"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Monday, September 29, 2008

"Economy of Language": From Teller's View

Sometimes people ask me to summarize a story. Often, the summary is longer than the story itself.

At one point, Don Doyle challenged me to take a 55-minute story and tell it as a 5-minute story. He knew that whatever I shared in that condensed time would demonstrate what was most important to me.

I made a couple attempts to do as Don asked. I was over in time each time though every practice brought me closer to the 5-minute goal.

Such an exercise is needed for any story that I share for "Family Famine: Hunger for Love", though perhaps the 5-minute goal could change to 3-minute or 1-minute challenges based on the average telling length of the story.

Elizabeth Ellis encouraged the "economy of language" for the storyteller while I was at East Tennessee State University working on my Masters in Storytelling. She continued that there were "millions upon millions of choices" for a storyteller to make into how a story is presented.

Is there a stronger--and perhaps shorter--way to tell the story or to form images in the heads of your listeners?

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

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