Could your district use better “storytelling?” – SCN Encourager

You’ve probably wondered about this before.

I’d bet on it.

Especially since that’s about all that’s left for me to bet on now.

My March Madness bracket blew up days ago.

But I know you’ve heard laments like these before.

We have a wonderful school district.
We need to tell our story.
People don’t know our story.
We should start getting our story out there..

But just because we’ve all heard or read countless stories since we were wee-little-ones ourselves, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to be a good storyteller.

Far from it.

Now I’m pretty fair – if I do say so myself – at quips, fibs, dodges, and insinuations.

But good storytelling is something else.

And like the world’s grand masters in every field, good storytellers have their fundamentals to guide their work.

How do I know?

Well, I’m just discovering these fundamentals myself, dang it!

Here’s one that might surprise you.

It did me.

Successful storytellers understand that “neutral ” characters bog down their stories.  (I hope you know what I mean by “neutral.” At first I was going to use the words “bland and boring,” but those words made it seem like I was talking about myself. Sad, I know.)

Successful storytellers know their readers (or listeners) first and foremost desire to connect emotionally with their characters.

Whether they’re attracted to a character – or disgusted by a character – readers universally want strong characters, not blah ones.

And storytellers realize that their readers will be ultimately drawn to the story’s characters by what the characters DO (or not do) in the story, far more so than by just reading about what their characters think or hope.

Providing compelling descriptions and dialogue are important, of course.

But ACTION is the straw that stirs the “good story” drink.

You know…

this holds true when we’re creating stories about what we DO in our schools, too.

Mission statements and track-records have their place, but what we are DOING – or NOT DOING – everyday in our schools is where the ACTION’s at.

I can’t say I’m all that happy to find out that ACTION plays such a critical role in effective storytelling.

I had high hopes that writing “to do” lists and then regularly re-writing them was the key!

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