My NUMBER ONE Storytelling Rule! – BWSS #7 (the last one!)

In the final Baby Walk Story Session, I tell you my #1 rule when it comes to storytelling. Want to know it? Listen, or read the transcript below!

 

Thanks so much for reading and listening! You can find all eight of the Baby Walk Story Sessions audio trainings and transcripts here: yesyesmarsha.com/bwss, and they’re also up on Soundcloud HERE, on iTunes HERE or on stitcher HERE.

Thoughts, on this or ANY of the BWSS? Let me know in the comments below! And if you’d like even more tips, plus stories and secrets that I won’t put on the internet — and (AND!!) my guide for the MAGIC BULLET when it comes to telling captivating stories, then you can join the Yes Yes Family, by popping your details in here:

You rule!

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

 

Transcript

Would you like to know my number one rule when it comes to how to tell excellent and captivating stories? I’m guessing you do.

This is the final, for now, edition of the Baby Walk Story Sessions (so-called because I’m walking around the park with a baby on my back, teaching you about stories).

Were you listening instead of reading, you’d hear yelling in the background. It’s because there are some teenagers who have set light to some of the autumn leaves that are here and they’re kind of kicking around. It’s dark. So if you hear, “Ahh!” it’s because the park is on fire but hopefully that won’t happen!

OK. So: I’ve already told you loads of stuff.

“Ask yourself, ‘Why am I telling this story?’”
“Tell action scenes, not voice over or montage.”
“Answer these questions: What does it look like? How do I feel?”
“The biggest mistake is not putting in emotions.”
“Don’t throw in spoilers.”

I’ve talked about when it’s OK to lie.

The number one rule when it comes to telling stories is:

Always be true to your integrity.

 

Let me give you an example.

For context: One of the rules of storytelling that I’ve hinted at before is, “Don’t have too many extraneous characters.”

That means if your friend Sarah was there the first time something happened, but she wasn’t there the next two times and then she doesn’t really have anything to do with the story, just pretend she was never there.

The reason is, if you think about the movie analogy (that when you’re telling a story, you’re making a movie in someone’s head), if you have an extraneous character who turns up and then doesn’t really do anything, they just kind of become an out of work actor in your listeners’ heads.

Your listener will start thinking, “Well, is that person Sarah going to come back in? What about Sarah? Is Sarah going to be there?”

So it’s easier for us if you just pretend she’s not there. That’s one of the rules and if you want to tell a good story, that’s the thing that you do. HOWEVER:

 

I told a story a few months back about when my uncle Boris died. Right at the end of the story, there’s a scene — of him dying. In real life, my Uncle Andrew was in the room during that moment.

Now, Andrew doesn’t feature in any of the rest of the story. So good storytelling would say I should just pretend Andrew was never there. However, I knew that Andrew was going to hear a recording of the story and I knew that it would feel good to him to be in the story when he heard it.

So when I told the story, I included him. I said that he was there. Why?

Because integrity is my number one rule!

 

If you’re telling a story that feels crappy to you, then you’re not going to tell it well.

Now, for sure, I’ve seen people tell stories in a way that feels good to them because they’re breaking all of the rules. So here’s a caveat:

You need to know what the rules of storytelling are in order to break them.

So I’m not saying completely ignore every single storytelling rule. I’m saying, know why you’re breaking it.

If it’s because  —like with me — it feels bad to you to leave this person out or it feels good to you to leave them in, then that’s cool!

Just know why you’re doing it.

So there you go!

Number one storytelling rule: integrity. Make sure that the story you’re telling feels good to you. Otherwise, we are all going to sense it, and your story will feel bad to us.

Thank you so much for listening today and to all of the Baby Walk Story Sessions that you’ve listened to.

((The teenagers have now put out all of the flames and there’s now a lot of smoke in the park))

If you want more of this kind of silliness, little extra secret things, then join the Yes Yes family. I will throw in my guide for the magic bullet of storytelling, which is emotions and how to use them in stories. You can do that right here:

 

Also if you have any thoughts about the episode, let me know below! Or if you want to share it with anyone, you can do that using one of the round buttons below.

You rule!

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

PS The actual fire department turned up to put out the teenagers’ fire. The teenagers were nowhere to be seen.

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