Be the Story – Craft the Story – Tell the Story


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Be a Story

That can’t be about me … or is it?

Actually, it is. If you are telling a story it is about you.

But I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about someone else.

Still, it doesn’t matter. Stories are stories. We craft the story. We tell the story. We are the story. Our ideas and images come from somewhere. That somewhere is inside of us.

The stories we tell, tell us about ourselves. What we like or don’t like. What we would like to be or not to be. What we like to do or not do.

Yep, a bit repetitive but true. The truth is, we can’t hide. We can’t even behind one of those folktales or fairy tales we like to tell. Like everything else, our quirks and foibles show up here too.

This whole thing is making me feel a piece of plastic wrap instead of meat and bones.

OK, so we’re all a bit transparent. But hey, when it comes to you, you are the expert. So be you. Live it. Show it. Tell it. Artfully flaunt it. It’s the stuff your great stories are made of.

When you craft a story, you become the story. When you tell the story, be the story.  Because you are the best at being you, be you in your story. When you craft all those quirky, zany, eccentric, devious or outrageous characters, parts of them are you. Even the crazy or I never want to be seen with them, types people in your life become a part of your stories.

Craft a Story

When crafting a personal story or a folktale, remember you are the story.

Next, pick a story you are crafting or a folktale you love.

Take a few minutes and cast yourself in the leading role or another character’s role.
The stage is set …
The curtains raise …

Who are you?
Where are you?
Where is happening around you?
What is your story of why you are doing what you are doing?
How did you get to where you are in the story?

Who else in your story?
What do they think about you?
Where are you going?
What mischief, romance or quest are they on?
What do you do or hope to become?
What are you doing that you never thought you could do?
How is the ending of your story different from the beginning?

Tell a Story

So . . . What’s your story?

Grab some delighted listeners. Tell your story. Experience the ease in which the images and words of your story grow.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

Story vs. Facts


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The dissemination of intellectual or knowledge-based information is often achieved through educational lectures and professional seminars.  Word-impacted power-point presentations fill overhead screens accompanied by handouts with accompanying empty black lines flanking images of screen shots. Thus offering audience members an additional way to record another’s idea of what they think is truly important. Opinion poles, bar graphs, and test results are frequent flyers in the realm of evidence-based documentation or presentations. This type of official data also provides audience members with justifiable proof and unquestionable credibility about what they have to say and why they should be paid.

These authoritatively utilized, zealously prescribed and frequently clung to methods of information dumping are heralded by acclaimed experts. Yep, duty-bound experts in any given field come fully armed and loaded with their ability to blast us with yet another round of impressively, important material. Information we’re privileged enough to listen to and even more privileged to pay for.

OK, I get it. Informational programs and seminars can be helpful and informative. Learning new information and being exposed to fresh ideas can also be illuminating, practical and even inspirational. Still, they can also be easily forgotten, yawn-provokingly dull, and stoically lifeless. But what about story? A word, a concept and an art form often lost in an impressively, impersonal jungle of justifiably, unwavering facts and stats.

Now back to story, with its emotionally engaging and creatively inspiring conquests of intrigue, suspense, and adventure. Stories are juicy, zany, troublesome, romantic, cataclysmic, informational, cautionary and heartwarming. They captivate our attention and tug at our heartstrings. Stories remind us of who we are and inspire us to be more than we thought we could be. They remind us of what is important and how our lives impact others. They challenge us. They inspire us. They incite action. They are intrical to who we are and to the foundation of our lives.

For now, let’s power down our powerpoints and put down our writing utensils. Let’s nestle in, leaving behind the concerns of the day. Let’s forget the past and focus on the present. Through the power of story, let’s discover more of who we are and the resources we have to meet the challenges which lie ahead. Let’s find out who or what changed over the course of story’s journey. Let’s experience the intrigue of what happened, how it happened and how it all came to be. Let’s move into action and gain inspiration from the protagonist or others who have gone before us. Let’s celebrate the victory of story’s success.

Great, so where do we go from here?

What is a problem or challenge does your audience needs to solve?

Who is the main character? (a worker, manager, client, patron …)

What obstacles have to be overcome? Pick a few of the key ones. It’s ok, even preferable if the protagonist doesn’t meet all of them. This is just life and part of what makes a story great!

What happens at the end?

How do they get there?

Who or what has changed?

What’s the most important point of your story?

Once you’ve formulated your story, tell it to a few supportive listeners or a storytelling coach. The job of supportive listeners is to listen; not to critique. Although, you might ask them what they liked about it or if they had any questions.

Facts, stats, and figures have their place. Yet stories engage us. They are easily remembered. They compel us to tell them again and again. For a story well-told is always the beginning; never the end.

Until next time . . . Let your Storyographer’s journey continue!

