How You Can Become A Good Storyteller

relating words that people want to listen to.

Joshua Idegbere
Jan 14 · 4 min read
Photo by Jon Ly on Unsplash

Being a good storyteller is a fancy phrase that suggests being a writer that writes articles people love to read.

Imagine we are all seated in a maths class and, Albert Einstein, the mathematics professor is solving a problem backing the class. What can you see on the board when he finally leaves the view for the whole class to see?

Three things:

The problem;

The workings; and

The answer.

Can you actually see it? If you have, then let’s go into the meat of our discussion:

Every event of your life has a story that preceded it. They almost always come together. One almost can’t exist without the other.

The story behind an event is of more value than the event itself. So don’t let the story just pass. Capture them and keep them in your journal for future references.

But what’s a story?

In the context of our discussion, a story is the human experience behind an outcome or event. Serving as the journey that leads to the outcomes.

That’s why an article with narratives like, “How I did it” or “How it happened” has better appeal than those without them. This is because the human experience takes us on a journey of struggles, pains, persistence, or of courage before eventually arriving at the outcome — the destination.

When we read such articles, what we enjoy is the story behind the outcome. Not necessarily the outcome which without the story is only a dry piece of information.

So never forget to capture the story behind significant events in your daily life. Because the relevance and thrill of listening to your eventual success and lessons you’ve learnt in life are in those human experiences that led to them.

For instance:

  • When eventually you get a “yes” from the girl you’ve always wanted, tell her the story behind it. Tell her how you have mistaken her name for someones in your conversations.
  • When you eventually make $1000 from your writing don’t just tell us the outcome. Also tell us the story behind it: how you started by making $16, $21, and $39 in the first three months. Tell us how you never thought a thousand dollars was possible for you. Tell us the work and input and discipline that went into it before eventually hitting the $1000 mark in a single month.

That’s how to be a good storyteller. When you not only tell the outcomes but also relate the human experience behind them.

People don’t just need answers; they need human solutions.

Readers relate better to human struggles because they reinforce our humanity. We see ourselves in the struggles of the writer. We take the journey of courage with them and the taste of the possibilities of similar outcomes in our lives. In other words, we participate in the journey.

That’s what we, the readers, thirst for and that’s what you should feed us. We are interested in getting to the destination but we care more about the journey.

The value of any outcome or event of life is in the story or the human experiences that behind them.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

Any mathematics teacher knows that the student that shows his working will score better even if he eventually writes a wrong answer than the other who got the right answer without showing how he got it.

That’s also true for us, writers. Those who do a good job relating the story, don’t need to give the lessons a separate section. Rather, they naturally crystallize out in the minds of readers.

Show, don’t tell.

Story shows; the outcomes tell.

“Not idea about the thing but the thing itself.” — Wallace Stevens.

If you do a good showing, you need not do much telling to get your message across. If the reader follows the story, he will eventually find the lessons. That’s how to be a good storyteller. You not only tell the outcomes, you also relate the human experience behind them.

As you go about your day, remember to capture the story behind any significant event. Because that’s where the thrills and significance are.

But not all your articles will have a human experience to them. In those situations, you don’t have to invent one. A better option is to use analogies or metaphors that readers can relate with.

That’s how you can write articles people want to read more of. And that’s because the human experience or metaphor enables them to take part in the world created by your words.

Let’s conclude with this advice:

“The first duty of a writer is to entertain. Readers lose interest with exposition and abstract philosophy. They want to be entertained. But they feel cheated if, in the course of the entertainment, you haven’t taught them something.” — Writers’ Digest.


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Joshua Idegbere

Written by

A Young Guy, 26. Medical Doctor {in training}. Writes for The Startup, Publishous, the Ascent, Live Your Life on Purpose, a Few Words.

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Discover tomorrow’s bestsellers today.

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