Elements of Great Storytelling

Now that you have in mind the perfect ingredients to successfully create a transmedia story, it’s time to focus on the story itself! The benefits of well-crafted stories are immense: increased engagement, increased visibility, increased exposure, connection to causes, and more.

Felicia Pride
, multimedia storyteller, content strategist, and chief content officer at Pride Collaborative is the author of this post. She shares the key characteristics of great stories.

There is a moral or underlying message.
What message are you trying to convey? Once that’s decided, this message helps to provide a focus for your story.

There are characters and these characters are compelling.
The best stories are powered by characters that we care about. That’s not to say that we like these characters, but we do become invested in what happens to them. Think about the characters in your overall story—the various stakeholders and beyond—that are involved in your work. How can you bring them into your story?

Something happens.
We often like to explain something versus show action. My high school writing teacher always reminded me, “show, not tell.” You show action through a plot that moves forwards and prompts audiences to continuously wonder, what happens next?

This something involves conflict.
What is the problem? Something that your characters have to solve, overcome, change? It’s conflict that drives action.

It evokes emotion.
You can decide the types of emotions you hope to elicit – be it anger, compassion, or empathy. As a result, audiences often tap into their own personal experiences and feel more connected to your story.

Bottom line: great stories keep our attention. The message, compelling characters, forward-moving action, and conflict, work together to craft a story that is memorable and helps to connect audiences.

More about Pride Collaborative
Pride Collaborative focuses on using strategic storytelling to help organizations deepen their relationships with communities and audiences. By using strategic storytelling as a foundation, they are able to create campaigns and media projects that focus on genuine relationship building, achieve specific goals, and utilize a range of activities including narrative development, content creation, digital media making, and live experiences.

This article originally appeared as part of NAMAC’s ArtsEngage Blog Series.

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