 

 

 

 

 

Automobile Story Starters


legs-434918_1280This year’s, annual Auto-Mechanical Gas Guzzler’s Explo, features the latest in green automotive design and short-circuits in legislated, auto-emission standards. Participants from around the globe come to expand their knowledge base, spark their curiosity or succumb to their boss’s ultimatums. The percussion marketing of highly polished, gas guzzling cars, fuel the images of our mind’s internal dialogue:

“Too expensive.”
“Divorce court vs. motorized euphoria; weighing the options.”
“I know I can do it! At sixty plus hours of overtime each week, within 10 years, it will be mine!”
“Ignition key to dating ease. . . “

A car is a car. This is until the images story make this four-wheeled, prefabricated creation more than a standard, off-the-assembly line motorized vehicle. Emotion, meaning, change and drama transform this image into a story. Now rolling off the pre-assembled memory-lined banks of our mind’s eye, this car becomes an animated piece, part or aspect of our daily lives. For some it may become a career path while for others a fatality. No matter what its course, our car’s talk makes our story’s run; thus turning our prefabricated, motorized transportation into more than just a car.

One example of an image’s story-ification process is the ever dreaded, ill-fated, driver’s education road test. The very one which currently separates us from the constricted confines of parent approved, chauffeur services from the world of driver-independent, motorized freedom. The big day arrives. Masterfully fastening our seat belts and turning the key, reality hits. The reality of having locked ourselves inside a small metallic,
four-wheeled, accelerating, motorized structure with a complete stranger. One who has been exclusively state appointed and solely invested with the power to welcome us into the sacred realm of independent drivers; or to condemn us into retaking the dreaded, ill-fated road test yet again. At this point, the simple image of a car becomes the vividly vibrant foundation of this story’s unfolding.

Research and informational presentations deal primarily with facts. Story and story-based communication encompasses images, emotion and change. The place where life is as it is, change happens and life as it was, will never again be the same.

So . . . what is the story behind your first car?

What was your first car like?

Was it your dream car, filled with the tantalizing aroma of new car smell? The very one now adding a much needed jump start to your social life and a unexpected, fueled-spark of ignition to your love life.

. . . OR . . .

Was it a state of the arts jalopy, beater or rattletrap? The one where rubberized floor-mats strategically covered the rust-eaten-holes in your car’s floorboards; separating you from road spray’s loose debris and soggy splash backs.

What ever image you choose, fill it with emotion, suspense and intrigue. Then pile in and enjoy the ride into your next story’s adventurous unfolding.

Expect taken from Break Out Storytelling: A Leap off the Page Guide to Telling a Story by Grace Wolbrink.

Until next time . . . Let your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

Story – Equals Meaning


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It hits. An idea emerges. Our bain cells salivate. Our creativity surges. Our imaginations soar.

OK, it’s been emphasized a million times over; the images of story guide and direct listeners to the location, the characters, and the adventures of its journey. Storytelling, being an interactive art form, connects its listeners and storytellers with the vivid imagery of story’s unfolding.

Specializing in the recording and the compartmentalization of information, our minds detail the stories and the ideas of our live’s fated and ill-fated escapades.  We use words to describe them. We use feelings to intensify them. Words, combined with emotions, add meaning and life to the images they describe.

So, what is the image of your idea or story . . . ?

An ostrich-legged cantaloupe spewing sunflower seeds from the top of an inchworm . . .

A family returns to the smoldering carcass of what they once called home . . .

A multi-legged, roving machine gobbles landfill rubbish, before transforming it into clean air, home heating units . . .

The image, or focal point, becomes the backdrop for the advancing parade of characters and their escapades. Story breathes reality and life to our ideas.

Let the images of an idea or story be your guide. See them walk, hear them talk and fly when trouble hits. Emerse your ideas and images with meaning; the reasons why; the justification who, what or how it happened; the excuses for their existence or the story of their reality. Fill them with emotion. Envision the possibilities. Then experience their reality.

Our story’s talk ignites the creativity which spurs the images of our ideas and stories into action.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

Story – Creative Lawlessness


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Through the power of story, political figureheads, tax regulators, law enforcers, socially perceived hierarchy, culturally-defined norms, bosses, supervisors, parental units and rigamortis impact the course of our life experiences. Story artists throughout the centuries have creatively conspired to orchestrate, direct, lead, dominate, choreograph and otherwise differentiate between the lawfully lawful and the law abiding lawlessness of story. Through the power of story cannibalism moves beyond its perceived cultural preferences, war-lording chiefs and individual menu planners. Questing, never thought they would make it, heroes’ embark on tantalizing bean-stalking, mirror-talking, troll-defying and glass-shoeing adventures. Acrobats death defying feats; athletes epic-sagas; noodle-heads’ rampaging insolence and individuals’ hilarious, gut-hugging escapades frequently challenge previously perceived, story-inspired, social norms and morays.

Scientific discoveries and inventors’ inventions become real through the image of story’s powerful impact. Story; a place where the world becomes round and the planet’s sun takes center stage. A place where jet propelled engines take flight and motorized vehicles storm roadways. A place where towered-connected cellular devises interface human connections. Story; the place where we go beyond the boundaries of what we thought we could do or what we thought was possible.

