Our brains are made for stories. Our brains LOVE stories. More areas of our brain are activated when we hear stories, our memory works better, and our emotions kick in. If you want to sell more products or if you are a parent and want your kids to listen!!!) Tell them a story.
Some people are born storytellers and know just how to hold the audience under their spell. Other people need little bit of work and practice to tell a good story. This is true for kids and adults.
Remember the old game where one person says a sentence and the others in the group continue it? A classic. I love doing that one with my kids and setting up interesting problems for the characters to solve. That’s a great way to spark some creativity. But if you want a little coaching or helping getting ideas, try playing with Storycubes. We love these in our family. They event worked great at my workshops for the Summer Food Program.
I offer storytelling tips in my workshop “Want to Be a Writer.” I share my journal and my creative process. Running is of course a big part of my idea machine. But there are other ways I come up with story ideas. I share them all with the kids and I encourage them to experiment with some of my favorite techniques for thinking of and telling good stories.
Six Storytelling Tips
- Doodle. I love to doodle and this often inspires a fun story starter. Doodle off of paper, too. Think outside the box. Maybe the act of doodling makes it into your story.
- Lists. I generate lists of words and events that might happen to a made character. This helps with word variety, too.
- Listen. Jot down what people around you are saying. Combine the sentences of two different conversations. WHOA, did that just lead you to an amazing new story?
- Ask questions. I let my kids ask as many questions as they want. That includes my own children in my family and the kids in my workshops.
- Senses! Make sure your story includes things people see, feel, hear, smell, and taste. Get that brain activated!
- Humor. My favorite six sense is the sense of humor. Even a scary ghost story is better with a little joke here and there.
These tips aren’t about the mechanics of writing. These are about the magic of storytelling. And that’s the really fun part, in my opinion.
Looking for more info on how the brain lives for stories?
What are you favorite storytelling tips? Share them here!