Help With Story Telling

57 replies
I've realized that my story telling skills could definitely be improved.

Can anyone recommend a good book? (And tell me what I can learn from reading it.)

TIA.
#story #telling
  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    "The Three Little Pigs".

    The story utilizes the literary "Rule of Three". From Wikipedia -
    The "rule of three" is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. From slogans ("Go, fight, win!") to films, many things are structured in threes. Examples include The Three Stooges, Three Little Pigs, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Three Blind Mice.
    A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, and finally released. Similarly, adjectives are often grouped together in threes in order to emphasize an idea.
    The Latin phrase "omne trium perfectum" (everything that comes in threes is perfect, or, every set of three is complete) conveys the same idea as the "rule of three," while also (appropriately) using exactly three words...
    In storytelling in general, authors often create triplets or structures in three parts. In its simplest form, this is merely beginning, middle, and end, from Aristotle's Poetics. Syd Field wrote a popular handbook of screenwriting, in which he touted the advantages of three act structure over the more traditional five act structure used by William Shakespeare and many other famous play-writers.
    More - Rule of three (writing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    • Profile picture of the author webjudge
      Great information . . . I'm in the process of putting together my first project and it involves telling a personal story, which I hear is the best way to go. Your comments are relatively brief but will help me immensely.
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      James Mohr

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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
        Banned
        In terms of copywriting Jonathan you can use storytelling to great effect with an open / close loop effect.

        For example...

        You might introduce a short gripping storyline into the deck of your copy which your readers can relate to. But to keep the readers interest in the rest of your sales copy, to keep them reading whatever is down below you don't give or provide them (your readers) with the whole storyline in one go.

        You write just enough to whet the readers appetite but you don't provide the close to the story, the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle until the end or towards the end of your sales copy. (Near the close).

        So you might in the deck put something along the lines of...

        To find out how John fared after making this decision, continue reading below to find out what happened next...

        This is the open loop.

        You then close the loop towards the bottom of your sales copy with the provision of an outcome to influence the reader into making a decision in your favor, to balance (justify) whatever your desired call to action is.

        People love stories. Fact.

        It's a primal instinct in all of us to use stories which other people can relate to. And used carefully and tactfully, they can assist the reader to hook into the message you want to convey through empathy with the main character portrayed.

        They can be used to great effect to switch off any conscious objections the reader may naturally have towards the offer.

        It's simply a balancing act knowing which strings to pull and where, when to switch on or off parts of the mind to achieve your objective.


        Mark Andrews
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        • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
          Cool. Thanks Mark. : )
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          "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
            Banned
            You're more than welcome Jonathan, my pleasure helping you.

            Kindest regards,


            Mark Andrews
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        • Profile picture of the author ghjhj
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  • Profile picture of the author aandersen
    This book...

    Amazon.com: Story: Substance, Structure, Style...Amazon.com: Story: Substance, Structure, Style...

    ...is so hardcore. What can you learn from it? Like everything... for real. This book seems to be the most common answer to the question you've asked (and for good reason).

    With that said, I totally dig this book...

    Amazon.com: The Art of Dramatic Writing...Amazon.com: The Art of Dramatic Writing...

    This one is like... umm... kind of like the Claude Hopkins of play/screenwriting. Straight up, down and dirty fundamentals. It's a lot shorter than Story, but it's dense as Hell. I'd read it it twice.
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  • Profile picture of the author videolover7
    Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

    I've realized that my story telling skills could definitely be improved.

    Can anyone recommend a good book? (And tell me what I can learn from reading it.)

    TIA.
    Story telling for conversion requires a unique skill set. Your best bet would be to learn it from an accomplished copywriter.

    Troy White offers a product, "Story Selling... The Art & Science of Turning Your Stories Into Wealth" here (not an affiliate link)...

