Storytelling Moral Survival System: part 12 (suggestions)

Make sure your stories always make your own heart sing.
Make sure your stories always make your own heart sing.

Art Your Heart into Storytelling

I worry that people who promise to science the shit out of storytelling haven’t been doing it long enough to understand how linear reasoning can ruin the flow of the creative process. Wise mystics used stories precisely to capture life’s mysteries intact, so anyone who promises to de-mystify storytelling needs to either explain how to re-mystify these paint-by-number stories or stop oversimplifying the process. If you agree, I believe the answer is to always put your heart into every story you find, develop, and tell. Not someone else’s hypothetical heart, but yours, the one that beats inside your chest when you feel inspired and suffers when you see others suffer. Now that storytelling ideas and advice are increasingly translated to suit the goals of technology and digital media, protecting a few primary concepts from being sliced and diced will help storytellers stay in touch with centuries of storytelling wisdom that is impossible to accommodate in linear binary formats. Novelist Haruki Murakami explains it this way: “In many cases, it’s because works that critics see as analytically excellent fail to win the natural empathy of readers.”

Excerpt from Chapter 11, 3rd ed. of The Story Factor (2019)  AUDIBLE VERSION HERE


4 thoughts on “Storytelling Moral Survival System: part 12 (suggestions)”

  1. Annette –

    Absolutely nailed it.

    I am reminded of the movie Dead Poet’s Society where the beginning of the poetry text book is a mechanical diatribe about how to judge poetry. Mr. Keating has his class rip those pages out of the book. At the end of the movie, the old fogey teacher who replaces him tries to get the students to read the section but it isn’t there, so he has someone read it from his book. That’s when Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) is leaving having been fired. As he leaves, the students stand on their desks, one by one and recite, “Oh Captain, my Captain.” to the dismay of the new teacher.

    If you can get a picture of that scene in your book for this section it would be perfect.

    Technology use without a heart and soul is as dull as an old hammer collecting dust in the garage. And just about as useless.


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