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Annette Simmons

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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Annette Simmons

Stories with a Moral Blueprint – Part 2 of 8

Meaning Makers Any storyteller can train herself to ensure her stories support meaningful feelings. The first step is to acknowledge the numbers won’t always reflect the emotional payoffs of deferred self-interest. The second step is to decide to do it anyway. This kind of storyteller actively practices meaningful personal strategies that balance the needs of

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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 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

The Spirituality of Storytelling…with animals!

Do your stories have a spiritual message? Or…perhaps we should ask ourselves what spiritual message do our stories tell?  Because all storytelling delivers a spiritual message.  The message may be spiritually rich or poor but it is there.  And it seems like spirituality has been at the core of storytelling from the beginning.  A recent article about newly discovered cave

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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

Read More »

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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