Storytelling Isn’t Just for Kids Part II

If you missed Storytelling Isn’t Just for Kids Part I or need a to refresh with James, I gotcha!

Come one, come all!

Come one, come all!
Photographer: Mike Grenville

Picking up from Wednesday, of course there are several more types of stories out there, usually based around the basic 7: Overcoming the Monster, Rebirth, Quest, Journey and Return, Rag to Riches, Tragedy, and Comedy

You know I can’t talk about storytelling without mentioning Pixar and Disney, the grand pubas of storytelling. I’m very lucky to have grown up during the beginnings of Pixar and the reign of Disney Movies. For us copywriters, who are truly writers at the end of the day, storytelling is a Godsend. In a way, we do storytelling when we research our consumers and the product even if it’s just sifting through loads of data to find that key story; storyfinding as I like to call it.

I know I could use a little more flexing in the storytelling department to ensure this skill is rock solid. Of course the best way to get better at something is to do it. So to that notion, I combed the internet to find some more perspectives on storytelling in Advertising and why it’s an invaluable asset for us copywriters.

“That’s because the best brand storytellers understand the critical elements of fiction writing, which are skills that few marketers have been formally trained to do.”

I’ll admit I haven’t written a deliberate story since elementary school. Does it count I started taking college level English classes in high school? You can hold my Copywriter member card indefinitely. I’ll let you know when I take a few writing workshops and write a few short stories.

“The trick is to let the content shine, and to not draw attention to the structure. Phrases such as, “here is an example of” or “below you’ll see” or the dreaded “in this post” take the reader out of the piece, and remind them they’re reading a blog post, or an article, or an infographic. I feel it’s also a manner of talking down to the reader.” 

Invaluable advice from the great Ira Glass.

“Give them something of value.”

Isn’t this what you would want? Enough said. Now onto James…

He never played this hard before. The crowd’s cheers were like waves descending upon him, each one pushing him further and further into who he was meant to be. The red dots signaled 5 seconds. If James didn’t know who he was before, he had to act like it now. The ball thudding from left to right as James slicked defenders, the closer he got to the hoop the white light got brighter. It was almost as if he was meditating on the court marinating on everything he’d been through at that moment. Every failure, every pain, every disappointment carried him into the air. The buzzer sounds off. The cheers get louder. James wonders if this is what a tsunami feels like. In between the arms of his teammates he steals a glance at pleased recruiters.

Source 3 | Source 4

*note: I decided it’d be cool since I’m writing about storytelling, I should try my hand at coming up with a quick story. I hope it pulled you in and will keep you reading to find out the conclusion. If not then I have work to do! Yes, the story is a composite of a few of the stories I mentioned. Let me know what guys thought about this hybrid format.* 

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6 comments

  1. I love this one: “The trick is to let the content shine, and to not draw attention to the structure.” Very valuable quote.

    1. Yes that’s my favorite too and the hardest to do sometimes.

  2. About your hybrid story – it feels like it’s towards the end – or is it the moment before it all backfires? Nice!

    1. Thanks for reading! Yea, it’s towards the end of the game right before the buzzer. Was the setting description too vague?

      1. No, it was sufficient, even if it was dropped in medias res. I think I just naturally wanted to read more…

      2. Oh man thanks, Ravijojla. It’s been so long since I’ve written a story in any form. I may have to keep adding to it then.

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