    Story Selling... Troy White Shows You How To Turn Your Stories Into Wealth

    VL
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  • "Story" by Robert McKee.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil AM
    Definitely read some copywriting books on the subject - there's some good suggestions in the posts above - but if you want to learn how to tell a compelling story it never hurts to read some compelling stories.

    So:

    Anything by Ben Elton - I've read 2 of his books (The First Casualty and High Society), and they were both utter tosh, but the man is a rockstar at making you read the next page.

    Anything by Iain Banks (with or without the M) - I've read loads of these and I think the man is a genius. It's the same effect as Ben - you HAVE to read the next page - but the stories themselves are far better written.

    Banks is a master at using pacing and open loops to create a book you simply cannot put down. Elton may well do the same thing, but I was too busy trying desperately (and failing) to stop reading his drivel to notice.
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  • Profile picture of the author taylormarek
    I'll make this simple. Listen to Zig Ziglar, he's a master storyteller.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      Many Thanks Gentlemen. : )

      Have your suggestions stored in my trusty notepad document. And will start “munching” through them. (If there’s more, please contribute.)
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      "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
      Originally Posted by taylormarek View Post

      I'll make this simple. Listen to Zig Ziglar, he's a master storyteller.
      I agree. The best way to become a good storyteller is to study the storytellers. Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Agatha Christy, Truman Capote, Jesus of Nazareth, Ernest Hemingway etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    For storytelling for business, these two books are worth a read:

    The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and...The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and...

    and

    Storytelling: Branding in Practice eBook: Baris...Storytelling: Branding in Practice eBook: Baris...

    For more general story writing, and how to apply fiction techniques to improve non-fiction writing, I found this interesting:

    Stein on Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the...Stein on Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the...

    And lastly this recent course by Daniel Levis is getting a lot of praise (I bought a copy at launch, but rather shamefully am yet to start it):

    Effortless Influence -- How to Master the Art of The Sales Story
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    Andrew Gould

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    • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
      Kurt Vonnegut's 8 rules of creative writing are a good place to start.

      I've found number 5 the most useful for getting readers interested and wondering what's going on. Especially when using second person, present tense.

      The Vonnegut 8:

      1- Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
      2- Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
      3- Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
      4- Every sentence must do one of two things--reveal character or advance the action.
      5- Start as close to the end as possible.
      6- Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them--in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
      7- Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
      8- Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author bloomingrose
    What is your purpose here? Sales copywriting or writing for Kindle? You may use the same process for both.

    Jonny Andrews suggested The Hero's Journey as a guide for fiction.
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  • Profile picture of the author Viramara
    Try "Hooked - Write Fiction that Grabs Reader from Page One and Never Lets Them Go" by Les Edgerton.

    It's a fiction storytelling guide book. But definitely useful.
    As a fiction writer myself, one of my foolproof method is : open your line with conflict. Conflict will grabs curiosity, and people subconsciously "attracted" to conflict, that's the "hooker".

    Pusateri -- I like Vonnegut's no.6! It's almost true to all fictions, and can even be an inspiration to start one. make the thing really worse and see how your protagonist react.
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    Those who have time and search for a better time will lose time (Sufi Proverb)
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  • Profile picture of the author Elain Potter
    "Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe!
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I guess it’s time to roll this old donut out again. One of the best ways to work yourself into story telling mode for sales is with the feel, felt, found formula. Here’s a brief example.

    Who Else Wants To Get Rid Of Pesky Cooties Once And For All?

    From the desk of Itchy Know More…

    Hi, I’m Joe from Kokomo, aka Itchy Know More. Are you tired of having those itchy, scratchy, blood sucking parasites living in your Zoot Suit? Man, do I know how you feel. I felt the same way when I was infested with those nasty little creatures. Always scratching, red blotches all over my sorry hide… people calling me cootie man and giggling behind my back.

    I was at my wits end. I searched high and low for the answer but found no relief. I was about to give up. But then one day these big fluffy clouds parted and the sun came peeking through. Just then a little voice sort of spoke to me out of the heavens and everything was suddenly different. Right then and there I knew relief was at hand.

