Sunday, October 20, 2013

Telling Stories

There's an art to telling stories. Some folks are naturally gifted storytellers, but there are some people who struggle with pace, timing, and pieces of the story that hold power for listeners.
For as long as I can remember, I've loved hearing and telling jokes. Many of the jokes I've heard and told, would probably be inappropriate for my readers here, but I think understanding how to tell a joke is important for those who want to write. 
It can't be so long that it bores the listener. It has to be just long enough to add power to the punchline.
I think it was my love of jokes, and knowing how to tell one, that helped me develop as a writer, which is in effect, a story teller.
It's important to tweak the reader/listener's interest up front, and then drop nuggets of humor, wisdom, enlightenment and what not as the story develops.
Pace is everything.  
I got to thinking about this yesterday because a great storyteller performed just before us at the Kentuck Arts Festival.
His delivery of his stories was impeccable  and as a result, everyone in the audience hung on every word.
It reinforced a valuable lesson in my quest to become a better writer.

Below is a photo I shot early this morning with my iPhone, with no Photoshop enhancements.


  1. Beautiful photo!! Obviously, you're a great storyteller!!

  2. Anonymous10:57 PM

    Cindy said it all for me!!

    1. Anonymous11:21 PM

      Another cartoon for you, Rick.
      Send me your email address, please.
      I'm at

  3. I think poetry read aloud adds substance to the words!! I always admire those able to tell a story verbally!! Take care

  4. Oh the photo is just lovely. I am horrible at telling jokes. I can't remember how they go most of the time but I love to listen. The Hubby is masterful at telling a great joke or story. Now writing, I'm not great but I'm not bad either.

  5. A well-placed joke is awesome. It's all about delivery and timing. Humor makes life really grand in my opinion.

  6. Your zinnia are lovely. My father was a good story teller. He spent from 17-25 years old working on a gang for the railway. They lived without TV and other forms of interruptions - basically a team of mean for months at a time on the railcars outside city limits away from other people and distractions. He was a good joke teller too and it was always a pleasure when he told a story. I, on the other hand, get so nervous and suddenly conscious that all eyes are on me , flub my story all the time and so I don't even try. It's definitely an art in my opinion!

  7. Those zinnias are so colorful. Beautiful!!
    I am NOT a good joke teller. I think storytelling is a gift that some people are born with. I've seen a video on YouTube of a little girl telling the Bible story of Jonah who is amazing. She has that talent. : )

  8. You're absolutely right - telling a good joke or story is an art. It's riveting and/or hilarious when done well. And those zinnias! - beautiful light, and those iPhone cameras just keep getting better and better.

  9. Nothing I like better than a good story touched with humor! My youngest kiddo does standup comedy around the area...he's always been funny but we never would have thought he would do this for fun! Hmmm maybe there's a writer hiding in his head! My problem with telling jokes is remembering them!


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