Let’s Go Around The Room And You Can Tell Us A Little About Yourself
No. Let’s NOT do that.
People have been asking me about storytelling.
When writing for clients or mentoring people wanting to write I do not ask them to reveal their history and ambitions. Not at first. That will come out soon enough.
First I will provide a writing prompt. For creative writing workshops, it might be a prompt about a local landmark and their first or strongest memory of that place. It’s amazing what comes from this and how much and how quickly we all learn about each other. The exercise also reveals where each person is at with their writing and their feelings about their writing.
Prompts are only that. Some students bend my prompts far out of shape. I don’t care.
A writing prompt is a catalyst not an English exam! ME
For clients I am helping with business copy, one of the most important things for me to discover is not only what their services are but what sparked them to go into this business. Yes, they want to make money but there is always a moment, often way back, that set them on this path. Discovering that answers many other questions and opens even more.
For a property agent, the question might be what was the third house you sold? As they answering that we will learn about other properties sold and what they learned.
For a trucking firm, it might be ‘what was the first truck you remember as a child?’
For me, it was a love of stories. In primary school, I read a book a day from the library in primary school and I wanted a job telling stories where no day would be the same = Journalist, my original career.
I’ve also been asked for recommendations for reading on storytelling.
Tristine Rainer’s Your Life As Story reveals that the arc of writing a novel is helpful for writing memoir and how the autobiographic process will open a memory chain reaction. She discusses The Nine Essential Elements of Story Structure. It is a brilliant list and a book I dip back into time and time again.
The other is Hegarty on Advertising. I can’t begin to tell you how helpful this book and how I turn to it every time I am working on a project that I fear, secretly, is beyond me.
Want to work together on one of those?
In reality, a brand only ever exists in the mind of consumers Hegarty.
And a brand exists in the stories we live and share.
P.S. What’s the brand story you remember best from your teens?