The 3 ‘E’s of Storytelling to craft an engaging story


When we share personal stories, they include events that have occurred some time in the past. It can be decades old or a fresh one. In some sense, stories, as you set out to craft them at first go, will be in some form of the past tense, because they have already have happened. An important feature of this type of storytelling is that the outcome is already known to the storyteller.

For majority of the audience, it will still be an experience in the present moment. They will flow along with the story, without knowing what comes next. It is similar to reading a novel or watching a film. But you are the storyteller, the author of the story, the scriptwriter and director of your film. You know its beginning, climax and the end. You will have your objectives already laid in front of you as you begin crafting your story. Because you already know the outcome of the story you are about to tell, it can be easy get swayed in emotions and/or events. You might find yourself talking too much about the emotion and the outcome right at the beginning or you might be focusing on the layer of events. Event Instead of looking at the events backwards, look at them forwards like you have yet to know the end result. The outcome may eventually have to be expressed as a part of the story. But it is better to go along rather than stating it right at the beginning. It would be like living it all over again. Emotion Layering your story only with events will not generate the result you want to create. What you felt at that particular moment is valuable. This comes out through emotions that you would like to share with your audience. Event + Emotion Events and emotions must go together. Saying “When I failed to get selected for my school football team, I was broken. I had been preparing for 3 years. But I got sick on the day of the selection” creates a better understanding of the event and the emotion together instead of “I felt sad when I failed to get selected in my school football team”. Events evoke emotions and emotions lead to events. This connection is understood by the audience. We all feel sad when we lose and happy when we win. We feel generic emotions that creates understanding between the storyteller and the audience through these pieces. Experience The event and emotion together creates an experience for you as a storyteller. This is something the audience wants to know. It can be a mixture of the outcome, the event and the emotion. It would advance your story and show the importance of the event in your overall story. What did you do after you failed to get selected in your school football team? Of course it was bitter. But did you learn something valuable like taking care of your health or trying again? This is the experience that is unique to you.