jueves, 9 de octubre de 2008

Tell stories!

Effective Storytelling
by Barry McWilliams

Characteristics of a good story:

- A single theme, clearly defined
- A well developed plot
- Style: vivid word pictures, pleasing sounds and rhythm
- Characterization
- Faithful to source
- Dramatic appeal
- Appropriateness to listeners
Baker and Greene, Storytelling: Art and Technique, pp. 28


- Read the story several times, first for pleasure, then with concentration.
- Analyze its appeal, the word pictures you want your listeners to see, and the mood you wish to create.
- Research its background and cultural meanings.
- Live with your story until the characters and setting become as real to you as people and places you know.
- Visualize it! Imagine sounds, tastes, scents, colors. Only when you see the story vividly yourself can you make your audience see it!

Learn the story as a whole rather than in fragments. Master, and then simplify, its structure to a simple outline of scenes. Don't try to memorize it, though you should always know your first and last lines by heart!.

* Map out the story line: The Beginning, which sets the stage and introduces the characters and conflict; the Body, in which the conflict builds up to the Climax; and the Resolution of the conflict. Observe how the action starts, how it accelerates, repetitions in actions and how and where the transitions occur. If simplifying or adapting a story, do not alter the essential story line.

* Absorb the style of the story: To retain the original flavor and vigor, learn the characteristic phrases which recur throughout the story. Observe the sentence structure, phrases, unusual words and expressions.

A Storytellers skills include: emphasis, repetition, transition, pause and proportion.

Once you finish the story - stop! Don't ramble on. Leave their thoughts lingering over it. Don't feel you have to explain everything, or tie together all loose ends. Let them go away thinking about what has been said, and drawing their own meaning from it!

Finally...and most importantly: The more you practice- the more skilled you will become. Don't be afraid to try different methods. Be creative. As you do learn from your experiences. Expect to flop, the best of us do. Don't be overly self- conscious. Have fun and share the joy of story.

Tell stories!, Tell stories!! Tell stories!!!

© 1998 Barry McWilliams

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