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character selection

best practices character selection

You Say Community, I Say Crowd

Just a tiny word of caution about telling stories starring “the community.” Substitute the word “crowd” for “community” and see how it feels. For example, “Solutions to strengthen the local crowd.” The term is broad and ultimately yields a faceless mob. Be descriptive. Do your listener a favor and add descriptors (e.g., the Latinas over age 80 community). Once you have a descriptor in place, your listener will have a group he can picture. Truth is, once you have those…

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best practices character selection

Heroes Need Obstacles

We’ve already talked about naming relationships in stories. Now, in another entry for our series around storytelling, let’s dig into the valuable role obstacles play in telling good stories. Obstacles make stories interesting Humans connect to stories about other humans—as long as those stories have some struggle. Happy endings in stories become more valuable when they are harder to earn. Without a struggle, it can feel like the meat of the story, the adventure, is missing. Just look at the…

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best practices character selection

When Being “Partners” Dilutes Your Story

Do you call your doctor your “health partner”? Probably not. While you both care about your health, you each have different levels of knowledge, liability for poor decisions, and definitions of success. Using the word “partner” ignores all your differences. Lately, organizations are talking about telling their stories better. Every story needs a great relationship between its characters, and “partners” is one of the most popular relationships among philanthropists, nonprofits and consultants. Sometimes that term is accurate, but when it…

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