“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
- Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
by Marcus Geduld
Just as with any skill, practice, practice, practice. Unfortunately, that means telling stories now, while you’re still bad at it. Getting good at anything means trying, failing, learning from failure, and trying again. Go ahead and fail, but keep a journal of your failures, analyzing as best you can why you failed and what you can do better next time. Earn your successes. Realize that you’ll never be good at storytelling. Not you in particular. Anybody! Updike, Fitzgerald, Shakespeare … — our greatest storytellers — all knew that the only worthwhile method was to keep trying and failing, trying and failing. Tips will help (see below), but please keep this paragraph always in the forefront of your mind.
What happens next?
The number-one ingredient for a story is the tension of an unsolved mystery. Stories set up a questions and delay answering them. The simplest example is a question in the first sentence with the answer delayed until the second sentence:
"You know who Bob’s favorite singer is? Meatloaf!"
That’s not a very interesting story, I know, but compare it to this:
"Bob’s favorite singer is Meatloaf."
The first version evokes (just a little) tension. The second doesn’t.
Now imagine telling the first version but walking out of the room after the first sentence:
"You know who Bob’s favorite singer is? —– "
That agony is what you should strive for. Because the most basic human urge that makes us want to listen to stories is the need to know what happens next.
Curiosity is the juggernaut that drives storytelling.
If you immediately tell us what happens next — or if there is no next ("Bob’s favorite singer is Meatloaf") — then there’s no hook.
Practice this simple question-delay-answer structure over and over, in all your communications. I mean in emails, text-messages, Quora posts, and so on. You’re not going to become a good storyteller by learning how to go into storytellingmode. Instead, turn yourself into someone who tells stories all the time. May stories a natural part of the way you communicate.
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Contender For Father Of The Year: Dad Rents Out Movie Theater, So Son Can Play Video Games On The Big Screen For His Birthday
Sun Ray is the best theater in town. It’s independently owned, they serve local craft beers and have tables in front of every seat for customers to eat their awesome food on.
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