Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How To Be A Master Storyteller - Quick Start

You want to write.

You have a fascinating story to tell. You're captivated with the idea of becoming a bestselling author. The thought of seeing your work in print sends shivers of delight up and down your spine.

So, how do you get there? How do you publish that next number one bestseller? How do you share your story with the world?

By becoming a master storyteller.

How does one become a master storyteller?

Let me share with you the roadmap I essentially took to write my first novel, From Bad Girl To Worse, and my first novella, The Dangerous Way Home. I may still have so much to learn about the craft of story, and I'm nowhere near achieving master storytelling status. But I believe that by following this roadmap, I'll get one step closer each day. The path is clear. Won't you join me on this journey?

Here are some ways to pursue storytelling mastery.

Know what a story really is.  

The best way to know--or learn--how to define the word "story", and apply the correct definition to writing one is to study two epic story craft books. They are Wired For Story and Story Genius, both written by Lisa Cron.

In my humble opinion, Lisa Cron is one of the world's true story experts. She's a story genius. 

Reading Wired For Story made everything about story crystal clear. For the first time ever, I truly understood what a story really was. I was able to apply the knowledge I'd learned from this epic book in my own writing process.

Lisa Cron's second book, Story Genius, made the entire concept of story even clearer. It fastened the nuts and bolts on the conceptual principles of story covered in Wired For Story. 

If you could only read two books on the craft of story, I would highly recommend Wired For Story and Story Genius. 

If you're serious about becoming a master storyteller, study these two books intensely.  By gleaning the valuable information contained in these books, you'll know beyond the shadow of a doubt what story is, and how to write a great one. 

Use story structure to your greatest advantage.

In order to put story structure to the best use, you must possess a deep understanding of it. The Save The Cat! book series covers story structure in great detail. It explains structure in ways the average layperson can understand. Though the Save The Cat! series targets primarily screenwriters, many novelists have also used the Save The Cat! story paradigm to write and publish their novels.  

Here's the complete list the Save The Cat! series:

- Save The Cat! by Blake Snyder
- Save The Cat! Strikes Back by Blake Snyder
- Save The Cat! Blake's Blogs by Blake Snyder
- Save The Cat! Goes To The Indies by Salva Rubio

Oh, and coming in October 2018, Save The Cat! Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody

These books are a must for every storyteller.

Take advantage of more free story craft resources on the internet.

Read Lisa Cron's articles on the 12 Hardwired Expectations Every Reader Has and the 15 Hardwired Expectations Every Reader Has For Every Story. Know these expectations backward and forward. Memorize them like the Ten Commandments. Also, visit the Wired For Story website for more free resources.

Visit the Save The Cat! website and study the beat sheet analyses for some of the most popular movies ever made. One of the best ways to master storytelling is to see how other great storytellers tell their stories. Save The Cat! is one of the best places to study examples from the storytelling pros.

Study my How To Write A Novel Readers Love letter series. Start with the first letter and continue on through the whole series. Here, you'll discover how I synthesized and employed the Wired For Story, Story Genius and Save The Cat! principles in crafting my first novel. You can see for yourself that the principles really work. 

Understand the real reason why people love story so much. 

Read articles on the psychology and neuroscience of story, like Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling and The Neuroscience Of Storytelling Will Make You Rethink The Way You Create. Read books like The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall. Lisa Cron also covers the subject of story related neuroscience in great detail.

One of the most important things you need to know in order to become a master storyteller is how story affects the brain. Story is so much more than just entertainment. It's a necessary part of our survival. Knowing how story affects a person mentally and emotionally, and applying this knowledge in your creative process will make you a master storyteller.

Write. Write. Write.

Ultimately, the only way you can ever be a master storyteller is to tell stories. Take advantage of the resources listed in this post, as well as any others you may find, master the principles you've learned and employ them with great skill.

Make a list of points you'd like to make by telling great stories. Create compelling "what if" scenarios. Craft conflicted characters who overcome longstanding misbeliefs and achieve their goals. 

Do these things every day, and over time you might well become a master storyteller. 

These are just a few things that will set you on a course to storytelling mastery. Just remember that becoming a great storyteller is a journey, not a destination.

Happy crafting,

L. R. Farren
Author of From Bad Girl To Worse 
and The Dangerous Way Home

P. S. - One of the most valued and coveted skills a person can possess is the skill of storytelling. From creative fiction to business management, communicators are wielding the awesome power of story to deliver messages to the world. What message would you like to deliver?


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