters, and the author’s literary influences.
The storytelling mentioned above elements culminates in a theme. In its most basic form, the article answers the question, “What is the story about?” The story’s plot, conflicts, and characters revolve around specific abstract issues. For example, Romeo and Juliet revolve around love, family, and fate. In other words, the theme describes the central ideas explored in a piece of writing. And, because conflict drives a story, theme and conflict are inextricably linked.
The storyteller’s job is not to resolve those themes; instead, they should be debatable, open-ended, and thought-provoking. Two readers may have vastly different but equally valid interpretations of the same theme. Instead, the storyteller’s job is to present clear flawed characters, conflicts, and easily navigable plots; the theme frequently emerges on its own.
There is conflict in every story. Conflict is the lifeblood of storytelling: without it, your characters will not grow or complete their journey. Conflict can appear in a variety of ways. The protagonist desires something but must overcome certain obstacles to obtain it, or they desire something, but an antagonist stands in their way.
The path to conflict resolution is never easy, but that makes excellent stories! Great stories involve the protagonist’s journeys to obtain what they require. The way to conflict resolution is never easy, but that is what makes great stories!
Some Storytelling Techniques
Here are a few tried-and-tested techniques for creating compelling stories.
The author creates backgrounds for certain relationships and conflicts in the main narrative by including pertinent historical information.
Three storytelling techniques—ethos, pathos, and logos—that are frequently connected to rhetoric are equally applicable to the art of storytelling. Ethos in creative writing refers to the author’s authority as a storyteller. Ethos is based on the author’s reputation and capacity to convey information truthfully and without inadvertently inflicting harm on the reader.
- Deus Ex Machina
It is a plot device in which the event outside the protagonist’s control affects the narrative and often resolves the issue. The author chooses to obstruct the protagonist’s personal development rather than allowing them agency.
- Literary Tools
Literary devices are ways to give a deep text meaning. To elevate their writing beyond a literal interpretation, writers employ literary devices such as connection, contrast, and tone.
- In Media Res
The plot device in media res, or “in the middle of things,” places the story’s beginning in the middle instead of the face. The author immediately immerses the reader in the story’s conflict by doing this. Finally, the provoking event and character biographies are given.
For writers of today, mythology offers a rich source of story ideas. Any collection of tales, folktales, and epics that are specific to one civilization and meant to convey that culture’s religious and moral values are called mythology.
Ancient myth is frequently mentioned in both classic and modern literature. This is due to three factors: People often read mythology as stories. Second, mythology enables readers to construct pertinent cultural backgrounds.
The term “foreshadowing” describes passages in a novel that hint at forthcoming action. The story’s climax is typically indicated when the narrator foreshadows, although any upcoming plot element is fair game.
Pathos is an emotional appeal to the reader. The power of pathos is essential to storytelling because the reading experience depends heavily on the reader’s empathy. Writers of stories create pathos by creating likable characters.
A MacGuffin explains the motivations of a character. Every character pursues a specific goal, whether a tangible object or an intangible idea. The Holy Grail, and the Rings of Power, are examples of MacGuffins.
- Red Herrings
A red herring is used to divert the audience in rhetoric and literature. Red herrings are most frequently used in mystery books because the author wants the reader to wait until the end to figure out the mystery.
A quibble is a tiny technicality that frequently significantly settles the plot. Imagine that your protagonist places a wager with a partner and loses. They lose their lives as a result of the chance. By arguing that the bet must adhere to the exact verbal agreement they made, your protagonist may be able to save their own life. By using this technicality, your protagonist can avoid death altogether.
- Rhetorical Questions
A question that is asked merely to ask it—as opposed to asking for an answer—is rhetorical. To put it another way, that’s a provocative question. Frequently, rhetorical inquiries are unanswerable. The narrator can ask rhetorical questions, but they often originate from one of the characters.
The Art of Storytelling: Conclusion
The art of storytelling is indeed the best way to provoke sensations. If you are on your way to writing another story, use the techniques mentioned in this guide to write a story that stands out.