The story trend: are you bored of bad ones?

From brand journalism to in-bound marketing  – we’re all encouraged to use story to engage our audiences – but what makes for a good story and even more, for a good writer?

Years ago, a friend recommended Robert McKee’s ‘Story Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting‘. I’d eagerly raced out and bought a copy, and tried to get into it, but at the time, I lost momentum and it sat patiently on my bookshelf — until a few weeks ago. It must have known that it’s time would come as it’s now proudly sporting a number of hand written annotations and several cracks in its spine and  from over use! Why have I found it so useful?

An animation of the Structure of Story

Structure of Story Prezi

Click to open a ‘Structure of Story’ Prezi

Being a visual thinker – and also wanting to learn Prezi with a ‘real’ project – I decided to create my first Prezi to try and represent Robert McKee’s thoughts on both the structure of story (acts, scenes and sequences) and the techniques of writing (the ‘quest’, ‘writing between gaps’, ‘turning points’ etc.) – and here’s the outcome:.

The Structure of Story Prezi

I’ve only scratched the surface of Robert McKee’s book – I’d encourage you to have a read – it’s a great help in understanding why some stories work better than others.

Story is like creating a symphony, you need to learn the instruments and how they work in harmony with timing to create great music. It’s not something that’s as easy as picking up a trumpet and blowing – it takes knowledge, understanding and practice, practice, practice.

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