|Parkside Road, New London, Copyright Simon Brooks, 2012|
Storytelling allows you, the teller, to improve your imagination. Without imagination, as I always say, how can you think outside of the box? How does an artist come up with a new concept without imagination? How does the researcher come up with a cure? How does the car mechanic find the problem that all the other mechanics can't fix? How does the financial adviser figure out how to relieve a country of it's debt? How does the parent tell the child the story without a book? With imagination. And like every other muscle in the body, the brain needs exercise - using the imagination is one of the best exercises you can use.
It was a lot of fun helping these young people to tell their personal stories. We looked at how to start, and probably one of the hardest things, how to end the story. Because these tales were personal stories, they knew the tale already, but trying to present a story in a captivating way that leaves the listener wanting more is sometimes a challenge. You want the story to come to a conclusion and not leave the listener wondering what happened next, unless the story is a cliff-hanger. We found in one story that the end could be tied up nicely by repeating, or drawing upon part of the beginning of the tale, taking a minor detail (yet part of the character of the people involved in the story) and repeating it at the end, wrapped the event together with a perfect conclusion.
On a slightly different note, one of the organizations I belong to is called L.A.N.E.S.. It stands for the League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling. This coming March they are holding their main event - Sharing the Fire, the Northeastern Storytelling Conference. This is an annual event for anyone interested in story. If you use story as part of your therapy practice, or you teach, if you use stories to get information across, then this is a great place to learn new skills and refine those you already have. I am doing a workshop presentation with Karen Chace on Branding. If you need to get branded, then this workshop would be perfect for you. It will be fun and informative and it will not hurt one bit. If you need to find your ending, there are workshops for that too!
Visit www.lanes.org for more information about the conference and about their first ever, Community version of the Museletter (usually only available to members).
Stay warm and well in this icy weather.