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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: Part eight (templates)

“And, But, Therefore” Contrast is key to the structure of any story. For example, characters with a recognizable internal struggle provide the most engaging points of reference. It is actually easier to visualize a CEO who takes paternity leave, a hero who stutters, or an enemy who loves dogs than it is to imagine a

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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: Part six

Defining Story as a Significant Emotional Experience My current teaching definition of story is: “the narration of a significant emotional experience that feels meaningful to both teller and listener.” Teaching non-professional storytellers helped me realize that it is much easier for them to find a great story if I ask them to think about a

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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: Part five

Story Is Still the Foundation of Culture and Context If formulas and machine learning could solve all of our problems, we wouldn’t need stories. Like every religion, technology delivers dogma and formulas that promise more clarity than they can deliver. Religions recruit metaphor and storytelling to make sense of ambiguities that dogma can’t condense. Technological

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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: Part four

Storytelling Morals and Ethics for the Digital Age Obviously, the combined power of story and technology begs for a new code of ethics. The good news is that enduring myths “crowd sourced” moral lessons long before we coined the term, by incorporating centuries of listeners’ tales about what works, what doesn’t work, and how to

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Annette Simmons

Storytelling Moral Survival System: Part three

The Social Impact of Storytelling Over the twenty years since The Story Factor was first published technology has accelerated communication, and with it the speed of storytelling, beyond our wildest imagination. Amid the revolutionary growth of all this digital media, video, database mining, and social media, Apple founder Steve Jobs commented that the “most powerful person

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Annette Simmons

Storytelling: Moral Survival System (Part One)

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.” From a distance, storytelling also seems to have every man’s wish on board. There is an initial euphoria when you consider that once you learn how to tell stories that alter perceptions, conclusions, and actions you might become captain of all the ships and invent

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Popular Posts

Storyteller’s Confession: My Secret Mission

I’ve been trying to infiltrate the halls of power for decades. My secret mission is to increase the diversity of thought by teaching those without a voice how to tell their stories and by teaching leaders how to find and retell stories that broaden everyone’s understanding.

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 8 of 8

We need a Magic School for Storytellers Thirty years before J. K. Rowling created Harry Potter, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series imagined a magic school that taught apprentice sorcerers how to avoid abusing the power of magic. Le Guin points out early in the series that “even to light a candle is to cast a

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 7 of 8

Truth in Storytelling When I wrote the first edition of The Story Factor twenty years ago, I began with the idea that people don’t want more information. They want faith in you and your positive intentions. I never suspected that two decades later we’d be discussing an explosion of stories that intentionally undermine this faith. Without

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 6 of 8

The Moral Dilemmas of a Lion, a Scarecrow, and a Tin Man Frank Baum’s original introduction to The Wizard of Oz, written in 1900, made it clear that he felt children no longer needed the stereotypical “old-time fairy tale” that “may now be classed as ‘historical’ in the children’s library.” Baum claimed the time had

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Stories with a Moral Blueprint – part 5 of 8

  Blueprints for Building Trust Learning to drive was fun until I hit the mailbox. I burst into tears, blaming my dad, “You told me not to brake when turning corners!” It wasn’t my fault that he neglected to clarify I should brake before turning the corner so I could release the brakes while turning

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