It’s spring and Q2 is well underway. Change is everywhere from the weather to the marketplace and governments. It’s all change. So how do you express it? Find your role in it? Sell it? Move it forward when there are so many variables and you don’t really know where it’s going?
Storytelling is the way it’s been done for millenniums. Every aspect of our lives from social media platforms designed to share our story to pitching products and teaching new ideas. Stories provide a point of reference; giving context to facts and adding the divine elements of curiosity, discovery, surprise and excitement.
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan or play video games like Assassins Creed or ever dipped a toe into the Marvel Universe franchise you’ll have experienced what it’s like to sit on the edge of your seat and watch as the tension builds, the unexpected leads us down unknown paths and takes us to uncomfortable places; all in the context of a story. A story that branches out from the origin story and moves us on to the new story –the story we don’t know the ending to.
Also notice how many Badass Women are being featured, in the movies, taking the stage and speaking out? Whether it’s in movies or small screen series public speaking stages or in courts and marches; women are finding their voice and speaking with emotional vulnerability, initiating the action and owning it. How is this power being harnessed? Through the vehicle of a well-structured story; told with purpose that doesn’t shy away from bold choices and conflict. A story that doesn’t resolve but rather Evolves.
This simple structure relies on 3 tried and true components: Set-Up, Conflict with life changing consequences creating Tension and the Pay-Off. It’s not only satisfying but surprising because it changes the game, the landscape and all the players in it. Fully exploring a narrative by asking lots of questions and answering the strongest ones with unexpected consequences or consequences we see coming (dramatic irony) with our insider observer information by the character is blind to and so makes a breathtakingly wrong choice!
Take this week’s Game of Thrones episode 2 of season 8. It’s set up has been carefully constructed over 8 seasons –10 years. We’ve had prophecies, lineage lines lost and found, alliances forged, agreements broken with dire consequences; Winter is Coming for a long time. Now it’s here and what’s at stake? Not just a Kingdom the very existence of life –all the righteous along with a few converts and villains. The conflict that has been building between the Winter King of Death and the Living. The tension builds and builds and builds…the episode is entitled the Long Night is full of positive action then negative and another negative and at times unrelenting atrocity. Only lifted by gallows humor and acts of selfless bravery of usually the Davids against the Goliath. Then the Pay-Off so rich as it’s the ultimate act by Arya who’s trained for this moment prepared for it with every experience leading her closer to achieving her long-held goal of revenge and fulfilling prophecy. She stands up to death by running right at it, faces it, letting go of the Valerian steel dagger and instinctual –instinct that has been honed for 10 years, she catches it and boom! Evil is destroyed and balance is restored; yet changed—she is changed—forever. For nothing can go back the way it was and there are so many lost. But that’s a story for another time.
Your recipe for Badass storytelling? Structure! Set-up is the hook with many unanswered questions. Then conflict with life changing consequences – cannot go on living the same way. Tensions build and are heightened; finally, a just pay-off. And now the world has changed because of this one act.
The secret sauce to this simple recipe? Surprise, Curiosity, Discovery and at its heart something you would sacrifice everything for.
Want help finding crafting and ultimately delivery your fire story—get in touch! I’d love to help! I’m going to be starting an online storytelling workshop on-line and live! Take up your sword of truth and let’s get to the heart of the matter.