From structure and plot to heroes and characters, your story must have everything in place if it's to connect with the reader. Follow our guide to storytelling success.
Ay yi yi -- I've sat on this post for a day or two contemplating whether to ignore it or scoop.it. I had decided to ignore it until I saw it making the rounds with a lot of fanfare. Usually, if I disagree with too much in an article or post, I don't curate it to avoid sounding cranky. But here goes.
I really like the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and their focus on creating quality content. Their guidance overall is great. Here is what bothers me about this infographic they produced:
- It is pretty but deceptive. It promises you 7 steps to a perfect story but it more confusing than helpful, IMHO. The entire piece is based on Hollywood storytelling which only takes a business so far. All stories must move people to action and that is completely missing here!
- The explanation of the plot forms is confusing. Can you describe to me what the Frustration Stage is? How about the Dream Stage? How about the Nightmare Stage? I can guess, but then I'm guessing, right? Not helpful.
- The entire piece is also based on the Hero's journey. That's fine, but hardly the whole enchilada of biz storytelling. In fact, the Hero's journey gets businesses into trouble sometimes. Think of cowboy leaders, misplaced hero worship (it's not about you, it's about them), and rewarding individuals (let's find the hero who made it all happen) over teams.
- Character types are interesting, but still limited to the Hero's journey. CMI believes that the only way business can understand storytelling and get on board with it is if they frame everything as the Hero's journey. They say companies really 'get it' then. So sad. I think we are all more intelligent than that.
- If anything, this infographic is really geared towards marketing folks. But marketing is only a slice of business (yes, a big slice). And marketing stories have to match internal org stories for maximum value in the marketplace. So this infographic could lead you down a rabbit hole if you aren't listening for stories around your business first, before jumping on this bandwagon.
Oh, and BTW -- crafting a story by working out its structure first doesn't work, as any storyteller will tell you. Best to use info about structure to check your story AFTER you've crafted it to see what is missing and might need to add.
So all in all, this infographic won't help you very mcuh to craft and tell better stories for growing your business or helping you as a leader, IMHO. It's fun, though. But I sure wish CMI would upgrade to Story 2.0.
What do you think? Could you actually use this infographic?
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling atwww.scoop.it/t/just-story-it