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Earlier in the year, Clare inspired me on this podcast when I was feeling particularly down about my creative life. Now she has some new ebooks available on Story so I invited her back on to tell us about it. She is a wonderfully enthusiastic teacher!
Clare Edwards is the author of A Sprinkling of Magic: Inspiring stories and metaphors for business and life
In the video, you will learn:
- Why story is so important in a world of information overload. Readers need an opportunity to create for themselves. We only have a few seconds to grab people's attention. Stories are the most well accepted form of communication and the way we are hard-wired to listen to stories. We want to know the ending.
- Consider why you want to tell this story. What is the purpose and the message I want to convey. Once you're clear on the why, you can start to add the building blocks. How do you want your readers to be feeling once they've closed the book? What emotion do you want to evoke in them? You can use language that evokes this emotion.
- Think about what is most important. If you have to cut some of your story, what aspects would remain? What is vital?
- In considering shorter form e.g. blog posts, the same aspects apply. You want people to keep coming back like Scheherazade's stories. You need to keep people with you emotionally. Bring people up to some solution or positive outcome by the end. Your ending needs to be as strong as your beginning.
- Finding analogies and metaphors encourages people to think for themselves. It widens the reader's experience. Simple metaphor is a statement that isn't literal e.g. the decision was hard to swallow. We don't literally swallow decisions. But extended metaphor is even more important so an example would be Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist where the message is finding happiness inside but the story is of a journey through the world. By using extended metaphor, people can find their own extended meanings. Use the formula “X is like Y” so a high performing team is like a symphony orchestra. Brainstorm examples of, or things like the message I want to get across and choose the aspects the audience will connect with.
You can find Clare and her story e-books at ASprinklingOfMagic.com.