I’ve always been fascinated by stories. There’s something so simple yet powerful about a story that can move the heart, body and soul.
We live in a world of stories.
On the first week of school, my tutor, Lei shared her story about how she became a designer. She brought us from Singapore all the way to New York in a matter of seconds, guiding us into her world of shadow puppetry, art exhibitions and food (yes, food. Imagine choosing pasta alphabets and forming words then adding hot soup and finally savor it.) I was captivated and enchanted by her story.
Another time I sat through 100 minutes of pain, torture and eye-rolling in Taiwan. I was in a movie theatre watching the latest remake of Fantastic 4 (2015).
4 words. Do Not Watch It.
Then I asked the question: Why are some stories better than others?
The right person to answer this is Donald Miller. He’s an author of several best-selling books, co-wrote a nationally-released movie and shares marketing strategies for multi-billion dollar brands.
Miller has a simple 7-step process to tell an engaging story.
The structure is:
A character has a problem, and then meets a guide, who gives them a plan and calls them to action. That action either results in a comedy or a tragedy.
In fact, thousands of Hollywood films have raked in billions of dollars because of the above two sentences. In his free e-book, Miller talks about Star Wars. Luke Skywalker wants to fight against the evil empire, but he also wants to know if he has what it takes to be a Jedi. He meets a guide named Yoda who gives him confidence, a plan and training to go out and defeat the enemy. The comic or happy ending happens when Luke destroys the Death Star and preserves the Rebellion to fight another day.
The same goes for The Hunger Games movie. Katniss tries her best to survive the games and needs the help of Haymitch. Haymitch gives her confidence and a plan. She will need to endear the public to get sponsorships that will greatly benefit her in the games. She takes action by participating in the games and, after a struggle, finds a happy ending in which she lives to fight another day, delivering hope to her family and District 12.
If you want to learn the details as to how to craft a good story, for a speech, a book or maybe for your own life, you might want to download his free e-book “How To Tell A Story” below.
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