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The One-Sentence Approach to Story Crafting

Good grief. Is it already time to do another article? By the time my term is up, I might have to resort to plagiarism. Just kidding. I would like for these articles to flow in some sort of logical progression – only my brain is anything but logical. So some topics may be out of order due to my state of mind at the time. If you are not satisfied, I will happily return your money. Anyway, it makes sense to me that the next topic of discussion should be story crafting. I will combine some basic tips in creating a story with my own original One-Sentence approach to story writing.

But I’m not a writer you may be saying to yourself. This article can’t possibly help me. I use stories that have been written by other people. If this is you, please flatter me and at least read the rest of the article. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer. If you are a storyteller who takes a story and retells it, baby I got news for you, you are rewriting it. Whether you like it or not. Whether you’re good at it or not. Whether you put it down on paper or not. That’s what you are doing. You are taking the story and making it your own by adding your own flavor, and flavor includes words. Unless you are memorizing stories and repeating them word for word, in which case you are really an actress. And you could still probably benefit from a few basic tips. My head is starting to hurt from all this on-paper convincing. So I’ll proceed 수원스웨디시.

I have watched many storytellers, comedians, and speakers in my day, and have noticed something that many have in common. They use too many words. If you remember one thing from this article, remember this: It’s all about saying more with less. I repeat: It’s all about saying more with less.

Let’s take a moment to rethink how we view a story. Sometimes as storytellers we will set out to write/tell a story that is, for example, twenty minutes long. Or we’ll have a certain amount of time and we’ll make our story fit that time. STOP. I want you to stop going at a story from this direction. Start thinking of how to tell the story as quickly as you can. And I don’t mean quick like you’re on speed, I mean quick as in sticking only to the necessary details.

You see, that’s where many of us mess up with our stories. We think that more words make a better story. WRONG. Please believe me when I say that the more words you add to your story, the stronger your chances are of losing your audience. A point is best made with two sentences instead of two paragraphs. A poignant moment is best when kept short and sweet rather than four pages of “how sad am I.” A joke is much funnier when you tell it in thirty seconds, than when you tell it in twenty minutes. If you’ve ever been to a cocktail party, you can certainly attest to that.

When I performed for the cruise ships I told a story that was forty-five minutes long. This was just this past April, so you see that I don’t even follow my own advice. The show was a success but I still asked the client what I could do to make it better. She told me to do forty-five minutes of short stories, rather than one long story. She said that the attention span of the average American is short, and getting shorter. You have to give them breaks. Like it or not. So I came back and spent the summer reworking my portfolio of stories so that every story I have is ten minutes or less. Now when I do a forty-five minute show, I have lots and lots of variety. I have noticed a tremendous improvement in my act.

This is not to say that long stories are bad. That is not true. And thanks to the wonderful nature of storytelling fans, there will always be an audience who will appreciate them. What I’m saying is that a story should include only what needs to be said. And often you will find that you took four pages to say what could have been said in four paragraphs.

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