Monday, 26 January 2015

Storytelling. Part 1.

So here I am, preparing for my new post for the Teacher of The Year at Unium, watching different TED videos and reading articles on storytelling. I decided to make the topic of Creativity my field of study for the next post. Hopefully I will be able to gather some interesting material. So I would like to share with you what I have learned so far.

At first, I'll share two the most interesting videos I came across today, one by J.J. Abrams and anotther by Andrew Stanton. You'll enjoy watching them both for interesting ideas and for fun. Greatly inspiring as well by the way.

Just to leave it here - new vocab for me from these videos. Loved those words, so not to forget, I'll put them here.

Venerable - accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character.
E.g.a venerable statesman

Ubiquitous - present, appearing, or found everywhere.E.g.: - his ubiquitous influence was felt by all the family- cowboy hats are ubiquitous among the male singers

To snatch - quickly seize (something) in a rude or eager way.E.g.: she snatched a biscuit from the plate

Punchline - the final phrase or sentence of a joke or story, providing the humour or some other crucial element.E.g.his humour did not depend on punchlines

And now I'd like to list some points and try to reflect on them a bit:
  • Storytelling is joke telling.
  • Stories affirm who we are. Each person creates unique stories and character. All of that reveals our mood, intention, values, concerns and matters alike.
  • Stories cross the barrier of time. They serve to transit culture and history. Some stories survive trough ages being told from mouth to mouth.
  • Stories help us discover similarities between each other. Why do some films and books become more poplar than others? Why do people from different countries, of different age and sex find the same stories attractive? Because they appeal to problems that people face all over the world. We all are similar. Like Tolstoy said, all happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. But even those ways of unhappiness are similar, each case has its particularities, no doubt. But the base, the eternal questions, are the same. It's one of our greatest strengthes as mankind, I believe.
  • There isn't anyone you couldnt learn to love once you've heard their story. No comment needed. Just a very profound idea.
  • Story commandment is - make me care. We feel touched by a story the moment we start to care for the characters. 
  • Good story should make a promise that it will lead somwhere that's worth your time.
  • Storytelling without dialogue is the purest form of sinematic storytelling.
  • Audience wants to work for their meal. They just don't want to know that they are doing that. We are born problem solvers. It's a well organized absence of information that draws us in.
  • Unifying theory of two plus two. Make the audience put things together. Don't give them four; give them two plus two.
  • If things go static, stories die. Because life never is static.
  • Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty.
  • Questions you can ask yourself:
  1. Have you constructed anticipation?
  2. In the short-term, have you made me want to know what will happen next?
  3. But more importantly, have you made me want to know how it will all conclude in the long-term?
  4. Have you constructed honest conflicts with truth that creates doubt in what the outcome might be? 
  • Storytelling has guidelines, not hard fast rules.
  • You've got to love your main character.
  • A strong theme is always running through a well-told story.
  • Story needs to invoke wonder.
  • Express values you personaly feel deep down in your core.
  • Mystery is the catalyst for imagination.
  • Blank page is a magic box.
  • First - give a teaser.
  • Mystery after mastery - solving one mystery leads you to another (it can be apllied just to characters, appearing one by one in the book).
  • Leave room for imagination to the reader.
  • What audience think they are getting shouldn't be what they will really get it the end.
  • Storytellers need to develop their characters, go deep into character's actions and attitudes.
  • The only thing ripped off in the story should be a character. 

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