03/11/2017
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

How to tell a story: Top tips from Taffy Thomas

99bf4cb2-f6ec-4010-a095-f9166640a3dd

 

Advice on the art of telling a good story from the UK's foremost traditional storyteller

THE ART OF STORYTELLING: Storytelling is more than just words. To be a good storyteller you need to be creative and paint a picture in the listeners’ mind to keep them immersed in the experience. For example, if you're in the forest – does it smell like pine? If you’re by the seaside – what does the sand feel like underfoot?
 
RICHNESS OF LANGUAGE: Use interesting words to engage your audience. In schools, these types of words are often referred to as to as ‘hot words’ – the type of language that hooks people in. Another interesting way to do this is through adapting the language to your audience – for example, in my home county of Somerset, we referred to different times of the day as ‘dimpsey’ and ‘dumps’, which makes it more compelling if it’s relatable to the listener. An older lady I knew would refer to dusk as ‘owl light’, which I loved.
 
TRUST THE STORY: This is the best advice I ever received is to ‘trust the story’, especially if you’re nervous about telling it. If the story means something to you and you are invested in a tale, the chances are your audience will too.

Taffy is the UK's first Storytelling Laureate and patron of the Society for Storytelling. He is the artistic director for the Northern Centre for Stoytelling in Grasmere, and is one of the judges for Amazon's A (New) Christmas Carol Writing Competition, which is open for entries until 7 November.

 

For all the latest publishing news, subscribe to Writing Magazine or download our app

 

Register and sign up for our newsletter for late-breaking news, more competitions and exclusive content

Back to "Creative Writing" Category

03/11/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Coffee break exercise: Staircase

Step up to a new writing project in this week's creative writing exercise ...


Plot vs story: Do you know the difference between story and plot?

Plot and story are both essential to writing good fiction. Make sure you know what they are and how to use ...


Coffee break exercise: Bridges

Bridge the gap between inspiration and a new piece of work in this week's creative writing exercise ...


Read more, write better! Writing Magazine bonus content, December 2018

Background reading, exclusive extracts and more to complement your latest Writing Magazine ...


Other Articles

Under the Microscope extra: Witness Tree

Our suggested rewrite of the first 300 words of a reader's novel ...


Coffee break exercise: Ghost story

With Halloween on the horizon, try writing something spooky in this week's creative writing exercise ...


Online creative writing courses from The Novelry

Everything budding novelists need to know, from The Novelry ...


Author experiences: Why go on a writing retreat?

Nine different writers tell us why they went on a writing retreat, and what they got out of it ...