Masterpiece Ink

Where Good Writers Become Great Writers

Storytelling is a Writing Skill!

December, 2023:
Families: Practice sharing stories around the dinner table or in the car. Ask: What happened today? Limit everyone to 4-5 sentences. When you tell a good story efficiently, you are exercising your writing muscles and learning something new about the presenter!

Sentence 1 (The Setting): Where and when did the story take place?
Sentence 2 (The Characters): Who are the players in this tale?
Sentence 3-4 (The Event): What happened?
Sentence 5 (Reflection / Life Lesson / Moment of Metanoia): In what way did you, the story teller, feel differently about things as a result of what happened? Or: Why did you choose to tell this particular story? NB: The ancient Greeks called this change in perspective about the world or one’s self: metanoia.

In a memoir called “Looking Back: A Book of Memories,” the author Lois Lowry (“The Giver,” “Number the Stars”) talks about the time she was a 10-year-old in summer camp in the Poconos. Lowry learned early on that the counselors were nicer to the girls who had older brothers in college who would, presumably, be visiting their sisters during the summer. At that point she began to talk about David, an older sibling at Princeton. Ultimately, she confesses to her readers that it was unlikely that David would come to visit, as she had made him up. In a last sentence, Lowry presents her moment of metanoia: “Lying, I suppose, is a part of fiction writing,” she wrote. “It’s a way of practicing. I don’t recommend it as a regular hobby, though.”

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