HOW DOES ONE, MUST TELL A STORY?
How do you tell a story? How do we tell a story? How must one tell a story? What’s the right way to tell a story? I don’t know. Why, is there really any right or wrong way in telling a story?
In my perspective, telling a story is just like painting, photography, animation, graphic design, film-making, drawing, graffiti, poster making, and other forms of visual art. When you tell a story, you are basically creating an image or a scene inside your audience’s collective consciousness. Their collective mind is your canvass and your most important medium is your connection with your audience.
In my 22 years of exposure to mass media, I have noticed 4 fundamental elements of every story I encountered in general.
The 4 W’s
These are the basic questions that justified every existing story that there is.
What - the message/content
Who - the target audience
How - the way it is transmitted, and perceived
Why - the purpose or its motivation
Every story has it’s own story to be precise, and I learned that there aren’t really good or bad stories. In this essay, I am going to dig a little bit deeper on the “How”.
Every effective story has it’s own abstract mechanisms. In order to convey a story effectively, its engineering must always compliment its architecture.
Every story is entirely independent from the minds that contain it. Stories exist independently by its own. Independent from our thoughts and our consciousness.
There are three basic kinds of stories that I encounter all the time.
First is the kind of story that is constantly playing in our day to day existence, the one that I believe to be intelligently designed. We do not control nor create these kinds of stories. They shape their own existence into the very fabrics of our reality as the clocks tick. Every state vector in our universe is basically a story on it’s own and do not need humanity’s consent to come into being. Stories like incidents, accidents or basically events that transpire independently from our grasps. The one that is fully synchronized with that entity that we call “time”.
The second one is the kind that people create. Like fantasies, novels, fiction and the likes. The ones that only comes into being purely through a man’s imagination, will-power, and intervention.
The third is the kind of story that is a combination of human intervention and natural events, basically a hybrid. The ones that are partly fictional and real. The top corner of every triangle where the above mentioned two intersects and harmonizes.
Now when one tells a story, it’s either going to be between a “1” and a “0”, comprised by a combination of 1’s and 0’s. With this, I am meaning that telling a story is simply binary. Every story told will be determined and justified by its entire composition and design. With “1” being a “hit” and “0” being a “miss”, every story that is told contains both “ 1’s ” and “ 0’s ” in my perspective. Mainly because if either one of the two is lacking, a story cannot exist nor can be told and be convincing at the same time. In layman’s view, this is defined as the positive and the negative, the yin and the yang, the dark and the light, the black and the white, the stars in the sky and the sky in the night.
I don’t really think that there is a right and a wrong way in telling a story. I believe there must only be an effective and an ineffective way. And again this is only going to be determined by the combination of “ 1’s ” and “ 0’s ” it consist and how they are arranged. Only by realizing this, I have started developing my own style in telling a story.
I am really no professional nor a nerd about literature and mass communication but it’s safe to say that I have been fully aware about the duality of life and how it is integrated in all the things that there is. And only by this awareness can one truly grasp the universe, the infinite, and eternity. I’m not trying to sound like a “New Ager” here, I’m just saying that enlightenment isn’t really that far from us.
One of the keys that I have found for unlocking the hidden treasure chest that contains the secrets of the universe is understanding. Our understanding of life in general and applying it to all the things that we come across.
A good storyteller must consider his/her audience first. Only by then he can tell a story in any way he/she pleases. Followed by carefully arranging the “ 1’s ” and the “ 0’s ” in an order that the audience shall be convinced. One cannot always be certain about his impact towards his audience, one can only be certain about the way he delivers his story. Videos, cartoons, photographs, and etc. can only aid the presenter, but the presenter can always present effectively with the absence of these tools. One just have to understand the significance of “1” and “0” and the top corner of the triangle.
One doesn’t really have to complicate things, everyone can formulate and develop his/her own way in telling a story. By simply understanding the fundamental truth that each process and transition must contain a unique composition and arrangement” in order to be really effective. The “best way” is actually just a “matter” of “time”. Trends come and go but styles forever remain with pop culture, the word I believe is “timing”, the right timing. Regardless of the communication style and tools, “time” will be the ultimate judge. Not the audience/receiver nor the sender/the storyteller, not the tools that one utilizes in presenting, “time” will.
One must not be afraid to disconnect from the collective consciousness and the norms that are set by the “ACADEME”. Everyone can learn independently. In fact, all the great heroes in the story books that there is contained scenes of having some alone time before every resolution. The patterns are completely identical with our personal quests in real life. One must not be afraid to wander and get lost. One must learn how to live alone and think independently. One must not be afraid to experiment. One must not be afraid to fail. One must not be afraid to feel abnormal, normal is just a matter of time and of opinion anyway.