Even a mediocre story, well told, can help people remember you for the right reasons.  But all too often, storytellers find themselves following a tangent, losing their way, and fumbling to get back on track.  Meaning their story tails off into a whimper, that if remembered, will be for all the wrong reasons.

While in person this can be painful to listen to, at least people are obliged, through politeness if nothing else, to hear you out.  In written form however, nobody has to read such a story, they can merely turn the page or click through to something more interesting.

People often tell me that they have countless half-written blog posts: stories that’ve just fizzled into nothing.  What a shame to think of all those unfinished stories floating aimlessly around cyberspace, destined never to see the light of a computer screen!

And yet, this is an easy storytelling malady to fix.  All the best stories have some kind of structure: they hang on a skeleton of one shape or another.  And at the very heart of this skeleton is the reason you’re telling the story in the first place: what it is that you want people to Think, Feel, or Do.  Once you know this, you can use it to inform the rest of your structure, and the tools you use to tell your story.  Meaning you can take your readers on a journey that makes sense, that holds their interest, and keeps them reading.

So the next time you’re about to tell a story, ask yourself, what do you want people to Think, Feel, or Do once they’ve read or heard your story?  And then structure the rest with that in mind.

Until next time, Happy Blogging!