18th March 2019 All Posts

Creative Storytelling.

How to tell your own stories.

The theme of this year’s World Book Day was ‘Share a Story’.
So we asked Professional Storyteller, Jake Evans to come back to Connect HQ and give us some tips on making up your own stories.

Jake Evans, Professional Storyteller

Jake has built a career on telling meaningful and emotive stories. Here Jake tells us in his own words how we can all get involved in creating new and imaginative stories.

I’ve spent a lot of time in schools and nurseries with children of different ages and have seen children being encouraged to tell, and later write their own stories. But one thing I have noticed is that as adults, we’re not so confident when it comes to making it up!

Lots of people get nervous when they’re telling a story they’ve created themselves. It’s completely natural, but I have a few tips that might help you out.

Taking the time to tell your own story will not only teach children brilliant communication skills, it will also model creativity and confidence and might just inspire your children to try something new.

Keep it simple.

It’s best to keep things simple. No matter how young your intended audience may be, you need them to be engaged so your story has to flow well.

Think through your story and see if you can remember the basis of it, minus any details, in just 7 sentences. This gives you the freedom to add and change details as you go along without losing the plot!

3 is the Magic Number.

In storytelling, 3 is the magic number.
The rule of three will always lead to a magical story. Base your story on three characters, on a quest to find three items, that come across three unexpected things along the way!

Get Emotional.

It’s really important to remember that you need a range of emotions to make sure your story doesn’t sound flat. If you’re telling a ghost story, you want your listeners to feel fear – but if they only feel fear they will quickly lose interest.

The 8 key emotions that I use are:

  • Fear
  • Empathy
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Pleasure
  • Comedy
  • Mystery
  • Admiration

The very best stories will flow through them all. But to keep things simple, just choose a few and try to flow between them.

Audience Participation.

To get your children really involved, you can ask them to contribute different details to your story. If you have the basic plot in your mind, then it doesn’t really matter about the details. Your children can shout out their suggestions when you ask for them. Just think of all the wonderful outcomes you’ll get!

I’ve found that lots of children enjoy listening to something personal. So why not personalise the details to them and make it a story that they can relate to?

Telling stories in this way is a really great group opportunity that allows all of your children to contribute. It can inspire loads of discussion and extra learning for children of all ages.

The theme of World Book Day 2019 was ‘Share a Story’. Let’s keep this theme alive! Here’s a story for you to watch & share with your parents:

To find out more about Jake, or to book a storytelling session you can visit his website or speak to him on Facebook or Twitter

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About the Author

Jake is a professional storyteller based in Shrewsbury. He was awarded the ‘National Young Storyteller of the Year’ U25 title in 2014 and has since worked and performed across the country and abroad in schools, museums, libraries, festivals, and at many other weird and wonderful events and venues. Find out more here: www.jakeevansstoryteller.com