Story as Bloodsport

 Battling to Craft Narrative
       By Melissa Lion
  www.melissalion.com
What Narrative Does

• Creates connection
• Adds humanity
• Nurtures an engaged audience
Where Narrative Works

Twitter: Narrative is the sum of our
 tweets.
Blogs: Daily posts must have a
 narrative arc. The ar...
Narrative is Entertainment

 Entertainment is         It’s a chance, a
 what people seek            delight.
 in the day, ...
Entertainment for Fancy People
“The original sense of the word entertainment is a lovely one of
   mutual support through ...
Five Elements of Narrative

•   Setting
•   Character
•   Point of View
•   Dialog and Exposition
•   Plot
Setting
          Sense of place
            grounds the
            reader.
          Fine details create
            tru...
A Thought on Shiny

• Shiny things are links, polls, pictures,
  videos.
• Anything someone can do something to.
• Shiny t...
Character
“Know a person by his     Add people who
  friends.”
                          reflect you because
             ...
Point of View

   • Narrator as a character
   • Who’s telling this story?
   • About me page
   • Picture: Shiny!
   • It...
Dialog and Exposition
• Exposition is another word for
  broadcasting.
• Dialog is the conversation we have with
  our cha...
Plot is Conflict

• The reader says,     Conflict creates
  “What’s next?”       vulnerability and
• The narrator says,   ...
Plot
                 Climax



 Rising Action




                          Denouement
Plot

  Elliptical Structure
Sex

      Sex also creates
       vulnerability.
2/3 Mark
           That last slide was here.
Humor

• The Pluto of the Narrative Elements
• Humor is entertainment, pure and
  simple.
• Try being funny.
• People will...
Add it Up
Setting
+ Character
+ Point of View
+ Dialog and Exposition
+ Plot
=
Voice
Moral of the Story

Voice is what separates your narrative
 from the slush pile of the internet.
Fin

Melissa Lion

www.melissalion.com
www.longlunchpdx.com
www.backfencepdx.com
Twitter: @melissalion
Thank you to @media...
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Ignite Portland 4 - Story as Bloodsport: Battling to craft narrative - Melissa Lion

  1. 1. Story as Bloodsport Battling to Craft Narrative By Melissa Lion www.melissalion.com
  2. 2. What Narrative Does • Creates connection • Adds humanity • Nurtures an engaged audience
  3. 3. Where Narrative Works Twitter: Narrative is the sum of our tweets. Blogs: Daily posts must have a narrative arc. The archive tells the broader story. Social Networking Sites: Narrative tells the story of your characters.
  4. 4. Narrative is Entertainment Entertainment is It’s a chance, a what people seek delight. in the day, stuck in their cubicles I’m feeling lucky, staring at their right? computer screen. Entertainment is It’s what they look for late in the night. voice.
  5. 5. Entertainment for Fancy People “The original sense of the word entertainment is a lovely one of mutual support through intertwining, like a pair of trees grown together, each sustaining and bearing up the other. It suggests a kind of midair transfer of strength, contact across a void, like the tangling of cable and steel between two lonely bridgeheads. I can't think of a better approximation of the relation between reader and writer. Derived senses of fruitful exchange, of reciprocal sustenance, of welcome offered, of grasp and interrelationship, of a slender span of bilateral attention along which things are given and received, still animate the word in its verb form: we entertain visitors, guests, ideas, prospects, theories, doubts, and grudges.” -- Pulitzer Prize Winner, Michael Chabon
  6. 6. Five Elements of Narrative • Setting • Character • Point of View • Dialog and Exposition • Plot
  7. 7. Setting Sense of place grounds the reader. Fine details create trust. People love pictures: Shiny!
  8. 8. A Thought on Shiny • Shiny things are links, polls, pictures, videos. • Anything someone can do something to. • Shiny things make your pages pretty, but be sure to change them often. They lose their luster after a day or so.
  9. 9. Character “Know a person by his Add people who friends.” reflect you because when others add Your cast of characters are your followers, you, it’s your your commentors, the friends at whom people you befriend. they’re looking.
  10. 10. Point of View • Narrator as a character • Who’s telling this story? • About me page • Picture: Shiny! • It’s the role we play on the internet
  11. 11. Dialog and Exposition • Exposition is another word for broadcasting. • Dialog is the conversation we have with our characters in comments, @replies, writing on someone’s wall. • Shout-outs, blog rolls, links • Balance the exposition with dialog to engage readers. • Everyone likes to read about themselves, even your readers.
  12. 12. Plot is Conflict • The reader says, Conflict creates “What’s next?” vulnerability and • The narrator says, humanity. “Now what?”
  13. 13. Plot Climax Rising Action Denouement
  14. 14. Plot Elliptical Structure
  15. 15. Sex Sex also creates vulnerability.
  16. 16. 2/3 Mark That last slide was here.
  17. 17. Humor • The Pluto of the Narrative Elements • Humor is entertainment, pure and simple. • Try being funny. • People will like you better.
  18. 18. Add it Up Setting + Character + Point of View + Dialog and Exposition + Plot = Voice
  19. 19. Moral of the Story Voice is what separates your narrative from the slush pile of the internet.
  20. 20. Fin Melissa Lion www.melissalion.com www.longlunchpdx.com www.backfencepdx.com Twitter: @melissalion Thank you to @mediachick and Zappos.com for making me look good.

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