When Leo Tolstoy felt the urge to talk about life and war, it took him 6 years, several drafts, and over 560,000 words to complete War and Peace.
But telling stories doesn’t have to be hard (or take as long as an elementary school education.)
We already tell stories everyday … but when we sit down to write, it’s easy to freeze up.
Too many expectations. Maybe recurring nightmares from high school English.
(Bit of irony: I didn’t take English the required four years in high school. I only took 1.25 years of curriculum-approved study… and filled up the other 2.75 years with made-up projects.)
Simple is best.
Here’s all you need:
One day, something happened.
That’s about it. Tell me something that happened.
Don’t have to be funny. Or clever.
It helps if you put it in the most basic story structure:
1) A Goal
2) An Obstacle (conflict)
3) A Result — success or failure
But even if you don’t — even if you just relate what happened to you or someone else — you’ll trigger the story switch in your reader’s head, and have a better chance at winning their attention.
And you can do it in just one sentence:
Say you just want to introduce some content, and you don’t have time to go hunting for a story to wrap around your information.
Here’s a how a story pro does it:
Ree Drumond, aka the Pioneer Woman, tells stories like she breathes — easily and all the time.
Check out the one-sentence story she uses to kick off a recipe post (pure content):
“I made Raspberry Fool on a recent episode of my cooking show, and it reminded me that I had never posted it here or put it in one of my cookbooks—both of which I’m going to remedy tout de suite! “
There’s even a little conflict (forgetting to post the recipe) and a result: she’s posting the recipe now.
Nothing more to it.