Welcome to Storytelling Step 3. If you are here, you've already reviewed our storytelling formula and chosen a story starter (Who + What + Why Not), and you've already described your main character. If not, return to Storytelling Step 1- Choose your story starter or Storytelling Step 2- Describe your character.
Creating an exciting story
In the last storytelling step, you began the story by introducing your main character and setting the tone for the story. But a good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end--and the middle is where all the action is. The storyteller adds obstacles and the action rises. You throw in some twists and turns to keep the audience enthralled, and then the action falls as your main character finds resolution, which is "the end" of the story. If you stick with our super easy storytelling formula, it's easy to add some action.
The secret to action is focusing on "What" and "Why not":
Look at your "What + Why Not" from your story starter formula-- what does your story character want and why can't he get it? Your action is how he goes about overcoming the Why Not.
To keep your story going, just keep adding obstacles (more Why Nots) until you are ready to be done. Then your character finds some resolution to what he wants, and you wrap it up. It's that simple.
How to put it all together
Let's look at an example of how you can add action to your story using your What and Why Not.
A hippo wants to be a ballerina, but she doesn't know how.
How could she learn? She could go to ballet school, watch You Tube videos, or set up a studio in her cage at the zoo and go all Flashdance.
Once you know how she'll learn-- Is it easy for her? Does she struggle? What does it look like, sound like, smell like, feel like while she's learning?
Next, to find resolution, she'll need an audience to perform for. How can she show off her dance moves? She could plan out a suprise performance for the unwitting zoo patrons, or set up a You Tube channel and be The Next Big Thing. Eventually she'll have the whole package, perform it for adoring fans and find resolution. The End.
Remember, if you are storytelling with children, your story doesn't have to be the great American novel. Your story just needs to be fun. And the more you ask the kids for input as you tell the story, the more fun they'll have.
If you need some ideas for more plot twists, revisit the “Why not?” column in our story prompts page. As your character overcomes one obstacle, throw another in his path.
Also try the vibrant verbs list to get ideas on how to make the action more specific and more exciting.