What Cinderella taught me about story bones

While on vacation in Wales this summer, I bought a beautiful used copy of Cinderella. It’s a hardcover book that used to belong to a library. On the endpaper, there are traces of due date stamps dating back to 1975. The book’s older than I am! This version was written in 1919 by CS Evans, […]

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I want to irritate workshop participants

I love giving workshops. Over the years, my workshops have shifted from an opportunity for me to teach towards an adventure in which we explore a topic together. The terrain may be familiar to me, but like any journey you’ve undertaken hundreds of times, a new companion always makes it new again. Let me tell […]

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Your story is just like everyone else’s

You want to tell a unique story. But can your story achieve uniqueness? It can. But the underlying themes probably aren’t so special and that’s a good thing. Most stories, almost all of them, work within one or more universal themes. A universal theme is a core question or issue that the story addresses. Think […]

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Talk about Yourself

Yesterday, I started reading Carmine Gallo’s The Storyteller’s Secret. Gallo has written a series of presentation books, all of which boast airport bookstore titles: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Mind The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of any Audience The Innovation Secrets […]

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Your Story : The Beginning

First words matter. First words grab the audience’s attention and invite them into your world to hear the rest of your story. Or they don’t. It’s an either-or proposition most of the time. You need a strong beginning for your story. Strong story openings convey the storyteller’s urgency and include just enough information to keep […]

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Bar friends

Accessorize your stories

Telling a story can be intimidating, even if the audience is friends or family. Luckily, all of us, myself included, have stories we’ve told many times. These are the stories we tell over and over again over time. They are the reliable stories that we love to share or answers to questions we answer every […]

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The Heroic Journey : an introduction

So, I just finished the second section of Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey. It’s a thorough break down of the different characters and stages that make up the Heroic Journey and uses film for examples. I thoroughly enjoyed the read in part because it was packed full of insights and ideas. It doesn’t read much […]

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And so it begins…

There are three key elements to every good story. Remember these: beginning, middle, and end. Sounds almost silly, doesn’t it? But it isn’t. Although these three elements are the basics, they are also easy to overlook or neglect. How often have you found yourself telling a story and not known how to end it? How […]

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