Storying is one of the most powerful ways to communicate. And it can be so much fun. Whether you are communicating the helpfulness of your brand’s product or the essence of an idea, the art of telling a story is crucial. The skill can be used to drive home a concept in a memorable way. Today we will put out some basic ways to get started on both getting ideas for your story and putting them together for further development later.
We have mentioned this before. But it is worthwhile mentioning it again. You and your team should have an idea ‘pool’ in a place accessible to all on the team and safe for any great ideas you get. Even in passing, we come up with brilliant thoughts. When we rest and play often bring out the most significant concepts actually. Jot them down for later reflection. Or brainstorm key points.
When you get a story idea that communicates well, jot it down. You may want to ’sit’ on it or put it on the back burner to see later if it still has traction but at least you saved it.
Every story will have a structure to it. The biggest and most general will be the “Acts” in it. Pretty much every story has 3 acts: a beginning, middle, end. Or a setting the stage, the problem, and it’s resolution. This is a very basic way of describing it but for now let’s keep it simple.
An example of an act structure could be something like:
The next breakdown of your story is going to be scenes and ‘beats’.
Scenes you probably understand. Beats can be used in a couple ways in film and story telling. We are looking at them as changes in character attitudes or changes of direction in the plot line generally.
We are actually not talking about music here either when we say ‘beats’. Although there is a similarity between the beats and rhythm in music and what are called the ‘beats’ of a story.
In our epic story above about a parent washing clothes, dad/mom is in the house probably feeling ok. Then a beat in the story changes that mood to uncertainty. “Oh No! Joey got dirty again! What do I do now?!!?” The Beat then changes as he/she spots the detergent sitting on the shelf. It even sparkles in the sunlight. Mood changes. We change scenes now to folding clothes together in true bliss. Life could not be better!
Another way of doing this part of the breakdown of your narrative or storyline would be to fill in the blank or chart it out with an app like MindNode in a basic flow.
An example could be “Our setting is _____. Characters in story are ______. This is happening. Then this occurs. After that appears ________. A change in mood happens here because __________. Suddenly _________. Because of that _________. Everything is back to normal”
If you can get the essence of your story down to a simple plot line like that you will then be able to review objectively. It will tell you whether or not the story flows. You might see what is unnecessary. And you can build it out from there. Kind of like a good book outline.
More on story later…. but start today in gathering ideas that you love and that will communicate better than ever.