What is story… storytelling…?

I love this question and the license to associat freely (thank you!). The first image that rushes to my mind is my after-school public t.v. line up, which is kind of ironic since I associate stories and storytelling with books and not television shows. But, apparently, I do.

1) Unknown title and can’t find it on the interwebs. The format of the show was a storyteller whom you never saw only heard his voice and an artist with vivid, flourescent chalk work that drew the scenes of the story as it was narrated. It was wonderful and I remember being so enthralled and engaged and disappointed when it was over. It reminds me of modern day graphic facilitation like the UPS commercial.

2) Reading Rainbow. Levar Burton! One of the best shows ev-er.

3) My sixth grade teacher. She read to the class on rainy days when we couldn’t go out for recess. I remember her reading us some mystery adolescent novel (one that I would have never read on my own) and how she drew me into the story with her intonation, change in voices for different characters, her way of building suspense. I didn’t want it to end and looked forward to rainy days.

This American Life, NPR , also comes to mind. I’m so amazed at these modern-day storytellers.  To me, a story is about engagement into the reality or fictional account of someone else.

By adding “digital” to storytelling, I become inundated and somewhat overwhelmed in both a positive and negative way.

Positive because I look at the explosion and impact of TED talks and the platform that opens to the world. Wow!

Positive because of the amazing and innovative media formats for conveying news like Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.


Negative because I’m not there yet. How do they do that? Where do I begin?

Well, Andrew Stanton helped me understand that you have to start from the “punch line” and know every line leading up to it and most importantly, answering the plea of “make me care”. So, how do you do this? Well, in Stanton’s Ted Talk (7:38), he talks about the “invisible application”, meaning you lead the audience to put two and two together, but you don’t give them the answer.


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