Storytelling Secrets Ep 03: What Makes a Story?

A story is not a list of facts. A story is not your bio. A story is a point in time when something memorable happened.


  • Story has Characters.

    You can bring your stories to life by describing the characters in vivid detail. Reveal a particular trait or quirk and we will not be able to forget that personality.

  • Story has Place.

    We need to be able to picture your story in our mind's eye. Where did this narrative occur? Use place to paint a picture that will stand out for your audience.

  • Story has Emotions.

    Incidents carry emotions and emotions are experienced by people. The audience wants to feel your story. We can't relate to a list of facts.

Anger, surprise, heartache, elation...Make sure your story includes emotions!Kymberlee Weil

You've collected your stories and now you're ready to write one of them.

So, what is a story?

Here's what a story is not: A story is not a list of facts - "This happened, then this happened, then this happened, then this happened." That is not a story. That's a list of facts.

A story is also not your bio. Your bio belongs on your website. That is not a story.

Here's what a story is: An incident that has happened at one point in time. A story has characters. A story has place. A story has emotions. All of those elements are very important to bring into a story.

Think of Pixar who tells some of the best storytelling in the world. When a Pixar movie opens you're instantly transported to a place, a place in time. Something's happening. There are characters. There's an environment. There are emotions going on. That's what you want in your stories.

So think about taking a lens and zooming in on a very particular point in time where your story occurred. Then you can build your story out with all those wonderful details to tell us what happened in your story.

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