Lately I’ve been working on a project recording people’s personal stories and editing them for publication. While creating these transformations, I have gained a new appreciation for the difference between a work told by a storyteller to a live audience and something written by an author for the reading public. Storytellers who want to write their stories down run into so many problems because some elements of the storyteller’s art just don’t translate to written form. Since the ability to tell a story is one of the key items in every writer’s toolbox, we all tend to slip into storyteller tricks. Watch out for this slippage; often it doesn’t work. Continue reading “6 Key Differences Between Storytelling and Writing”
In Melissa Bowersock’s article, Conflict: The Heart of Storytelling, she wrote, “Storytelling is as old as human DNA. As old as language. As old as Joe Neanderthal sitting around the fire at the mouth of his cave, telling the group what happened that day. ‘Me went hunting, threw rock at rabbit, killed it, brought it back. Good day. Ug.'”
As old as language. There are many theories about how language developed. As recently as April 2015, researchers at MIT said language developed rapidly. Human speech wasn’t a series of mumbles and grunts. Rather, humans combined two kinds of communication, one from birds and the other from monkeys. Continue reading “Storytelling: Possibly a Key Part of Human Brain Development”
Storytelling is as old as human DNA. As old as language. As old as Joe Neanderthal sitting around the fire at the mouth of his cave, telling the group what happened that day.
“Me went hunting, threw rock at rabbit, killed it, brought it back. Good day. Ug.”
Okay, that’s a story, as far as it goes. Short, sweet, direct. But what’s missing? How might Joe have ramped up the tension in his story? How might he have grabbed the interest of his fellows, and pulled them in emotionally so they were invested in the outcome? Conflict.
How about this: Continue reading “Conflict: The Heart of Storytelling”
I’m going to depart from my usual topics this month…no musings about why non-fiction gets a bad rap or cosy tutorials to demystify geekiness. I’m going to tell you about my week instead. Partly because it has been utterly extraordinary and partly because I relearned something about storytelling.
It all started with my pal Valerie. Occasionally she’ll get an idea in her head and nobody will be able to budge it. She’ll know it’s nuts but she has to do it anyway. She also knows exactly how to work my strings to get me giving it a go too. Sometimes it’s a relatively trivial idea, like ‘let’s go ziplining,’ or ‘camping in the snow will be fun!’ On this occasion however the mad idea spread wider than one terrified and/or frozen Carolyn. Continue reading “An Unlikely Roadie”