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Storytelling process (& thick description)

How can I explain things better in my writing?

This is such an important question and it relates to both written and oral storytelling. The storytelling process goes something like this:

Step 1: The storyteller has a scene in her imagination.

Step 2: The storyteller has to take the time to create and “see” the details in her imagination with great clarity and with all five senses.

Step 3: The storyteller has to find the words that describe those details. This includes what the setting looks like, what the main character looks like, how the main character feels, what the other characters look like, etc.

Using an online dictionary and thesaurus will help you find just the right nouns, adjectives and verbs that you need to describe the scene exactly as you see it. This takes time. Don’t hurry through this step.

Step 4: When she is ready, the storyteller speaks those words out loud to a listener or hands over the manuscript to to a reader.

Step 5: If the scene is vividly described, then the listener or reader will “see” it in her imagination.

It all begins with what you see in your imagination. If you can’t see the scene clearly, then your audience will not see it clearly either. Once you see the scene, the challenge is to find the words to put it down on paper. But if you take time in step three to find the right  words, your audience will love you for it and, quite likely, they will remember your story for a long, long time!

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