Storytelling: The Elements

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Storytelling: The Elements

Category : Storytelling

When you tell your story several key elements are needed.

Characters – are the people in the story. For public speaking, keep your list of characters short and the descriptions of each character both short and memorable. For writing you may choose more characters with more specific and longer descriptions. Each character should be different in someway. Spell out these differences in the description of the character, in what conflicts the character is experiencing, and in how the character reacts to other characters in this story.

Setting – Setting refers to the time, place and circumstances of a story. For public speaking, keep your setting simple and easy for your audience to visualize. For writing, you may use longer descriptions of the setting. A setting might be in the city of Los Angeles or on a farm in North Dakota.

Plot What is happening in the story?

Backstory What happened previously? What impact does past events have on the characters?

Conflict What struggles are the characters experiencing?

Action What are the characters doing? What are they thinking? What emotions are they feeling? How are they reacting to those emotions?

Sensations In addition to their thoughts and emotions, what sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and touch are the characters experiencing?

Dialogue What are the characters saying to each other? Does their external dialog (speech) match or conflict with their inner dialog (thoughts)?

Narrative What information does the narrator (storyteller) want the reader or listener to know?

So far, we’ve weaved together some important elements with some important techniques. Next, we discuss how to put it all together.