While there are so many insightful tips on how to tell a good story, at the core of it all is to make the reader care. In a 17-minute speech on TED, Mr. Andrew Stanton, Academy Award winning screenwriter for such films as “Finding Nemo,” “Toy Story,” and “Wall-E” who also voices the character “Crush” from “Finding Nemo,” explains his wonderful tips on storytelling.
Writers of all kinds should take heed of Mr. Stanton’s advice, which he explains with examples. As my class took notes on his wisdom, I wrote them all down as well; it’s a reminder and a usable checklist that writers can use refer to when evaluating their own work.
His tips are as follows:
1-Make us care (about the plot; about the characters)
2-Make us a promise (deliver us something meaningful)
3-Make us work for our meal–writers do not have to spoon-feed your readers/viewers (we can make our own decisions)
4-Carry a strong theme throughout (the story should always, in some way, be cognizant of the theme)
5-Make us wonder (asking questions is a part of curiosity/intrigue)
6-Use what you know (use your own experiences to tell a good story)
Take a look at his video. I’m so thankful for for Ted.com and the ability to share valuable information we can all learn from.
(Warning: The opening joke in the video is not PG…play it when your young kids are not around).