    Let me tell you what I found

    Then you tell the story of how the underdog had this monster cootie problem and tried and tried to fix it. He was about to give up but then something happened. Ta da! He found the client’s product. It’s nice to paint the poor slob as the underdog because most people relate to the underdog and want him or her to win.

    Of course I’m trying to be cute with the cootie example. But this formula can be tailored to fit almost any product and it’s not hard to write. You don’t have to actually use the words feel, felt, found. There are plenty of other ways to use the empathy approach from the personal (first person) perspective or from a friend or user of the product (third person).

    Anyway, this is one way you can begin to develop your story tellin’ chops. Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author ScottBeckstead
      Thank you for the info, this should help many of us.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brant
        Illusions by Richard Bach.
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        • Profile picture of the author Brant
          Jesus Tales by Romulus Linney
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          Visit me at "A New Domain" digital magazine here!

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          • Profile picture of the author wannabetn
            I read Stephen King's On Writing and it changed my life. It is a fabulous book if you are considering writing fiction. I guess it could also apply to other forms of writing also.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    Read All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin. In my view, it's the definitive guide to storytelling...

    Amazon.com: All Marketers Are Liars: The...Amazon.com: All Marketers Are Liars: The...

    Also, Vin Montello used to give away a really nice report about using stories. I don't know if he still offers it.

    -John
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    One book you may find useful is not so much about how to write a story as it is about what makes a story that will stick with people. Almost any story that goes viral has most, if not all, of the elements discussed in this book (simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and a good story.

    Examples: Jared, the Subway guy (big guy loses hundreds of pounds eating sub sandwiches!); that little kid with the homemade arcade; lots of the myths that Mythbusters has fun with.

    The book is called Made to Stick by Chip Heath.
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  • Profile picture of the author sammib01
    I Love the stuff from Frank Kern he is a great Guy, very funny and has useful Information. (omne trium perfectum) I used the rule of 3 as I often do. It comes naturally to me After years of writing. Story telling is and old form of communication as is music which was used to tell stories of old. The Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptians, Celts, Indians and all others told stories of heros, wars and great happenings or events. People understand this form of communication globally and respond to it even today.

    I find it a universally accepted form of conveying a message and making a point. It works and ist probably always will.

    Anyway Frank sayes use Home town Boy does good, unsung Hero or US against them for your Story line. And keep it factual, Entertaining and emotional and you will get results. He is right. Thanks Frank you are a Buddy and Genius... Mostly a Buddy. ;-))
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  • Profile picture of the author bloomingrose
    I know a lot of you are thinking of this as storytelling for sales copy, but I want to write fiction. One thing I am doing is studying stories and movies that have fascinated me - like Monk - and trying to see why that is. I definitely like strong characters who are very flawed in some ways.

    Plot is the hardest for me. I think there are only basically a few plots, it is remembering them.

    I have had some success by taking Bible stories and rewriting them - all classics. The same with Shakespeare but I don't know that as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
      Originally Posted by bloomingrose View Post

      I know a lot of you are thinking of this as storytelling for sales copy, but I want to write fiction.
      Amazing...you wait until now to say that? I assume you realize this is a copywriting forum.

      Having said that, one more suggestion, this time for fiction writing but useful for copywriters too. It's the classic Hero's Journey, and then the quickie 5-step condensed version.

      How to Create a Plot Outline « This Business of Writing
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      • Profile picture of the author goindeep
        I lean towards story telling as a means of copy writing naturally.

        I get my stories from experiences.

        If its not a story about me, its a story about somone else.

        Works for me. Ive never read any books on it though but I didnt study a few screen writing things back when I wanted to be a script writer.

        Thanks for the book tip.
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  • Profile picture of the author Masterminding
    Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

    I've realized that my story telling skills could definitely be improved.

    Can anyone recommend a good book? (And tell me what I can learn from reading it.)

