Story Dynamics – Stories

What Can Storytellers Learn from Tulsa?

Compared to Bostonians, Tulsans have a different style of waiting. This has big implications for telling stories effectively, as this article describes. There is also an exercise you can do to determine if your storytelling stance is more Tulsa or more Boston.

Have You Been Throwing Away Your Story Seeds?

Everyone can make up stories. If you think you can’t, it may be due to the “seed and the tree” problem.

When you are faced with the seed of a story, you may not recognize it. This is in part because story seeds can vary so much from each other.

But it’s mostly because, until you’ve made up a lot of successful stories, you probably haven’t had many chances to connect story seeds with the stories they grow into.

A Brotherhood of Storytellers

Last weekend, I had a chance to meet and work with an extraordinary group of people. Let me tell you about one of them. One Day, They Arrest You… Can you imagine being unjustly accused of murder? At first, you might not be too worried, sure that the truth will set you free. If you’re [...]

The “Comforter Method” of Storytelling

When I was six and a half, my parents, my brother and I moved from our little one-bedroom apartment. We left behind the bedroom that barely held two single-sized beds and moved to a house in the suburbs. Our parents got a double bed. It seemed enormous!

Even more miraculous, my parents’ new bed was covered with the most luxurious object I had ever come across…

How Does a Story Mean?

We tend to assume that a story has a single meaning. “I need a story about cooperation,” you might say to a group of storytellers, as though the meaning about cooperation is fully embedded in the story itself.

But is this an accurate assumption? What is the exact relationship between a story and the meaning or meanings that a listener experiences?

A Winter Story and a Blessing

Here’s a story for the time of year – and the times in society – when the darkness can seem all-encompassing. And a blessing based on the story.

Storytelling: Your Life-Line in a Recession?

In hard times, is storytelling just a frill? Or can it be part of a strategy to survive and even thrive?
When times get really hard, people change their eating habits. They look for food that is…

Why Story Listening Makes You Thankful

It’s not too hard to be thankful when things go great. But in hard times, thankfulness requires some outside help. That’s when it especially pays to listen to stories.

Is Storytelling the Technology of the Future?

In July, 1984 I asked my friend and storyteller Jay O’Callahan to come to my apartment to look at my my first computer, a brand new Apple Macintosh. It had two programs, MacPaint and MacWrite. I showed Jay how MacWrite could move text from one place to another. How you could copy a whole paragraph [...]


To keep from stunting your storytelling, you need to understand its natural growth process. Growing a New Skill Do you remember the first formal story you ever told? For me, it was a folktale I told to my class of emotionally disturbed students in 1970. It was the first time they had stopped resisting me [...]

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