Storytelling Secrets Ep 04: How Do You Structure a Story?

Use the Hero’s Journey to bring your stories to life. When you follow that structure you’ll nail it every time.


Takeaways


  • Apply structure

    The Hero’s Journey is a wonderfully effective way to tell a story. You can overlay your story onto this framework to captivate your audience.

  • Use conflict

    Stories must include struggle of some kind. It doesn’t have to be an overdramatic or intense struggle yet without conflict of some kind, you just have a list of facts.

  • Share lessons

    Your stories can contain rich messages which we all can benefit from learning. Use those takeaways to teach your audience something new or a different perspective.

When you tell a story — a GOOD story — your audience can see themselves in your Hero’s Journey.Kymberlee

You know the story that you want to tell. Now, how do you structure it? There are so many different structures in storytelling. One of my favorites is called the Hero’s Journey. Now there are books written on this. There are articles. You can do a ton of research and go very deep into this format. And I’ll break it down in a really simple way, just five steps, and here they are.

Step one. The Hero hears a call.
Step two. The Hero reluctantly answers the call.
Step three. The Hero goes on a journey.
Step four. The Hero overcomes a conflict or a struggle.
Step five. The Hero comes home transformed with lessons to teach.

That’s it. It’s that simple. So if you put yourself through that structure of telling a story, you’ll nail it every time. Let me unpack it for a you a little bit further.

The Hero gets a call. What does that even mean? Well, you are the Hero in your story if you’re telling a story about something that happened to you. So, when the Hero gets a call, that means you had an opportunity or the character, the main character in your story, had an opportunity.

The Hero reluctantly answers a call. Stories are great when there’s a little bit of resistance, like, oh, I don’t know if I want to do that thing. I don’t know if I want to take that opportunity. The hHero reluctantly answers the call.

The Hero goes on a journey. So now the story is about to unfold. That journey doesn’t have to be a trip across the huge mountains on an epic adventure. It doesn’t have to be that. The journey could take place in your kitchen.

The Hero overcomes a struggle, or encounters conflict, and this is the key part to any story. You must have conflict in your story. If you don’t have conflict, you do not have a story. Conflict is everything, but here’s what that conflict can be. Conflict doesn’t have to be something tragic happened. Conflict can just be as simple as you had a decision that you needed to make. Should I say yes or should I say no? Should I move across the country and accept that job or should I stay put? Conflict is when a decision needs to be made.

And then, the Hero overcomes this struggle or this conflict, and comes home with lessons to teach. So, based on what happened in that struggle, what did you learn? What are the most important lessons that that experience taught you, or taught the main character of your story?

So that’s it. If you put your story into that format, you are going to nail it every single time because your audience can follow you, and they will enjoy hearing your story as it unfolds.

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