Presentation and Expectations

This is the last episode in this Five-in-Five Series. So what are we talking about in this episode? We’re talking about presentation and audience expectations. An episode where we talk about how an audience might experience your story.

And I feel like you and I are going to maybe have some disagreements on this. Previously, we've discussed our opinions about what makes a good story and how to tell a story.

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This is our Five-in-Five Series where we talk about writing and storytelling tips and all of that. We’re talking about a lot of things, and also offering challenges to help get your groove back.

Yes. We're trying to get our groove back just like the llama impersonators. Sure let's go with that. All the llamas in the house getting their groove back!

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Here we are for the latest instalment of the Five in Five Series: After Dark. These are five little short episodes of some writing tips and challenges to help you get your groove back.

I lost my groove a little bit over the summer. We're trying to get her groove back by issuing a challenge to ourselves and others. Hopefully we’ll help make it a little bit easier to write or to at least get the first 20 or 30 words on a page. That's the real key - start the writing and then it sort of flows from there.

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So we are in our second episode of this new season and it's also the second episode in the series of Five in Five: After Dark. The topic today is tone.

We mean the way the story is written. For example, a lot of the stories that I write have a sort of earnest, struggling kind of tone. Some of our favourite storytellers have vastly different tones. Storytellers and writers will develop a tone that they feel most comfortable with.

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Writing from a Theme

We're back. It seems like we've only been gone for about four months and that's because we have. Well it's very exciting because we're gearing up at the time of this recording for our first event of the season.

We started the season off and we kind of ended the season off of the podcast with a short little series that we like to call five and five After Dark.

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Performance Voice

Here we are with the last episode of this Five in Five: After Dark series.

This is one of my favorite things and I've been obsessed with this over the last year because it keeps changing. When you’re a writer and you finally find your writer’s voice, things click into place. In a similar way, through my experience you develop a performance voice. Or, a way that connects your writing to your delivery. It can take a while to figure this out.

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Alright, Five in Five: After Dark.

I just feel like we need to still include editing in here somewhere. There's a requirement especially since it’s so hard and a lot of people don’t do it. I actually think that perhaps the most common fault of new storytellers is they cannot accept that they have to cut things. You don't have to say everything and every word isn't precious.

I'm biased because editing is so important to me. I wonder if there's two kinds of people in this world. People that like to edit and people that don't like to edit. I like to edit and sometimes it’s even down to the actual show and I’m still changing words that I think may sound better.

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Know Your Ingredients

Now don't worry faithful listeners it's only five minutes because this is Five in Five: After Dark.

So, know your ingredients and make them quality. What do we mean by that? Basically, write a good story.

It’s more about the scenes in your story and how you use them in the time allotted. It’s using those limitations to get at what is most interesting in your story.

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When One Thing Represents Another

I don't think we should introduce ourselves at all. Listeners will figure it out.

Yes and I think we don't we only have five minutes so so we can't even waste time doing that. We’re back with the second installment of Five in Five: After Dark.

We talked about finding a moment like in the original Five in Five at the beginning of the season. This was about finding a moment in the story that you can build your story around. But say you have a certain theme or more universal thing or something larger you want to get at. It’s then looking at your own personal story and how something can represent those themes or whatever you're trying to do.

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Upside Down

So we were doing - another five and five.

We did this at the beginning of this season which was five writing tips and things that we've learned through the course of doing all the workshops with Stories We Don't Tell plus all of our own experiences. And now we've got five more that are like companion pieces and revisiting the first five.

Maybe at some point we can do the opposite versions? Like the Upside Down World in Stranger Things.

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The Law of Threes

SH: Today we're talking about sequels. And no we're not going to be talking about The Godfather Part 3 again. But curiously enough this would be the third time that it was mentioned on this podcast. Should we go there or not go there?

PD: I love the Godfather Part 3. That has been a stance that I've always had and have made my point on this show multiple times about how much I love The Godfather Part 3. You have refused to see The Godfather Part 3 and I find that offensive.

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Cut! Cut Cut!

This is part four of our five part series: don't take this advice. But, if you're going to take one piece of advice, make it this one: cut, cut, cut. Basically: edit, edit, edit.

This might seem very obvious. Every piece of advice usually seems obvious but people don't do it. People just don't do it. When people don't edit, they don't fully understand what their story is about. And so they think they need to include a whole bunch of other information that doesn't necessarily relate to their actual story. And so they include a lot of parts at the beginning getting the audience all caught up, when a lot of those details might not matter. It really comes down to knowing what your story actually is about.

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This is part 3 of our five part series: don't take this advice. In this episode we're talking about context and setting the scene.

We think it can it can take different forms. First, you want to place people in the environment with you. It depends on what kind of story you're telling, what kind of tone it is, what the theme is and what you're trying to accomplish with it. Remember that you are guiding an audience to go along with you in the story - whether emotionally or you just want them to enjoy the story or whatever. We think it is important to place yourself or whatever the story is about in some type of context. Where it is or what we're talking about here.

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Find your moment.

Welcome to the Stories We Don't Tell Podcast and our mini-series about 'not taking our advice'. The idea here is you can write a great story without this advice. But if you get stuck maybe this helps.

So, you've got a whole bunch of words written down and you're trying to figure out where the story is. Today we're looking at finding your moment and slowing things down. First you define the moment. Finding that thing that happens - the one moment that really matters to you and inspired you to write the story in the first place.

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Write it all out.

This is a five part series to open up Season 3 of the podcast and we're calling it 'don't take this advice'. So it's five pieces of advice that you don't have to follow but that if you're feeling stuck these are some things you can do.

These are also just some tricks and tips that we've learned after doing this for years and participating in a lot of workshops and helping guide a lot of people through their stories. These are just things that we either keep coming back to or that just seemed to be helpful.

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