We Are All Storytellers – Rules Of Storytelling

In an earlier article we talked about how everyone is a natural born storyteller.

This article will help outline some guidelines to follow when creating a story to help your writing.

  1. You admire a character for failing more than their successes.
  2. You should keep in mind what is interesting to the audience, and not what is fun as a writer.
  3. Theme is important. You won’t be able to find a theme until the story is almost over.
  4. Focus yourself and simplify your characters by combining them.
  5. What is your character good and comfortable with? What are they bad and challenged with?
  6. Find your ending before your middle. Think of a maze. You know where it starts and ends, you then work on the middle.
  7. Finish something. Write a complete first draft even if it’s not perfect. You will have many opportunities to improve the next story.
  8. Writers block? Make a list of things that would never happen next. This can open doors as to things that can happen next.
  9. Analyze stories you like. What about them made you enjoy them? Recognize it and use it in your stories.
  10. Get ideas out of your head and onto something. Share often and early.
  11. Don’t get stuck with the obvious. Let things surprise you.
  12. Give your characters strong point of views. Passive characters are likeable to you, but lack connection with an audience.
  13. Think “Why” you are telling this story. What passion drives you to tell this story?
  14. Put yourself in the characters shoes, how would you feel and react? Let the honesty drive the narrative.
  15. Stack the odds against your character. Set them up to fail. Why should we root for this character to prevail?
  16. Something not working? Let it go and come back to it later.
  17. Let go of perfection. Storytelling is about testing ideas, not perfecting them.
  18. Characters who happen to fall into trouble is great, however letting them off the hook without working through it is not.
  19. Think of a movie you dislike. How would you rearrange it to make it enjoyable?
  20. What’s the TL;DR / moral of your story? If  you know that, you can experiment with getting from the start to end.

Finally, remember the following forumla for creating a story:

Once upton a time there was __. Every day, __. One day __. Because of that, __. Because of that, __. Until finally __. And ever since that day __.