    TIA.
    Try Kick Ass Copywriting Secrets Of A Marketing Rebel by John Carlton. In there he shares a ton of different story one-two-punches. Some examples:

    1) Star-story-solution: Bankrupt Computer Geek Accidentally Discovers A Way To Quickly Earn $12,000 A Month On The Web...

    2) Put your money where your mouth is: If You Don't Drop 12 Strokes Off Your Next Round Of Golf With These Secrets,,, Then I Will Give You Double Your Money Back

    3) Information ad: Warning! Don't call a plumber until you read this:

    P.S. Used the rule of three just now
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    “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared” – Sun Tzu

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  • Profile picture of the author BrainCopy
    Jay white's emails are a perfect example of story telling-
    which is why he writes auto-responders and launch emails
    for gurus such as:

    Jeff Walker
    Alex Mandossian
    Bob Bly
    Rich Schefren


    By next week I'm going to grab his course "Email Copy Made Easy"
    and study it. I've heard nothing but great things about this man PLUS
    he's on this forum so you can send em' a message.

    - Anthony La Tour
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    • Profile picture of the author SidSkinner
      Not new advice by any means, but to move your story along ask yourself Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, How? and for me the most important of all - What If?
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  • Jonathan, Daniel Levis had some interesting takes on Hemingway and speaking your prospect's language in this blog post:
    I used to love reading The Killers

    Somebody tell Daniel to turn those URLs into permalinks.
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
      Originally Posted by Joe Ditzel View Post

      Jonathan, Daniel Levis had some interesting takes on Hemingway and speaking your prospect's language in this blog post:
      I used to love reading The Killers
      Thanks for linking that, Joe. Hemingway, London, Poe, and even the Brothers Grimm (in the original stories) all seemed to have those storytelling skills of meter, tempo, and using the reader's own imagination.

      Within the basic framework, the stories become whatever the readers want them to be, playing on their deepest fears, ideals of romance, or the feelings they associate with exhilarating vistas and exotic places.

      Everybody is a product of different experiences, so the stories touch each person differently. But since the readers fill in so much of the story themselves, it is almost customized to them, and resonates.

      They'll remember it, which is great for marketing too. The same principles can be seen today in (for example) Makepeace's financial copy and Carline's health copy, in the way they present facts yet leave the exact consequences to the reader's specific situation and imagination.

      Speaking of stories, there is one good story I read long ago that I've been trying to find again - perhaps someone here knows the title? It was about a young child protecting a jungle outpost against invasions of ants. I think it has something about kalahari in it, but it's not "Cry of the Kalahari." It involved some sort of automatic perimeter weapons that eventually run out of ammo, and he is forced to use flaming trenches. It's a great story, rich in visual imagery.
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      • Originally Posted by Steve Hill View Post

        Everybody is a product of different experiences, so the stories touch each person differently. But since the readers fill in so much of the story themselves, it is almost customized to them, and resonates.
        Al Ruddy, one of the producers of "The Godfather," was interviewed recently by Peter Bart on Bart's show "Movie Talk." They shared memories of how hard the movie was to put together and that it almost fell apart many times.

        Bart asked him why "The Godfather" is loved by so many people to this day, a movie they were not even sure would ever get finished. "One, each actor was THE perfect person for their role. More importantly, it's a family movie!" Ruddy said as they both laughed.

        He explained that he thought many people identified with the family dynamics, no matter what culture they are from. For example, he pointed out the scene where Don Corleone is talking to Michael in the garden:

        Michael: What's the matter? What's bothering you? I'll handle it. I told you I can handle it, I'll handle it.
        [the Don rises as if to leave, but changes his mind midway and seats himself closer to Michael]

        Don Corleone: I knew Santino was going to have to go through all this and Fredo... well, Fredo was... But I, I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life, I don't apologize, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. That's my life, I don't apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, something.

        Michael: Another pezzonovante.

        Don Corleone: Well, there wasn't enough time, Michael. There just wasn't enough time.

