Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What story you want to tell?

I will tell you a story.

There was a village in a remote area in India. It was ruled by an evil land lord. People in that region are terrified and pray to god to send someone to save them. There enters the hero from somewhere. He encounters heroine by mistake and falls in love. He spends time romancing  her for some time. Then comes confrontation with villian. Fight starts between protagonist and the villain. Each devising strategies to take down each other. Finally comes a moment when a person very dear to hero was killed by villain very cruelly. And hero takes revenge on villian and saves the village.

Sounds familiar? 

I saw this story hundreds of times in different languages with a different hero, heroine, villain, different place, different time. I like watching movies as it was my favourite source of entertainment from my childhood. There came my curiosity about story telling. How can people watch / read stories with same plot again and again? I started noticing that as long as the story teller keeps it interesting, people can watch / hear as many stories as possible.

In the book "TED TALKS", Chris Anderson mentioned that in ancient times, people used to sit around fire places in the evenings and elders used to tell stories. Stories of heroism, bravery, stories of victory, stories of devil. Others in the pack used to listen to these stories very attentively. At that point, the whole group becomes a single entity and all the people involved feel same emotion at once such as laugh, feel the pain, getting excited along the characters of the story.

I realized, There is something far more important than telling a story, it is about connecting with other human beings at a deeper level and Celebrating the commonalities among us.

If you had noticed, there are not more than 6-7 plots in most of the stories we heard. *

Man vs man
Man vs nature
Man vs society
Man vs self
Man vs god
Man vs woman 

We all heard many stories. But you know where the challenge is? When you want to tell a story.
You wonder on what story you want to tell.

One of the best sources to find content for stories is our environment (people around us). Most of the time we are focused on our own lives and mostly ignore our surroundings (especially people). If you open up and look around, every one has a story to tell. Observing their lives, hardships, lessons learnt will give good idea about the stories you you want to tell your audience. My favourite way is to look at history for material. Ancient times, how humans evolved, battles fought, stories of kings and their times give ample content for your usage. 
There is no standard formula for telling a story. However, some of the frameworks mentioned above can help you as guidelines.

So what story you want to tell?

* http://lenwilson.us/seven-stories/