Easy as 1, 2, 3

Perceived Format

It seems to me that the stories follow a standard format, comprised of 7 parts: Introduction, 3 anecdotes, a commentary, some action taken, and a final thought.

    Obviously this can vary. If the story is more about questions, than what happened, then the anecdotes can be replaced with questions. It’s very similar to the format of This American Life.

    [structural and rhetorical]

    Actual Format

    The Center’s Cookbook doesn’t focus as much on the A, B, Cs of storytelling, as much as the process of putting it together.[structural] It’s not so much about filling in the blanks in a format, as it is about understanding the story you want to tell, understanding how people listen to stories, making the story relate-able,  and organizing it in a understandable manner. [structural and rhetorical] In terms of organization, generally, when telling a short story, it behooves the author to provide an introduction, rather than stopping the story in the middle for an explanation. [structural] While this can be effective for some very adept storytellers, for the first-timer it’s a bit daunting. The stories I heard had very little in the way of built up tension (a la the cat analogy in the cookbook). [structure and rhetorical]

    The Center really focuses on storyboarding and organization as a means to make your story tellable. I think that the format I outlined above is the most common, and the most similar to the kind of writing we all learned in school. [structural]

    -Clayton Mathis

    ~ by Clayton Mathis on February 14, 2011.

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