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How To Master The Art Of English Storytelling

Written by: Daniel David Leaver, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

In this article, I will discuss some fundamental writing practices I utilize, how to build a great story, and how you can learn to master the art of English storytelling.

Teacher is sitting in the classroom with her primary school students, reading a story to them.

Have you ever wanted to tell a good story and needed to know where to start? You may have an excellent idea but must learn how to articulate your message.


As a human race, we are inherently storytellers. How many stories do you hear in one day? If you counted, the results might surprise you. Not all accounts are written or visual. Some are audible, like the con artists and manipulators, or you may be at the grocery store and hear over your shoulder, "Did you hear about what Sally did last night?" We love stories; the more drama, the more excitement it seems. We very much live in a storytelling world. The greatest songs, movies, and literature captivate and engage our desires, dreams, and imagination.


Stories are essential to our education and development and will continue to shape our future. For some, it becomes crucial for lifestyle or career, yet for most, it is for past-time or entertainment. There is another significant classification, one that I utilize, and that is for healing and self-help. You can inspire others to heal and develop their growth through encouragement and belief. Some of the greatest storytellers who ever influenced me, including Jim Steinman, Dr. Suess, J.R.R. Tolkien, Randy Travis, and Red Sovine, to name a few, set me on my path. I tapped into the knowledge that words hold power. Everyone says knowledge is power; however, that is not entirely true because you can know how to do a job; that is knowledge. You must apply the knowledge and do the job to get results. So for me, knowledge is nothing without application. In English storytelling as an art, I use the fundamental attitude that there is power in words and the stories we tell. That power can manifest in tears, anger, excitement, joy, fear, etc. We have all experienced the most significant movies that pulled our strings. I focus my writing on uplifting or inspiring content to share joy, excitement, love, pain, or even appreciation. Whatever you decide to focus on will only be limited by the dreams you manifest.


You must first decide on the story or message you wish to tell or convey. Some days I have an idea for a story or a poem and have yet to plan it out. I sometimes will think of that idea for months. Ultimately I always find the path that will lead to the message. One thing I always do is carry a voice app on my phone. So if I'm unable to write, it is much more convenient to open that app and speak the thought, and later at night, I will often review those daily thoughts and then transfer the ones I need. In my busy everyday life, it is easy to forget a thought or a great idea by the time I can sit and write.


How you will find inspiration will vary significantly if you genuinely love stories. For example, when I wrote my piece "Unique," the inspiration came to me from a coworker. To be specific, a high-ranking supervisor named Michelle. How she would bounce around the store would make a bad day great. I knew she was special instantly; she was important and unique. I realized that this characteristic is an excellent value to teach children, so my message was an effort to help create future unique individuals. Once written, I included it in my published coloring book "Whale Tale and other nursery rhymes." I have found inspiration in many places, from the movies I watch to the people I encounter daily. Even a random photograph can often bring a thought or idea forward.


Once you identify an idea or think of a title, consider where you want the story to go. I will often think of the ending first and then consider my path to get there. I may even erase or add as the story evolves. Sometimes I find that rearranging the sentences will fit better or give me more to think about. An important thing to remember is your story will be unique and can be whatever you want it to be. Try and develop an interest early on by using metaphors or hooks that will keep the attention of those readers. You want them to start asking questions in their mind, such as Where is this going, or Do I know what will happen? If you can keep them guessing, you will keep them til the end. Remember, you are taking the reader along on a journey in their mind, so be descriptive when possible or necessary. If you want an engaging story, you must think like your reader, build the climax, and create a concise overall experience.


A bad story can drag on endlessly and is all over the place. Keep your message as the primary progression, and avoid rambling or straying too far off-topic; then, you can turn a message into a relatable, understandable, and usable story that readers will continue to enjoy for years.


Your writing will be better received when the reader feels like they can relate to the article they are reading. In my poem "Alone," I connect most readers with a feeling of belonging. The piece's message is the abandonment and helplessness of being alone in a big world. I use the phrase, "I stand all alone on a lost crowded street, surrounded by strangers and friends I don't keep. As some try to help lift me back on my feet, I turn, and I run so they can't see me weep." to connect with the readers. I create an understanding of how it feels to be alone. To build the climax and deliver my message that no one needs to feel alone. I finish by saying. "See, studies don't lie, and statistics have shown that I'm one of many I am not alone." I structured this story poem to draw in the lonely hearts with relatable and understandable confirmation to express the underlying message that they are not alone. It is compelling and highly received in my own experience. In my mental health journey, I discovered I encourage everyone to seek the healing and inspirational mentality such speakers can bring. You can become great at English storytelling if you become an effective communicator. Whatever field you work in or the message you are trying to teach, stories can and do bring success.


Believe in yourself, even when no one is looking. You must always have faith in your work. Far too often, we harshly criticize our work and feel it is not good enough to be shared. Stop Believing Everything You Think is a great encouraging article that will share some insights to apply.


Please visit here, follow me, and reach out for writing tips or to share your work. I'd love to read what you have been working on. We can build each other up with words and change the world with the stories we choose to share.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and visit my website for more info!


 

Daniel David Leaver, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Daniel Leaver is an American author who grew up in Indiana. He is a faith-based writer who enjoys his time with family and friends. Daniel is best known for loving children, animals, and nature. He is an empathic writer and cleverly crafts stories that can encourage and aid in mental health awareness. A profound animal and nature lover, he can usually be found in a peaceful and quiet place.

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