sto·ry /ˈstôrē/ noun — A narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale.
At the heart of StoryDisruptive changes is the power of story and how it lives, breathes and moves in people’s lives. To engage audiences in story, we need to take a closer look at “story” itself. How is story used in peoples lives? In culture? What makes a “good” story? Let’s start with the basics …
Storytelling and story consumption is ACTIVE (and always has been).
Since the birth of television and films, storytellers have moved away from creating active story experiences, leaning more on the creation of passive experiences. Primarily because the storytelling media options – TV and film – are simply passive in nature. The 21st century has now birthed various new media tools that are more active, allowing us to return to storytelling that is interactive and social.
Story is humanity’s primary source of entertainment & learning (and always has been).
… Story as entertainer evokes laughter, escape, intrigue and suspense.
… Story as teacher sheds light on new and old ideas, cultural norms and ultimately makes us think and feel our humanity in deeper ways.
Every story has a bit of either one of these elements, some more and some less. It is those stories that can masterfully accomplish both that resonate deeply with audiences and become beloved. Take for example Star Wars. It is both deeply entertaining (laughter, escape, intrigue & suspense) and it mirrors our own humanity to us – the ultimate hero’s journey. The result, a story that has become a part of our cultural fabric with several decades of loyal fans continuing to keep that story alive and beloved.
Today we need to create story experiences that are active, entertaining and resonating. There is no reason not to. We are no longer limited in media choices and audiences are demanding good, quality storytelling.
These are the basic, foundational elements of story. For the next few posts, I am going to take a deeper look into these ideas and what kinds of story experiences will resonate with audiences in the 21st Century – from a cultural, psychological and artistic perspective. Stand by for more on story … coming soon!