We are all in essence storytellers. If we weren’t, dating would be incredibly boring, the world would lose much of its color and we might actually have had world peace! However, I am assuming if you are here you want to read about professional storytelling. Storytelling includes details about overlapping interests, character development, personal epiphany and everything else that acts as the jelly filling for a great story sandwich. To paraphrase something from Mario, I would say “Your article is in another castle”. Keep in mind for the next few minutes you are going down the stairs of digression and they lead you in many different directions.
Everyone has their way of telling a story and there is no ground rule that says this is the way it should be. However, all good stories have one thing in common: Perspective. It is true with any media or any form of content that we can consume. From the taste of a perfectly constructed sandwich to the take on conflicts, wars, disease and miracles. A good storyteller knows the most interesting viewpoints; he is the friend that knows the best routes to take, the things you shouldn’t miss out on and the moments in your journey that might make it better than the destination.
Recently I am on a marathon run to finish all of Spike Jonze‘s movies and in all honesty it feels like a collection of interesting walks rather than a series of sprints. Mr. Jonze has a very good grasp of how to bridge fantasy and reality but more importantly he does so without making you feel alienated. His movies will teach you one thing if you are into them: We are tethered by our weaknesses not our strengths! This by far is my favorite perspective on anything and everything.
Jonathan Blow , a video game designer, quoted that ” If you cannot see a vulnerability in someone you cannot relate to them at a personal level”. How beautifully true is that? Think about all the people you have been with or if that is too overwhelming, just think of someone you really care about. Someone you think of without trying or facing any level of difficulty, someone who comes to mind so easily that it is as if they are stitched into your subconscious by the finest tailors around. You will feel that the reason you get along with them is because you understand their problems, you understand them and you feel like you are not alone and neither are they.
Let’s dive into the world of superheroes and comics where you would possibly like Batman and Spider-Man a lot better than you would Superman. For those of you who have been living in a fossil, superman is the sole survivor of a destroyed planet, sent to Earth in his infancy. He has superhuman strength, the ability to fly and a strong moral compass. The last son of Krypton is very alien and his problems to the world seem alienating. It seems impossible for a person like him to ever have any problem but he does and in all honesty that is how he is truly alone. It is hard to tell Superman’s story and make it appealing to most people because most people never had their entire species taken out from the fabric of the universe. You can like him for his traits but you can never really relate to him as you could with the dark knight or to the web slinger. See the latter have problems that most people can understand or have experienced one way or the other; death in a family, the need to right the wrong and my personal favorite from Spider-Man’s side: Constant monologues in your mind about the simplest things like paying rent or getting the girl.
Good storytellers therefore need a good understanding of everything. Good story tellers find themselves lost in their world of trouble and find ways to adapt it to something more plate-able. The stories of problems might not be your own, but it is in your ability to comprehend and mold them into a vivid plot of heroism. This, however, is just my perspective and there are surely a million more ways to look at it, quantify it into something more reliable and make it much easier to emulate. Choices vary and that is the beauty in it. There are a million ways to tell the same story and a good storyteller knows his/her ways. You must remember that there is no best way, just different ways. If you think at the end of the day what you came up with has a certain ring, a certain zing, then perhaps you are on your way to make something special.
See how storytellers are doing in Bangladesh: Social Media in Bangladesh: How We See It