More on stories

A couple of weeks ago I posted about how important and powerful stories are, and suggested the story spine as a way to build your story. Today I’d like to talk about another story development exercise, but to do so, I want to try out some new technology. I want to see if my “tell me who you are, and get a freebie” technique works. So, let’s help each other. Go to my website, click on the “Color/Advance freebie,” and you will receive a pdf with a very useful exercise you can use to develop your story. I will find out if my new toy works, and I’ll have your name and address in case I decide to send you some mail. Oh, and if you don’t want my mail, just say so. I hate spam as much as you do.


What’s Your Story?

Almost everyone agrees that stories are important. For one thing they are memorable, and they are the most ancient form of communication. Everyone has a story, but can everyone tell it successfully? Can you?

At Laugh2learn, we have developed several tools to help you both develop your story and your storytelling skills.

If you are going to steal, steal from the best, and  Katt Koppett’s wonderful book, Training to Imagine has a wonderful tool for story development. She suggests that a successful story will follow the story spine:

STORY SPINE          

Once upon a time…


But one day…

Because of that…

Because of that…




Until finally…

Ever since then…

(And the moral of the story is…optional)

Katt offers this example:


Once upon a time, in the same city, there were two prominent families who hated each other.

Everyday the families feuded, fought, and killed each other’s members

But one day, the son of one of the families crashed  the birthday party of the other’s daughter.

Because of that the son and daughter fell in love.

Because of that they secretly married.

Because of that the son wanted the killing to stop.

Because of that he stepped into the middle of a fight and inadvertently caused the death of his best friend.

Because of that, in agony and rage, he killed the killer, his wife’s cousin.

Because of that, he was banished.

Because of that the lovers needed to employ a complicated plan to be reunited.

Because the plan was complicated, communication broke down.

Because the message didn’t get to him the son didn’t realize his wife was only faking her death when he found her in the family tomb.

Because of that he killed himself.

Until finally, the daughter awoke to find her husband dead and she killed herself, just before the members of both families entered he tomb to find their children dead.

And ever since then, both families have stopped the nonsensical war between them.

And the moral of the story is feuds are stupid.

Now, can you begin to think of your story in terms of the story spine? What was “every day?” What was the signal event that started you down the path you want to talk about?

Once you have developed your story, you will want to begin to improve your storytelling skills. At Laugh2Learn, we have several exercises that will help. That will be the subject of tomorrow’s post.

Stay tuned.