The 10 Principles of Storytelling

I recently finished a great little book called How to tell your story so the world listens by Bobette Buster.

It’s a short, yet affecting book, looking at how we can all tell our stories better, and Bobette reduces the art of storytelling to 10 basic principles. Here are a few of them below…

1. Tell your story as If you’re telling it to a friend.

I think this is so important. Writing something so that it can be easily understood is a fundamental. You can use all the long words you like, but if your audience doesn’t get the message, you’ve failed.

2. Set the GPS

Even sci-fi has an element of reality and sets its story in a relevant context. Think time, place and context

4. Juxtapose

You want to wake your audience up and keep them interested, so putting two opposing ideas next to each other will hopefully achieve that.

5. Gleaming detail

Pick up a copy of a real-life stories magazine, such as Chat, and pay close attention to the writing. They’ll always include something small that really stands out. Like the song that was playing at a crucial moment, an item of clothing, or a a particular smell. It’s that detail that truly captures the essence of a story.

7. Be vulnerable: dare to share the emotion of your story

This comes back to the belief angle. Readers have to tap into your story and that means how you feel. Don’t be scared to ‘fess up.

10. Let go

Don’t try to overthink. If you allow your story to end where it feels it should, you’re almost definitely right. Let your audience do some thinking and wondering – it’ll make them remember your story even more.

It’s a great book and it certainly got me thinking. Definitely worth getting hold of.

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