Today is World Storytelling Day!
Nothing thrills me more than a good story shared with some embellishment, improvisation or theatrics!
The truth is, storytelling is an important part of society and culture. Sometimes, we use stories to entertain audiences; other times, we use them to reinforce moral values.
Author Christopher Booker claimed that there are just seven basic story types that we tell: Overcoming the monster (my personal favourite!), rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return, comedy, tragedy and rebirth.
If this is true, it's no surprise then that sometimes budding writers find it a challenge to develop fresh storytelling ideas!
If you're looking for some ways to reinvigorate your storytelling skills, here are some helpful hints:
Go for a long walk and tell yourself stories about the people or things that you see.
Write a blog about something you're interested in or passionate about.
Keep a journal. Write in it when you feel great. Write in it when you feel sad. Write in it when you don't even know how you feel!
Write down all of the funny things you hear when you're out and about.
Write a sequel to a story that you've enjoyed reading. What might happen next to one of these characters? Write sequels for your own stories too.
Keep a notebook with you wherever you go (or use a smartphone) so you can jot down a story idea whenever it comes to you.
When you come across a word you're not familiar with, look it up in a dictionary and then use it in your writing.
Speak to people you've never spoken to before--write longer emails to your friends and family--or even get a pen friend (those were the days!). Ask people to tell you about their lives. Try to find new stories in what they're telling you.
Draw pictures of your thoughts.
Write for your local newspaper or magazine.
Read a lot of books and write book reviews.
Remember, writing stories, like any skill, is something that you get better at with practice. So, keep on writing and don't forget to ask people to read your stories and tell you what they think of them--good and bad!
Victoria Hall is an English-born writer and illustrator with a passion for anything gothic, eccentric or quirky. She is the creator of three picture books for children, Penny Prickles at Coogee Beach, Eggy Peggy Has Lost Her Leggy and The Fairy Beasts. For more, follow Victoria on Instagram or check out her bio here.