Five Tips for Truly Terrible Story Telling


With so many helpful lists out there, LampPost Media wanted to contribute one of its own for anyone interested in telling spectacularly bad stories:

1. KEEP IT RANDOM:  Create a super complicated plot with lots of characters and conflicts, settings and dialogues so no one knows what’s going on. Or better yet, have no plot at all. If you can’t answer the question, “What’s your story?” in one simple sentence, you’re on your way to a truly terrible one. Congratulations.

2. LET IT GO:  Forget about a plan or a structure or an outline of any sort. Telling a story is so easy, whether in print or on camera, it just happens organically anyway. No need to think it through.

3. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL: Include many special, redundant and cliched qualifiers that are abstract enough to tell the story so that no one can visualize them (or care to). For example, “The wonderful and faithful pet was always there for his nice and trusting humans. They went happily and merrily to many beautiful places together. The End.” (See?)

4. FEED THE COW:  Absolutely, positively think solely about how much money your story will make you and how famous you will become. A truly terrible story, after all, shows no respect for its audience or the craft but is focused on one thing only: the author.

5. IGNORE THE EXPERTS:  Never even think about using a professional story teller to help you. At all costs, avoid asking the guidance of a talented film maker, proven author or respected editor. They’d probably turn your terrible story telling into something, well, worthwhile. And who wants that?