In this course, we’ve learned humans have always told stories as stated, just in different ways. Through writing, pictures, voice, and with different reasons. Not only do we love telling fictional stories, we also love to share many of our own stories. I know personally whenever something interesting happens in my day I jump to tell whoever I can. Not only do we love to tell stories though, we love to listen to them. Why else would film be such a high paying industry? By using storytelling, we can capture our audience’s attention.
(One of the first forms of storytelling was cave paintings)
However, just saying a story isn’t enough to really grab someone’s attention. You can’t just vomit out a story and expect someone to get it. You need to be able to write it well. There are different ways you can write a story well but this course has shown us a few ways we can keep the writing clear and concise.
Grammar, punctuation, and spelling are obvious but some key ways to tell a story. If Harry Potter was filled with errors and spelling mistakes it would not have done as well as it did. People need to make sure they keep their errors down to a minimum. Nothing turns people off like unprofessional writing.
Tone can change the entirety of the story. If you’re trying to tell a comedic story but keeping using a dark tone, it won’t go over right, and same for vice versa. In this course we learn a technique that can help us change the tone of our stories. It’s called passive and active voice. You need to be able to use both of them to get the tone you want. Active voice is stating something specifically while passive tends to take a bit longer to get there. For example “The man cooked apple pie,” is active while “the apple pie was cooked by the man,” would be more passive. By picking and choosing when to use each voice will help create your desired tone.
Deciding what information is important is also a key point of storytelling. Just filling your audience with unnecessary information will easily bore them. This course has given us another tool to use to help us determine how to portray our information. This tool is called the inverted triangle and is used a lot by reporters or journalists. The key point is that in the first paragraph, use the most important information. For example if you were writing a news article about a 26 year old man in Germany killing a woman behind her car, your first paragraph would stated a man killed a woman. That is the most important information. Then, in the second paragraph, you’d add the additional information. As you add more paragraphs you use the less important details.
While there are lots of tools and suggestions for storytelling, remember you are in charge. You are the one that decides what your story needs but if your main goal is to get an audience then don’t try to stay away from the tips all together. Pick and use what your story needs.