Stepping into your story’s story-line, experience and embrace the lawfully lawlessness and compelling intrigue of story’s creative inspirations. Step beyond the perceived boundaries of someone else’s words or where you think this story should go. Lawfully respect your audience’s values while lawlessly unleashing the uniqueness of your ideas, your inspiring voice and your breathlessly-intriguing, story-inspirations. Inspire, experience and enrich story’s powerfully, magnetic journey.

Take a quick review:

What first sparked your interest in this story?
What is the most important part or aspect of this story to you?
What do you love most about this story?
What else is possible?

Now reconnect with the images of your story’s story.

Would the story spark more or further dynamically impact audience members if it started at the end or ended in at the beginning?

What might happen if the story was told from another character’s voice or perspective?

Is the main character as strong, sassy, silly, introspective or insane as they appear or don’t appear to be?

Did it really happen this way . . . or maybe, just maybe . . . it happened; yet another way.

So dive, drive, fly, squeak, spurt, float, bob or belly-flop into your next story’s adventure. Remember, it’s your story to tell, in only the way you can. Enjoy, experience and soar into the journey of your story’s images. Boldly break into the lawfully lawlessness of story and the unprecedented uniqueness of your creative inspiration.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

Discover Story’s Opportunity


 

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Opportunity brings with it the alluring scent of expansion. Untapped adventures and uncharted territories. Opportunity calls to those who listen.

A story brings opportunity. Opportunity for the teller. Opportunity for its characters. Opportunity for its listeners. Beyond the bounds of what they thought they could be, do or say.

Story’s characters reflect ourselves and the people in our lives. Characters are people and creatures living in a world of quirk-erly familiar to our own. Stereotyping characters makes more real and memorable. This is because we already know them. We’ve already met them in books, movies and plays.

Other characters, not quite so stereotypical, add a sense of mystery, suspense and wonderment. Delving into your character’s innocent, mischievous or quirky personality traits make what is happening more real.

Grab a folktale you love or an original story idea. Seize the opportunity to make it scream. Make it roar. Make it insanely funny. Make it earth quakingly terrifying. Or even heart throbbing inspirational.

Identify and I\invite your story’s characters into your inner circle. Spend time with them. Take them out to dinner, a park or the races. Talk to them. Listen.  Dress them up. Encourage them.  Listen to them some more. Then send them out into an opportunity of their lifetime.

Make your story one which challenges, engages and allows audience members to experience its journey. Ham it, can it, ban it, expand it or rubber band it. Whatever you do, take the opportunity to add a touch of you in making your story uniquely you.

Stories invite listeners into a world or a reality as vivid as their day’s adventures. An experience which is completely unforgettable, non-duplicatable, and unique. One which challenges, ignites. expands or propels them into discovering opportunities for themselves.

Opportunities which open all of us to infinite possibilities.
Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin.

 

 

 

Minotaur’s a-Maz-ing Labyrinth Part 11


 

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For Athens and Crete dwellers alike, love and politics leave deceitful trails of revenge. Since our last visit to Crete, Minotaur is now adjusted to his father’s under the palace, housing accommodations as well as his annual supply of fresh, young Athenian blood.  This naturally places Minotaur at the bottom of the King’s to-do list. However, this is not the case for the erupting monarchy and outraged citizens of Athens.

Unfortunately for the folks in Athens, King Minos’s only fully human son, Androgeus (as opposed to his step-son Minotaur) entered the Panathenian games. Due to a freakish act of nature, or in this case, a humankind’s product of nature, he returned home in a coffin. Outraged, King Minos of Crete sentenced seven of Athens most beautiful maidens and young men to serve as an additional food source to his other, half bull, half man son, Minotaur. An extremely tasteless act as deemed by the Athenians.

Since the local oracle offered no assistance Theseus, son of King Aegeus and ruler of Athens, offers a hand. Setting up a private consultation with dad, Theseus assures pop he has the Minotaur situation well under control. So confident of his victorious return, he vows to replace the black funeral sails of their departure with the white sails of victory upon their return. Pop agrees. Theseus and the other thirteen sacrificial youth, soon to become dinner mates, set sail. Theseus, not knowing what to do or what might be done, figures he will wing it when he gets there.

Upon his fated or ill-fated arrival, Ariadne, King Minos’s daughter, proclaims love at first sight. Capitalizing on his good fortune, Theseus asks for her assistance. His plan becomes clear. Equipped a ball of yarn, and Ariadne’s explicit instructions, he ties one end to the opening of the labyrinth. Leading the way with the ball of yarn in hand, he and his other thirteen dinner mates enter the non-postal residence of Minotaur. Trailing the yarn behind him, his search ends in the untimely death of Minotaur. With the ball of yarn still in hand, retracing his steps, he and his former dinner mates emerge victorious.

While the tragedy of this story and its a-mazing and unwary characters continues, for now we end with the elopement of Theseus and Ariadne.

Minotaur’s a-Mazing-Labyrinth Part l

Until next time . . . Let your Storyographer’s journey begin!