1. everfae

    everfae New Member

    Jul 15, 2015
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    How to get started in storytelling?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by everfae, Jul 15, 2015.

    Hi :)
    I'm new here, and before you read on, a tl;dr: I have no idea how to develop storytelling skills or how to practice this skill and I'm looking for advice.

    Now the slightly longer version. Currently I'm an animation student, and storytelling is obviously a very important part of this area... except that I have no idea what I'm doing. I've realised this year that it's something I struggle with a lot and I have to make a short film by the end of next year, as well as the year after so I need to get better at this!! I'm focusing on developing better short story ideas because these films will be at most not more than 3 minutes. Now I have all this time over the summer holidays to practice my art / technical skills, I may as well get stuck into becoming a better storyteller. I have a very vague idea of what kind of stories I want to tell, but I also want to develop the ability to think of original and interesting ideas.

    So, where to begin?
  2. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2015
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    One book I think is really good at teaching story telling is The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. It deals more with screenplay writing, but since you are making movies, that may help as well. He also has a long video here, talking about some the structure besides the marketing.

  3. AsherianCommand

    AsherianCommand Active Member

    Mar 2, 2014
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    Chicago, Illinois
    Umm Clearly read this


    Hero of a thousand faces, Myths of any type,

    Reading books, practice, and reading about things in general. Its a talent built on work, it is not a natural skill. It comes over time. It will be a frustrating, hard, and you will be traveling to the unknown. Travel down that road and you will be well rewarded.

    Having creativity and being able to think about your writings. I have an active imagination so I am able to tell my stories pretty easily. And most people find them enjoyable, as I draw from my own life and use them.
  4. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

    Oct 18, 2012
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    Read a lot of books and write a lot of scenes/stories (good or bad). Experiment with it, play with it! :)
  5. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

    Jun 7, 2015
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    Tread lightly; this is exactly where I was in 1989. Freshly graduated from art school, concentrating on 3D animation, I went looking for info on storytelling so I could write my own animated shorts. Thirty-six years later, I haven't done any animation in ages and I'm totally caught up in trying to understand storytelling and working at banging out novels.

    Okay, just a bit of tongue-in-cheek there (the tread lightly part). But it is true.
    I'll give you a couple of shortcuts you can probably get through by the end of the summer:
    - Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain
    - Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder (you might wanna check out all three books in the series; the second one has the most detailed information)

    Get through those and you'll have a very clear understanding of how storytelling works as well as the tools to write.
  6. Christine Ralston

    Christine Ralston Active Member

    Sep 5, 2014
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    Write a lot...don't worry about how bad your writing is in the first draft. You need to have something down on paper to work with. Also, get lots of constructive feedback. Then revise, revise, revise. Sometimes, it can take several drafts to get it right.

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