The storyteller in everyone | SunStar

The storyteller in everyone

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The storyteller in everyone

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

BACOLOD. Speakers at the first ever Ripples training of Carlos Hilado Memorial Colleges schools in Negros Occidental. (Contributed photo)

WITH the world shrinking into a village, there are many stories worth telling to a generation of highly inquisitive and curious young people. The stories we tell and see, good or otherwise, in film, television or print, are opportunities to change a world that badly needs inspiration. 

Allow me share with you a short guide on what works in a world of many storytellers telling similar stories of interchanged characters, with almost similar backgrounds born in a somewhat similar timeline. 

In this modern age and time, inspiration has become a thing of the Internet. We find inspiration even when we are alone, in the darkest of places, any time at any day for as long as you have a trustworthy connection. And so instead of conforming to what the Internet would tell you and me on how to do things right, let us, instead, start with our own experiences and develop a guide on what makes a story great. On my part, here is what appears to be great storytelling: 

Gentle and Piercing

Let us shake the world with stories that are gentle to the eyes and can be viewed by families and even a younger market without compromising many of its shots through blurring and cutting. There is great appreciation on stories that are so simple and touching yet so moving and at the same time piercing our hearts with the truth that hurts through.

We want our outputs to be watched by a family that will process the watching experience together. A mother reaffirming our subject's positivity towards life and a father standing against the antagonist. All these will be painted in the consciousness of their children, thus, extending the power of the story and the morals that come with it inside the home. 

Relatable and easy to understand

The moment that you will turn off the volume or maybe, mute the program, the visual, plot and organization of the presentation should be relatable.

In short, the viewer can still grasp what it is all about without deliberately spoon feeding the gist as if your crowd is unable to read and write. There is great danger in allowing the artist in all of us to deliver a story based on limited and relative appreciation.

So while there is a great boost of confidence if we come up something to our liking, our friends liking, we should also remain practical that our output is solely at the mercy of our viewers. They, afterall, hold the remote control or paid for the seat.

An output that stands firm between what is acceptable to the eyes, what is critical to the mind and at the same time, easy to understand and reflect on is what we need today. 

Effective communication

The simplest words mixed with great thoughts that promote analytical thinking. The greatest essays, after all, follow a format. News writing is still best using the inverted pyramid style. Cohesion and thread and the seamless connection of thoughts.

Admit it, your audience is not as wise in terms of vocabulary and the grasp of lexicons and euphemisms are limited to Facebook posts, comments and for some, a paragraph in Twitter.

Remember, for as long as it is shown on television that is very much dependent on advertising and marketing packages, your output is a breed of commercialism and thought provoking mechanism. 

Appeal to audience

What appeals to me, personally, are stories that I can relate to. This does not follow the idea that only a carpenter follows another carpenter or an Overseas Filipino Worker in Hong Kong can only follow the thinking of another overseas Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia.

What appeals to both old and modern viewers are thoughts if not purely visuals. The struggles, aspirations, hopes and ambitions and the hard life continually harnessing our potentials to succeed are few of the many attributes we can relate to in a story.

On the other hand, the hurt, what remains unprocessed, the emotional burdens and even the truth that we continually neglect are connections we can bank on in producing what is appealing and yes, if there is such term, magnetizing. 

The truth

There is not greater connection to a story that tackles reality. This is where proper judgment comes in: to produce what is more dramatic and artistic, or to come up with a presentation that is real and fresh and raw. The truth will slap anyone, it transcends gender, sexual orientation, educational background, professions, nations and boundaries.

The truth makes us feel and understand that the world is bigger than what we have imagined while sulking in the dark corner of our room while clicking our smartphones to generate likes if not combat trolls.

The truth is an armor that shields journalists against an army of naysayers, a controlling government and audience who are so limited with their own versions of life.

The challenge, therefore, is about making sure that the truth is presented as the truth itself. A story that is both dramatic and real, I compromised with filters that will only make it cinematic but not detached from its supposed reality based presentation.   

This is my starter kit, a world full of hard hitting realities that affect others to value life and embrace what's hurtful and piercing. It is only through this that our heart is emptied with despair.

A great storyteller is never afraid to tell his misery, directly or indirectly, through himself or through the thoughts of other people. What are you going to tell the world?

Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on May 02, 2017.

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