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Choose chronological structure
Transform real-life events into narrative arcs with this storytelling template
Tick-tock: How do you organize a short story? Use time. For the best nonfiction narrative, move the reader from the inciting incident to rising action to resolution and, finally, to denouement. And with this storytelling template, you’re three steps away from a great story.
3 steps to a good story
Tell me a story: How can you make the most of your best business stories? Fortunately, great storytelling is as easy as 1-2-3. Here’s how to turn facts that tell into stories that sell, in this rewrite of one of my favorite corporate stories …
Begin in the middle
Start your story in medias res
Kick-start your story: You remember learning about in medias res (classical Latin for “into the middle things”) in college. That’s where you open your story in the midst of the action. Here’s a great example, from The New York Times Magazine.
Find the inciting incident
Snakes alive: Begin your story with the inciting incident — the conflict that launches the action and moves your subject to act. To do so, find the desk-pounding moment, begin as close to the action as possible and skip the background information.
End with a bang
Punch out your punch line
Means to an end: What’s the secret to writing the last line of a story? Here’s how Hallmark’s late, great Gordon MacKenzie did it in a parable in Orbiting the Giant Hairball, his delightful tome on corporate creativity. (Edited, it must be said, by yours truly!).