Are you stuck in creating your legacy story? Sometimes, it can be hard to know where to start. And if you’re not a writer already, just the process of writing it down can turn your stomach in knots. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, I’m offering you 10 ways to up your storytelling game. Pay attention; you might just become the storyteller you always thought you were.
1. Read More
Great writers and storytellers usually read a lot. They take the time to get to know other writers and research writers outside their genre. You need to read more to be a better writer. That’s just one reason we push children to read more: we want them to tell better stories! This is a sure-fire way to up your storytelling game.
2. Research Before You Tell
Before using the Legacy Recorder, it’s a good idea to research the entire process. The legacy is full of research about you, your family, and the people you love. It doesn’t feel like research, and it’s really easy to do. Plus, it’s fun! You get to hang out with your mom, grandma, and other family members. And if your primary sources are already gone, you spend time with secondary sources to do research. Definitely do your research before you tell your story. Take the time to get to know your characters, timelines, and places you’ve been because that will help you frame and figure out where you’re going with your storytelling.
3. Listen to Other Storytellers
This is similar to #1, but listening to someone tell a story is very different from reading it. When you listen, you hear inflection, the changes in their voice. If you’ve listened to audiobooks, you know how different that experience feels in relation to reading the same book. In listening to storytellers, you gain an opportunity to view your language in a new way, see it from a different perspective. Hearing a story is a great way to up your storytelling game.
Improvisation is a huge part of storytelling. Find some improv exercises that work for you and try them with your family. Just think how different dinnertime conversations will be when you start with an improv exercise!
5. Revisit Old Material
If you aren’t a writer or haven’t written a lot of things that you’ve saved in a drawer or box somewhere, you may not have old material in the traditional sense. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have material. What about that scrapbook you created in the ‘90s? Or your wedding album? And that baby book you started and never finished? That’s a prime source to up your storytelling game. Other things that could be included in old material are things you didn’t even write. Love letters from your husband, cards from your parents while you were at summer camp, recipes from your grandmother… these are all sources. Revisiting old material ups your storytelling game because you’re now in a different place; now, you approach it with a brand-new perspective.
Take full advantage of the search feature on Pinterest to up your storytelling game. Look for prompts, character structure, and storytelling. There’s just a ton of information to be found on Pinterest. Definitely follow the Legacy Recorder on Pinterest. I have whole boards dedicated just to prompts, character development, and how to use those items in the Legacy Recorder.
You may not have thought of using dialogue in your legacy story, and that’s okay, but thinking about how we talk to each other is a huge benefit to up your storytelling game. Remember that dialogue doesn’t have to be between two characters. It can be an internal dialogue or something like a presentation or speech. What someone is going to say is part of dialogue. Accents are also a part of dialogue, especially if you want to share how your great-grandmother came over to the US from Russia and had an accent.
8. Write More
This might sound a little obnoxious, especially since you’re already working on your legacy story. But just practicing writing and storytelling can up your storytelling game. As with anything, if you want to master it, you have to practice it. To become a better storyteller, you have to tell more stories.
9. Know Yourself
Getting to know yourself, how you write, how you like to work, what you like to say, and who you are as a character will completely change your storytelling game. We don’t need another “great American novelist”; we need you. We need your personality, the way you light up when you’re talking about something you love. Know yourself as a storyteller and understand what you need to tell your story.
10. Share Your Story
No surprise that one of the best ways to up your storytelling game is to actually share your story. So many people have amazing stories, and while they’ve written them down, they’re forgetting to say them aloud. They might be scribbled in notebooks, on Post-It notes on the fridge, or all around their office, but they’re not sharing them in a public forum. Get over your fear and share your story!
Are You Ready to Up Your Storytelling Game?
If you really want to get your story out there, these 10 simple steps will definitely help. Once you’ve set your mind to telling your story, you can come up against challenges. But with these 10 steps, you’ll up your storytelling game in no time!