Woolgathering: Wrap it Up!by Norah Dooley
Theory and Practice for Storytelling as a 21st Century Skill
Storytelling:Woolgathering 1. 3 Endings !A few years ago I wrote this description for our kick-butt storytelling workshops:
Storytelling is a performance art in its own right. In massmouth’s workshop you will experience how storytelling differs from theater, stand up comedy and twisting balloon animals. We will be mining your memories to craft a story with believable characters, a solid point of view and a clear beginning, middle and end.
It turns out that storytelling is actually more in common with making balloon animals than I had originally thought. When we inflate a balloon we create a shape with our hot air. The thin membrane of the balloon keeps the air in place and creates the shape. But only if we tie the end. When we neglect to tie off the end? The air escapes, it makes a bad sound and the shape of the balloon is lost.
The worst kind of ending is where we just do not stop but repeat, wander aloud in thought and add in details that do not add value to the listener's experience. We come to stuttering halt and no one is as happy as the audience.
Exercise: 1.3 Endings !Practice your ending, making silent eye contact then acknowledge audience then walk off...
However you usually end the story try a few new endings by adding or substituting one of these:
1. An action that clearly ends your story
2. Some of the main character’s thoughts...
3. How you felt, a wish or a hope;
4. A statement on what has changed or is different;
5. A memory that is strongest from the story;
6. A decision you made.
7. End with your generalization or revised version of it.
8. AVOID “the moral of the story is” … or repeating the theme.