Storytelling in 4 Easy Steps

I love it when I find a video that helps me learn. On Jane Friedman’s post the other day, she listed her favorite online video’s. This took me to four short video’s made by Ira Glass on the building blocks of a great story.

The first one, shown above, leads to the other three on YouTube. In all, you’ll spend approximately 18 minutes of your time hearing his thoughts on storytelling. If you’re like me you learn best when you hear and read material. To really make the lesson stick I also need to be in motion (take notes). That makes me an audio-visual-kinesthetic learner. What can I say, I need the extra help.

My new index card of notes is now up on my physical bulletin board, covering up the last few inches of the cream diamond pattern.

In abbreviated notes, here are the four easy steps to storytelling. Each one corresponds to a video segment:

  1. Anecdote leads to sequence of actions that throw out questions that leads to interesting moments of reflection.  
  2. Abandon crap. Failure is a big part of success. 
  3. Develop good taste. You can tell when your stuff isn’t as good as it can be or it’s missing that special thing. Everyone goes through this process.
  4. Don’t imitate, be your own person. Be interested in the story, not your ego. Interact with others.
That was easy, right? Do you have any favorite online video’s that you’d like to share? Perhaps I can make a list and share it next month. 


Categories: Ira Glass, Jane Friedman, steps to storytelling, storytelling, Writing

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