        Michael: We'll get there, Pop. We'll get there.
        [the Don kisses his son on the forehead]

        Ruddy said, "What parent doesn't want the best for their kids?"

        Albert S. Ruddy - IMDb
        Peter Bart - IMDb
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  • Profile picture of the author vickydz
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    • Profile picture of the author Brian Maroevich
      The Wall Street Journal Sales Letter is a great example of how to tell a story and sell at the same time:
      On a beautiful late spring afternoon, twenty-five years ago, two young men graduated from the same college. They were very much alike, these two young men. Both had been better than average students, both were personable and both -- as young college graduates are -- were filled with ambitious dreams for the future.
      Recently, these men returned to their college for their 25th reunion...


      Just take it from there...

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  • Profile picture of the author DavidAllenNeron
    If you want to get really good at story telling learn hypnosis and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming)

    and I recommend you learn NLP from Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
    and Hypnosis from Milton Erickson.

    It will really open your eyes to the potential language has for working magic

    Freedom is everything, and love is all the rest.
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    • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
      Originally Posted by DavidAllenNeron View Post

      If you want to get really good at story telling learn hypnosis and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming)

      and I recommend you learn NLP from Richard Bandler and John Grinder.
      and Hypnosis from Milton Erickson.

      It will really open your eyes to the potential language has for working magic

      Freedom is everything, and love is all the rest.
      Gonna be tough to learn anything from Erickson. He's been dead since 1980.
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  • Here's some good stuff on storytelling from Pixar:
    The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar

    Here's a few:
    #2: You gotta keep in mind what's interesting to you as an audience, not what's fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

    #4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

    #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

    #11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you'll never share it with anyone.

    #13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it's poison to the audience.

    #14: Why must you tell THIS story? What's the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That's the heart of it.

    #21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can't just write ‘cool'. What would make YOU act that way?

    #22: What's the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chronic IM
    Hello! If you only want to improve your storytelling skills, I recommend you to try the book "Improving your Storytelling" by Doug Lipman. It's kinda like a guide for good storytelling, for leveling up your skills in this field. I hope that helped you in a way or so. Best of luck mate!
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  • Nice one. Here's some good stuff from Lawrence:
    Storytelling Power In Ad Copy

    The Copywriter’s Sweet Revenge
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author WinstonTian
    3 years ago, I bumped into this master storyteller
    at a bar. His face was flushed and he obviously
    looked a little drunk... Then he spat out his drink.

    Obviously, you're going to feel uncomfortable
    sitting beside someone spitting out his drink...

    So I got up my chair and started to shift to a more
    quiet spot... but that was until I realized there was
    something absolutely strange about him.

    It freaking hit me like a hammer in the nuts.

    In fact, that was the reason why...

    [...]

    There you go. A story. It's definitely not hard to
    write a story, because the basic elements of a story
    goes this way:

    - Contrast creates attention, and your readers sit
    up and are absolutely glued into a trance when they
    find something unresolved and out-of-place

    It's like writing normal copy as well.

    First, you build off with a normal situation. Something
    the prospect easily accepts. Something that is
    normal and credible...

    Until something weird crashes in through the window
    and disrupts the whole momentum...

    And then you warp the reader into a completely
    different place... He's sucked into a tornado of inner
    conversations...A place where he seems to take over
    the role of your main character.

    And of course, you maintain that through contrast.

    Plus - My friend John told me there were 3 main
    elements to any kind of story. You see, he's a screen
    writer... He could literally write things that leapt out
    of the screen...

    (That was a mini-story).

    The 3 elements are:
    The introduction context, the development escalating
    to a climax, and then a resolution.

    Variations can be "The Hero's Journey" as documented
    by Joseph Campbell, or various other methods like
    screenwriting via segmenting acts/plot-points.

    By the way, the master storyteller ended up in the
    hospital after something crazy happened there. Want
    to know more about how that ended up in a kick-ass
    tsunami of cash? Grab your copy at...

