Saturday, February 25, 2012

Storytelling (Part 1)

Ira Glass is the host, creator and executive producer of NPR's This American Life.  He started in radio at age 19.  In his time at NPR he has worked nearly every news job there.  Today his show is the most downloaded  podcast in all of America. He is a storytelling genius.

Watching this video I was struck by several things.
  1. The way we learned it is all wrong.  
  2. What is more disturbing the way we teach it is all wrong...that was an upsetting revelation watching the video.
  3. Any type of writing starts with the action, the antidote that builds and weaves the reader into the tale.  The story is a sequence of events. The events in and of themselves build suspense through the movement.  The reader feels like they are going somewhere. I love this thought.  Intrinsically I knew this but it was reaffirming to hear it said. 
  4. Raise questions and answer them as the story is being shaped. I had never thought of using questions.  It is part of the belief that you must trust your readers to extract meaning from the text without you spoon feeding it to them.
  5. The moment of reflection is the point of the story where everything is pulled together and you know why the story was shared. It is the reason we are reading the story. It is why we are here, why the story is here and why it is shared. 
  6. I love that the trick of a good story is the balance of action and reflection.  I have a ton of action in my story...I need to think of reflection and see where it fits.
What struck you as interesting or brought up a problem with your own writing? 

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