Being able to tell your organization’s stories is vital to connecting with your audience. (Again, when I use the word story, I’m talking about a true tale, nonfiction).
How you tell your stories will determine who will be moved by them. You can find inspiring stories, whether you’re at a nonprofit or a business, by spending time with the people you are helping. I understand this can be difficult, especially if it’s not part of your regular job description. It’s often easy to get bogged down with daily duties.
In other instances, public relations managers focus their attention on getting the organization’s message out to the traditional news media. That used to be the most important way to reach a large audience. And while good media coverage still matters, someone in your organization should also be aware that a big part of what you should be doing is telling stories to your audience directly. This allows your audience to feel a greater connection to you.
Once you find a story to tell, it’s also important to craft it in a way that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. It’s essential that you identify what part of your story will do this, as well as how to structure it. The following series will walk you through how to write the beginning, middle, and end of a story.
This is the fifth part of a series of posts about writing a story. (Again, when I write the word story, I mean a true tale, nonfiction). Here, I will discuss the importance of a great ending.
I’m really into endings. Story endings, that is. Endings that make reading the whole story worthwhile. So you can sit back and reflect in the awesomeness of the moment, not jump up and down in frustration, or worse still, quietly forget it.
If I watch a movie and the ending is terrible, I’ll probably hate the entire movie, even if I’ve liked it up until that point. Or if don’t like a movie that much, but actually make it to the end and the ending is awesome, I will probably say I thought the movie was at the very least good.
(This is a bit off-topic, but so you can totally relate to what I mean by mind-blowing endings before we get started, here are three movies that fit that bill. If you haven’t seen them, now is the time. You can even call it homework: “The Usual Suspects,” “Fight Club,” “Fargo.”)
Oh, and if you haven’t read the stories I’ve been mentioning in these posts, I’m warning you now there will be some spoilers.
This is the fourth part of a series of posts about writing a story. (Again, when I write the word story, I mean a true tale, nonfiction). Here, I will discuss what I mean by flavor and how to add it to your story.
“I like the sound of boom, boom,” firework maker Reach Ravuth said.
This is flavor. Flavor is that creative little extra that’s added to the story to show (not tell) readers a detail they wouldn’t get otherwise. It’s usually not necessary to tell the story, but it’s vital to make the story spicy. It makes it come alive. That Reach Ravuth likes the sound of fireworks going off shows you a bit of his personality.
He also says he’s not afraid of having an accident. Perhaps because the $250 a month he gets from making fireworks is good money. Perhaps because he was a soldier in the 1980s so he is still full of bravado, or perhaps because of his long experience with fireworks. He says he weighs the ingredients carefully and takes his time.
When I see flavor in a story I’m excited. It’s what makes the story sizzle. As a storyteller you have flexibility over what you decide to include. The same story could be told differently depending on who is telling it.