We are officially beginning this stories, Ira Glass cycle.
Who is Ira Glass?
He just happens to be one of my favorite storytellers and the host of NPR’s ,“Ira says it far better than I can, so turn your eyes to the top of this segment and watch for yourself. “This American Life.” In this video he talks about the elements that make up a good story. The first and most important is that no matter how complex you think your story is, at the end of the day, it breaks down into a series of actions.
Take this example: Man wakes up. Man goes to the kitchen. Man hears a noise. Man hears noise. Noise continues. Man creeps down the hallway. Man see’s a shadow darting around the corner. Man shakes in terror. Man steps around the corner and . . .
He see’s that it was just a mouse, nibbling on a scrap of cheese he had left out overnight.
Sure, it’s not particularly poignant and really, none of the actions are that interesting, but it certainly is a story because you, as the reader, will follow along, waiting to see what happens next. We think in terms of chronologies and when we see one, we need to see how far they lead and where they end up going.