Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ira Glass - great videos on storytelling

Discovered on You Tube a great set of videos in which Ira Glass ("This American Life") discusses the art -- and the hard work -- of storytelling.

If you are a beginner, start with video 3. You need both the advice, and the reassurance, that things will be OK, but that you have to work at it and recognize the disconnect between your skills and ideals.

In video 1, he talks about the power of the anecdote in storytelling and the need for a nut graf (or more than one).

In video 2, he talks about the need to be willing to deal with many false starts and the need to be ruthless in knowing when to kill those so that you are doing enough reporting to find the really great stories.

And in video 4 he talks about being natural -- and being compelling as a result.

Yes, he frames this in terms of broadcast, but there is plenty of good stuff here for "print" as well -- and besides, who's really making that kind of distinction anymore when it comes to storytelling?

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