I have some friends who are great story tellers. I got to hang out with some of them tonight. And they got me thinking ...
How do you tell good stories?
Not everyone is good at telling stories. Some people are Toppers, only listening to your stories in order to tell a better story. Other people are Droppers, forgetting important details. Still others are Stoppers, leaving you hanging.
Have you ever had a bad story teller drive you crazy? Have you ever wanted to help them tell better stories?
There are probably a million things you could tell them. I know I still have a lot to learn about storytelling. I've seen eyes glaze over when I'm telling a story. But here's one thing I've learned about telling better stories ...
Include the right details
The right details ... the right amount of detail
Jesus did this beautifully. He told a story about a farmer sowing seeds in different types of soil. He didn't give too much detail: what kind of seeds, how many seeds, what was the farmer up to while the crop was growing. Jesus didn't give too much. But he also didn't give too little. He did give real details: what kept the crop from growing in the bad soil and what was the yield of the crop in the good soil.
Good storytellers give enough to detail to get you interested and keep you interested. But good storytellers don't bury you under detail. They keep the story moving along.
The right details ... the right texture
I love that the Bible tells the story of Jesus four separate times: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each of these authors has a specific purpose behind the telling of the story, a specific angle, a specific perspective. And the details that they choose to include lend their stories a certain texture. Mark's story zips along, rushing you toward an open-ended finale. Matthew includes sermons. Luke notices the poor and the outsiders. John has seven signs. Weight and weakness and wonder. Each of these wrap flesh around the stories.
Good storytellers use details to bring stories to life. Bald facts and efficient words prove too slick to stick to our mental pinboard. The right details roughen up the story and this texture gives a story impact and memorability.
The right details ... _______________
What are some other benefits of the right details?
Beyond including the right details, what would you tell someone who wants to tell better stories?