the most important factor in storytelling
I'll never forget the first time -- because there's certainly been plenty -- that an editor was very displeased with a story I submitted.
I was interning at USA Hockey--a dream. I loved writing hockey stories and, naturally, I was given that opportunity plenty while there.
On this particular day however, my assignment wasn't the glitz and glamour of Olympians or NHL that I had become so accustomed to. Instead, it was 300 words about a rink. Or a fundraiser. I can't quite remember. Needless to say, I was less than intrigued by the plot.
And it showed.
My editor didn't criticize my spelling errors or punctuation inaccuracies. He was disappointed that I did not take the time to give a damn about the story. It's a lesson I learned the hard way but one I have never forgotten: Always put care in your storytelling.
It sounds simple enough but it can truly be a challenge. There are always going to be mundane items that you need to market or important information that has a tendency to be a head-nodder. But if you go in with that mentality that 'this is boring' you can bet your butt your audience is going to feel that way too.
So how do you care about your storytelling even in the times where it might be a challenge?
For me personally, I love rising to those challenges. More often than not I defeat those challenges by really thinking outside of the box and finding a creative way to get myself more excited and intrigued about the topic or subject.
Find a creative way to share the story. If it's stats-heavy, consider how you can make that more visually appealing. If it's a dry topic, get yourself excited about the simplicity and find ways to sprinkle in the appropriate amount of verbiage that interests folks.
When all else fails, come find us. I promise you we will always put our best foot forward to tell your story with the highest regards.