Tell a Story

I hope everybody is having a fabulous holiday season! My big-ticket item this year was a Kindle, and I’m pretty excited about it. Here are some of the great things about it:

1. You can get almost all of the classics for free.
2. Sometimes (presumably for promotional reasons) you can get great books for a steal. (Case in point: Entwined by Heather Dixon for 99 cents!)
3. Did I mention free books? Even beyond the classics. Granted, most of them are books I don’t want even though they’re free. (Think cover art featuring shirtless men and voluptuous women embracing in the middle of what appears to be a wind storm.) But sometimes, the free books are really good.

I happened upon a really great free book called Raising Motivated Kids: Inspiring Enthusiasm for a Great Start in Life by Cheri Fuller. Which brings me to the point of this post. (Finally!) Surprisingly enough, there is a whole section on the value of storytelling. Not reading the text of a book, but telling a story verbally, on the fly. Making it up as you go. Fun, right? Scary, right?

As a writer, your job is to tell a story. What better way to hone your writing skills than to practice telling stories verbally? Make up stories to tell your kids, not just at bedtime, but all the time.

“Storytelling doesn’t have to take place just at the local library. That’s part of the joy of storytelling-it’s spontaneous; it can be engaged in while washing dishes, raking leaves, riding in the car, or waiting in the dentist’s office.”

-Cheri Fuller

One of my favorite suggestions from Ms. Fuller’s book is a serial story during carpool each day. (Hers is “Tales of the Mysterious Bear.” Doesn’t that sound awesome?) Tell your significant other the story of your day, complete with conflict, resolution and character arcs.

If you tell stories throughout the day, by the time you sit down to your computer, you will be such a master storyteller that you will take a little of the “S” out of your “SFD”! (See Joy’s previous post or Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.) And, more importantly, it will delight your kids and strengthen your relationships with those around you. Everybody wins!

What do you think? Do you have great storytelling secrets, tips, ideas?

3 thoughts on “Tell a Story

  1. I tell my son stories at bedtime sometimes. Unfortunately, he's pretty specific about what he wants and not always pleased when I try something new! (Our latest is a series about a boy named Andy Amazing, who isn't really amazing, although his family is).

    Did you like Entwined? I thought it was really charming. (And if you liked it, go nominate it for a Whitney award!)


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