What’s Your Story? How do you feel? We are all storytellers…
It seems that human needs, in order of importance, are: nourishment, storytelling, love, then shelter. Storytelling predates writing. Early stories were usually oral, with gestures and expressions. Symbols were painted on cave walls, to help the storyteller remember what happened. Tree trunks, sand, rocks and leaves were also utilized. Throughout history, images were carved, scratched, painted, printed and inked onto pottery, sand tablets, stones, leaves, skins, cloth, paper, silk, canvas, film… and eventually created using today’s modern technologies.
Storytelling connects with people on an emotional level. “What if…?” opens the door to wonder. Good storytellers say what they know and how they feel from a unique perspective, and get the audience to have that same feeling. They have something important to share with the world. A therapeutic or cathartic sequence of events, unfolding through time.
Storytellers are regarded as healers, leaders, spiritual guides, teachers, secret keepers & entertainers. Through art, song, poetry, chanting & dance, storytelling can bridge cultural, language and age barriers. It can be used as a method to teach ethics, values, and to discuss cultural norms, as well as differences. Stories tap into our existing knowledge, create cultural bridges and motivate toward solutions.
So… What’s your story? A rough idea. “What if…?”
Who are the characters? Set up your Hero’s world!
What happens at the beginning, middle & end of the journey?
Identify the story’s emotional content. Is there confrontation? Has the world turned upside down?
How is the Hero or World transformed?
Fairytales form a “Once upon a time” world, taking place at an unspecified time. They are not intended to be understood as factual. In a fairytale world, supernatural events are accepted, without surprise. Legends, however, are supposed to have actually happened, at a particular time and place. In legends, supernatural events often come with emotional distress.
Storytelling teaches important principals to live a good life. It is a language of images, with ideas and meanings. Stories engage audiences to remember, and invite an empathetic experience by imagining fresh possibilities. They teach respect, through the practice of attentiveness, which can lead to a respect for all life, and to value interconnection. As a way to pass knowledge from one generation to the next, storytelling plays an important roll in the reasoning process and in convincing others. It is an approach to resolving conflicts, addressing issues and facing challenges.