Storytelling - Step 4 – Organize

7 Steps to Better Writing - Charles Maxwell 2020

Step 4 – Organize

An important technique for conveying a message is storytelling. Stories are engaging. They enhance reality and provide a framework on which to hang many details. Readers will remember your stories and the linked facts.

Several non-fiction books that do a great job using stories to teach serious lessons include:

· Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition, by Harvey Mackay, 1988

· The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, by Michael E. Gerber, 1995

· Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, by the Arbinger Institute, 2009

When telling a story, use the following steps:

· Introduce the story by describing the scene. Provide concrete details, but supply them judiciously.

· Introduce the characters. Tell who is involved. Help your readers care about the persons in the story—describe their physical features and interesting facts, and explain motives.

· Introduce a challenge. Draw your readers into the struggle.

· Tell how your characters face their challenges, and show how they triumph over obstacles or are crushed by opposition.

· Throughout your narrative, paint word pictures, but be succinct.

· End the story and make your point. Explicitly—but briefly—emphasize the story's application.

Go light on mystery and suspense. Few people when reading business or other non-fiction documents want heavy mystery and drawn out suspense.