Beginning Storytelling

"Storytelling Struggles Solved Simply"

"Storytelling Struggles Solved Simply"

What are the most common problems of beginning storytellers? Nearly every struggling beginner has urgent concerns like these:

  1. Practicing is hard. I put it off, then get more and more desperate as my performance date approaches.
  2. How do I remember the story? What if I forget in the middle? How can I memorize?
  3. What if they don’t listen to me? Aren’t there some tricks I can learn, to guarantee their attention?
  4. For me, the only word that follows “performance” is “anxiety.” My mouth is dry, my palms are sweaty, my voice is unsteady. Instead of telling this story, couldn’t I just die?

I believe that all these common storytelling preoccupations stem, at least in part, from the same causes! In fact, they can all be cured (and, even more easily, prevented) quite simply. 

I Object! The Voice of a Storytelling Dissenter

I Object! The Voice of a Storytelling Dissenter

I searched in Google recently for “elements of a story.” The many results were dominated by topics like:

  • The 3 parts of a story;
  • The 4 elements of a story;
  • The 5 steps of a plot;
  • The 7 (or the 8 or the 12 or the 17) stages of the Hero’s Journey.

I read quite a few of these articles (and even a few books on Amazon) about the parts of finished stories. Interestingly, they all seemed to assume that knowledge of these parts is essential to making a story.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that these lists of story elements are useless. But I object to the idea that simply knowing them helps us create stories. In fact, they can easily get in the way.