    Well, those stories weren't real. Just exemplifying.

    Winston Tian
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    Cheers,
    Winston
    The Beginner's Doctor

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  • Profile picture of the author housewarrior
    Johnathan, check out WritersBeat.com. Although my mainest hangout is here on the good ol Warrior Forum, for story telling that's the place to be. For a forum, it reminds me a lot of the WF. There are good folks there.

    When you get ready, submit your short stories to FableShop.net.

    Norm


    Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

    I've realized that my story telling skills could definitely be improved.

    Can anyone recommend a good book? (And tell me what I can learn from reading it.)

    TIA.
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  • Profile picture of the author demipro
    Story Telling is an Art that comes from living stories that are worthy of telling.

    It's not about ramping up some average story, it's about living a great story and then be inspired enough to share it many many times until the words just flow out of your heart every single time.

    I first learned to communicate well enough by reading and listening to a lot of audio till I was able to communicate and inspire others with words. Then you add a great experience to the table and soon you see yourself telling stories like the greatest.

    I believe that story telling is not something you learn, it is something you create. If you have the communication skills to express yourself with a wide range of vocabulary, then a story can be hyped up enough to affect people, but as already mentioned, the real storytelling isn't superficial, because it comes from very deep, it comes from living and experiencing a REAL story and then being able to transform that feelings into words.

    Best wishes,
    Demian

    P.S. I fly when I jump into the unknown
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  • Profile picture of the author shelleyluzaich
    The best way to learn good writing - ANY good writing - is to study what is compelling to you. The next best way is to write something and have an awesome editor chop it to pieces (and I mean that in the nicest way). Then study THAT. Keep writing and keep getting edited. Look and learn. Pretty soon, it will become automatic. Every good writer needs a good editor!
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  • Profile picture of the author sabinavarga
    Great resources in this thread, thanks for sharing!

    I saw a TED talk today by filmmaker Andrew Stanton (Toy Story, WALL-E, Finding Nemo) in which he shares his point of view on what makes a great story. I remembered this thread and thought it was a nice and useful addition.

    "Don't give [the audience] four; give them two plus two.", Andrew Stanton says.

    It's 20 minutes of great tips and tricks on how to capture your audience and on how to get people to care till the end of your account. The speech itself is, I think, a good example of what is preached.

    Hope you'll enjoy it!

    Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    Another useful storytelling book that has been mentioned in this forum before is "The Writer's Journey" by Christopher Vogler.

    Borrowing part of Amazon's summary from the older 2nd edition (it's up to 3rd now):

    "Now in its second edition, The Writer's Journey sets forth archetypes common in what Vogler calls "the hero's journey," the mythic structure that he claims all stories follow. In the book's first section, he lists the different kinds of typological characters who appear in stories. In the second, he discusses the stages of the journey through which the hero generally passes. The final, supplementary portion of the book explains in detail how films like Titanic and The Full Monty follow the patterns he has outlined."

    Some might say Vogler's "mythic structure for writers" is limiting, others might say it is all-encompassing. However, there is no denying that many stories, scripts, and films do fit within the outlined framework of The Hero's Journey, sharing many common elements.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    One more thing.

    Now that we've got all these great references on building stories, what do we do with the stories we build?

    To that end, Seth Godin's book "All Marketers are Liars" is actually about using stories to sell things.

    For example, let's take Tom's of Maine. Tom sells toothpaste, which is a crowded field that is hard to stand out in. But Tom:

    1) found a shared worldview;
    2) framed a story around that view;
    3) made it easy for the story to spread;
    4) created a new market, which he owns.

    So the art of story itself is only part of the overall picture - marketers and copywriters also need to be aware of many other factors that influence how the story will be received, perceived, interpreted, viewed, shared, and spread. This book will help to clarify those factors (as will the previously-mentioned "Made to Stick" by Chip and Dan Heath - I'd recommend reading both).
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
    This is a really fantastic thread - thank you all so much!!
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