is a must-have skill for everyone. Storytelling is like passing information with entertaining elements in them. Whether you’re a writer, a business
person, a salesperson, a political leader, a preacher, a teacher, a social media influencer, a content
creator, telling stories with so much finesse can give you an edge in the career you find yourself.
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Many brands fail to communicate their message to their audience because they do not obey the rules of storytelling. In this article, I explore 10 irrefutable laws of storytelling.
Stories Are All About People
Stories are about people, not objects, not just any people, but everyday people. If you want the story to sell, then you must tell a story people can relate to. People must be able to know who the story is about, what does the character want, and how he or she goes about getting what he or she wants.
Your Story Must Be In The Context Of Time And Place
This is called ‘plot’ in the literary sense. Where was your story set? Is it a recent event? Did it happen before or after the 21st century or yesterday? Where did the event take place? Is it in a megacity like Lagos or a rural village in Southeastern Nigeria? The story must be eventful, lying within the frame of time and space. Your audience must be able to identify where and when your story is situated.
Give Your Characters A Voice Of Their Own
Your story must allow your characters to speak for themselves. Let there be freedom of communication between characters. It gives your story all the liveliness it needs.
Create Excitement And Suspense
Your story should, from the beginning, be exciting, thrilling and enticing, luring your audience deeper into it. Let your characters strike empathy, fear and all human feelings into the hearts and minds of your audience, as they face obstacles, challenges, and surprises. Do away with all forms of superfluity.
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Let Your Story Send A Message Of Truth
Your story must be able to teach your audience some home truths about how to treat people in a worthy manner. It must drive home information on making the world a better place.
Your Story Must Resonate With Your Audience Reality
Your story should not be utopian in nature or unrealistic to people’s feelings. It should have some earthly elements that people can actually relate to. People should make sense of your story whether you’re telling a fictional or nonfictional story
Your Story Should Speak Your Audience’s Language
Good storytellers utilize colloquialisms, slang, mantras, and popular catchphrases in telling stories. Establish a common ground between you and your audience.
Your Story Must Show Rather Than Tell
Your story must be able to create vivid images in the minds of our audience. You must use the power of observation to tell your story. Rather than say ”He was disappointed at the outcome of the elections,” say instead ”He was enraged by the outcome of the election that he refused to touch his food.”
Your Story Must Create Bias In The Minds Of Your Audience
A good storyteller must be able to have his audience identify their heroes and antiheroes in the story. A good story must be able to make your audience celebrate courage, goodness, wealth, other morally appealing attitudes, and disdain brutality, evil and other social ills.
A Point Of Dénouement
Every good story must have a climax where your audience can appreciate the final outcome of a story. As a storyteller, you must be able to lead your audience throughout and land in an expected or surprising end.
Featured Image Source: Literary Hub
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This article was first published on 17th August 2021
Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.
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