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The Art of Storytelling

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posted on May, 9 2018 @ 07:28 AM
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Hi ATS!

I was in the mood for some laughter today, so I put on my go-to comedian, Charlie Murphy (RIP) who is guaranteed to make me laugh/feel good.
Charlie was the quintessential storyteller, in my opinion.

Isn't the art of storytelling an amazing quality? When you think back, how many people have you met who can really tell a compelling tale?

It seems as if storytelling is yet another art threatened by the social media age, but luckily for us, it can be learned. Check out this article for some extra storytelling tips (including a TED talk):

medium.com...


Use data and statistics and research when you’re telling a story. At Stanford Universty, they found that statistics combined with stories have a retention rate of 65–70%. That’s insane.

Have a clear structure in your mind. Don’t walk into a story with “This one time at bandcamp…” because your audience are not going to care. You have to think about how stories work. What sparks the story? What’s the up and the down? What’s the climax?

Tie your story into a larger point. Don’t just tell a story of the time you had a drink in a bar and the drink was delicious. Tell the story of the time you had a drink in a bad and the drink was delicious because your home town has some of the best bartenders in the state.

Make your story relatable. Use language, settings, characters, characterisations that people can resonate with. Maybe you didn’t just go to the bar. Maybe you went to the bar because it was one of those hot nights last summer where the whole city was up all night…


Now to watch a master storyteller in action. (nsfw-- language)



A few things that stand out to me from watching a master weave a story--
He engages the audience- Charlie Murphy has a way of making you feel he's talking to YOU through the camera.
He makes eye contact with the camera, smiles like he is sharing the joke with you, personally.
He adds just the right amount of detail, and includes the perfect side stories without losing the storyline.
He mimics the characters' actions and mannerisms.

What are your thoughts on the art of storytelling? Do you believe it is a learned talent, one we can work on to improve, or are some people just born with that compelling personality/skill?

I hope you're having a great day!

edit on 9-5-2018 by zosimov because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 9 2018 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

I have a lot of respect for people who can tell a story and captivate you whilst not being there.

As for pointers? I really couldn't say, I've been told I can write good stories but by personal experience I feel I'm only good telling them in person. It's a lot easier when you can gauge the effects and once your confident enough embody the story.

So it can take a bit of acting too.

Know your story and know the crowd. It's hard to sell a story about finding an antique ring at a car boot sale to a bunch of 6 year olds but it might go down a storm at a antiques convention.

Most importantly, this I learned from an illiterate... All great stories, all great yarns are spun with a little fiction, let the reader (or listener) work out the story.

Appeal to emotions.



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 08:01 AM
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What are your thoughts on the art of storytelling? Do you believe it is a learned talent, one we can work on to improve, or are some people just born with that compelling personality/skill?


The art of lying...but obviously he looks to the left everytime he´s making up things. Personally I don´t see the usefulness of this "talent" as it´s obvious to me that he makes things up. So in terms of that I don´t think he does a good job convincing me this is an actual story. I see this as mere enterntainment, when it´s clear to the audience that it´s madeup, like in theather, comedians, moving pictures.

I guess it´s a mix of natural talent, the way and values one grows up and a lifelong training.


Edit: To be more specific why I think he´s making it up, you wrote "weave a story".


edit on 9-5-2018 by verschickter because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 08:03 AM
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a reply to: RAY1990

Hey, thank you! Your suggestions were far better than the ones I quoted from the article.



I especially like your last point about letting the reader work through the story on their own.



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 08:06 AM
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I totally agree. It's what makes Stephen King so good. He won't go down as a great author but he sure can weave a story. Cosby in his early days was an incredible storyteller.



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 08:12 AM
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a reply to: verschickter

I completely understand that some people don't find the value in fictive stories, but to me the good ones are among the most valuable inventions of the human mind.

I also don't mind entertainment purely for its own sake and (imo) comedy is one of its greatest forms.


edit on 9-5-2018 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 08:24 AM
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a reply to: intrepid

I devoured Steven King's work when I was younger. You're absolutely right the man can tell a story!



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 09:54 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

Actually the key to writing a good book or script is character development.

For example 50 Shades is crap writing but the character development is excellent. And look at how successful that story is...



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 09:57 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

I like fiction, sci-fi etc.


It´s about the "art" making stuff up on thy fly I thought. "weaving a story", you know what I mean?



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 09:57 AM
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Lol, had to correct one error I made in the OP (too late to edit)...
I just noticed Charlie Murphy made NO eye contact with the camera (only, presumably with a person in the room with him, slightly off camera), which makes his connection to his audience that much more remarkable.

I'd also like to point out the skill of using a well timed pause, which probably goes back to Ray's point about letting the audience work through the story (show, don't tell).



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 10:02 AM
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originally posted by: muzzleflash
a reply to: zosimov

Actually the key to writing a good book or script is character development.

For example 50 Shades is crap writing but the character development is excellent. And look at how successful that story is...


This is an excellent point which would apply to film as well.
Without interesting, authentic characters a story falls short every time.



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 10:05 AM
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a reply to: zosimov


I'll tell you a story, just keep in mind that none of it is true despite how graphically detailed it gets.



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Joking aside, you have quite the talent for storytelling yourself.

Of course, all

Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.





posted on May, 9 2018 @ 10:16 AM
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a reply to: verschickter

Okay, now I do understand. Another good point! Speaking on the fly (bs-ing, lol) is definitely a plus when it comes to this talent.




posted on May, 9 2018 @ 10:39 AM
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr and Charles Bukowski are two of my favorites.



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: skunkape23

Two great writers by my estimation as well (though can only take small doses of Bukowski at a time- I've had a visceral reaction to his dark writing.
)

edit on 9-5-2018 by zosimov because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 12:56 PM
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a reply to: muzzleflash

True enough.

One thing I've always found is that people love to relate to the characters in a story, I've even seen people go out of their way to relate because of a love of a character that's developed.

Kind if like how people mimic others they're around... Laughter, stance, jokes and things like that.



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Sometimes it's between the lines where the best knowledge is obtained


But then it's also blissful in terms of storytelling to be surprised, it's tricky doing that. Especially when the story gave clues on where it is going.

Depends on the audience though, some people have great perception.



posted on May, 9 2018 @ 01:13 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

"I'M RICK JAMES, BITCH!!"

Best Dave Chapelle / Charlie Murphy sketch ever!!!



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