Storytelling has a long tradition. For as long as we’ve had language, we’ve used it to tell stories–fictional accounts of magical occurrences, historical embellishments, and moral tales all make up our stories. Long ago, stories were used to instill moral values or to remind younger generations of their ancestry and culture. Today, the oral tradition of storytelling is not as prevalent. But there are modern day equivalents equally as wonderful and fascinating.
Here are some examples of modern day storytellers…
A writer’s job is to tell stories. Sadly, the public doesn’t always listen.
Some writers, however, captivate the minds and imaginations of millions. Stephen King. J.K. Rowling. But what do these writers do differently from the rest of us? How is it that they get our attention when so many others don’t?
It could be that first and foremost they are excellent storytellers. Writing beautiful sentences is one thing, but captivating our imaginations with a complex plot and well thought out characters is another.
So what can writers teach you about storytelling?
Writers have a lot to teach us about the mechanics of storytelling. They can teach us about things like plot, suspense (that’s a big one), character development, and back story. If you’re considering storytelling as one of your hobbies, consider writing as your main mode.
If you’re interested in oral storytelling (perhaps telling your children stories before bedtime) then consider reading several written stories first to get a feel for plot. There’s no doubt it will help you with your oral storytelling.
Artists are a different breed of storytellers. Some people might not even consider them storytellers at all since they don’t typically use words to express themselves. But I disagree! Artists tell stories with their paintings, drawings, and photographs. While the term artist is somewhat broad, it could be taken to mean everything from filmmakers to dancers to chefs.
So what can artists teach you about storytelling?
Stories can be told a variety of ways. Are you a cook who wants to tell a story with your food? Are you a painter who wants to tell a story with your canvasses? Then that’s okay. Just because you aren’t a writer or a speaker, it doesn’t mean you can’t tell a story.
Artists remind us that whatever our hobby might be, storytelling can be a part of it. That’s the great thing about storytelling–it’s one of our most flexible hobbies.
You know the kind. Everyone at the party is sitting around, bored out of their minds. That is, until Bob walks in. Bob lights up the room with his stories about that wild & crazy thing he did last night, and the night before, and the…you get the picture.
If you don’t have a close friend who’s a great storyteller, surely you’ve met someone before. While it may get annoying after awhile, there’s a reason Bob is so popular. Why? He’s a great storyteller.
So what can your friends teach you about storytelling?
Friends are great embellisher’s. This doesn’t mean you have to begin making up stories to get attention from people–though that is what some people do.
Here’s what you can learn from your storyteller friends:
-How to use enthusiasm to get people’s attention
-Things like tone of voice, gesturing, and facial expression
-The importance of having confidence in your stories
And there are more. While writers and artists are great, sometimes your friends can clue you in as to how to tell a great story.
Are you a great storyteller? Could the art of storytelling help you with your hobby?