QUICK GUIDE ONE. Marilyn A. Hudson
Basics of Telling A Story /A story that is told can be 1-15 min. long, however, most stories are in the 3 to 10 minute range. The teller stands before an audience and speaks to convey a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end; variations include sitting and moving among the audience. Microphones may be needed in some settings. Teller introduces them self, names the story or shares the theme; if using another’s work proper credit is given. The teller speaks clearly and varies tone, emphasis and volume for interest to the listener.
Listen, Read, View and Analyze /Review folklore in books in the library (they are usually found in the 398.2-398.29 area), listen to tellers in person and on audio tape/CD, watch tellers in person or on a video. What makes them successful? What did you like? What did you not like? What works?
Themes /A good story will have usually a universal theme: hope, love, courage, survival, redemption, self-discovery, community values, respect, justice, peace, family, etc.
Enhancing the story /The story experience can be enhanced through the addition of repetitions within the story, participation, chants, songs, sounds, music, props, visuals, costume, or dance. Additionally, puppets (from simple hand creations to complex shadow or marionettes) have been a traditional favorite for some.
Characters /Most stories revolve around a character (hero, protagonist, counterpoint). A good story has a memorable and sympathetic figure with which the listener can care and empathize. The character is the “everyman” of the medieval street theater and yet unique enough to peak interest.
References /Organizations: National Storytelling Network (www.storynet.org);
Support Groups /Join or, if none exists, form a support group. Focus should be on helping other tellers, self-improvement, and the active, frequent sharing of stories. Avoid groups where there is no opportunity for telling, learning, or where the atmosphere is elitist.