Telling Stories: Chapter 1 review

1. Storytelling vs. News Report

Traditional news stories relate what happened. They start with a fact. They have a headline. They have supporting facts. But they don’t engage with character or plot.

Storytelling not only informs viewers, but engages them emotionally through a character and a series of events.

2. Narrative arc

Stories often follow a narrative arc.



It starts with a character. The audience meets the character and learns a few things about her: this is called exposition.

Then there is a complication (or inciting incident) that forces the character to act or respond.

There is the rising action of the story. The character responds to the incident through a series of actions.

The story then reaches a climax – the peak moment of drama in the story.

Then there is falling action. This action is a response to the climax.

Finally, there is a resolution. It completes the story. The character has changed or learned something.

Listen for each of these in this audio clip.

3. Building Blocks of Multimedia Storytelling: Exposition, Anecdote and Moment of Reflection (Note: This isn’t in the book)

Three building blocks of audio storytelling:

1. Exposition – The “Who? What? Where?” of a story. Name, age, occupation, activity, location. Note: This can often go in text.

2. Anecdote – The “How?” of a story. A brief story or memory/series of events. “This happened, then this happened…”

3. Moment of Reflection – The “Why?” of a story. Why are you telling us this? What is the point of the story?

Listen for each of these in this audio clip.

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