How To Keep Your Stories Simple


How To Keep Your Stories Simple


“The technology keeps moving forward, which makes it easier for the artists to tell their stories and paint the pictures they want.”


George Lucas


If you want to generate change in the world you need to paint a picture of a better world. Stories are how we introduce ideas into the world. If you keep your stories simple you will have a better chance of influencing change.


By keeping your stories simple you ensure more people understand your story. You avoid any misunderstandings and ensure your message gets out to your audience. Many brands and individuals overcomplicate their story and miss out on a chance to really engage their audiences.


There are a number of ways of keeping your stories simple including the following



Use Easy Words


“Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.”


Robert Benchley


You will never get a prize for demonstrating the extent of your vocabulary. You are more likely to be penalized by your audience who will struggle to understand what you are saying. Keep your use of language simple and relevant to the point you are trying to make.


Create an Uncomplicated Structure


“Plot is what happens in your story. Every story needs structure, just as every body needs a skeleton. It is how you ‘flesh out and clothe’ your structure that makes each story unique.”


Caroline Lawrence



Complicated plots are best left to the literary masters and should be avoided in your storytelling. Keep your story structure simple with an obvious start, middle and finish. The key to a good story structure is to make it easy for your audience to empathize with the main character. The less time spent by your audience trying to understand your story and the more they dwell on the message, the more likely they are to engage with the story.




Continually Revisit Your Editing


“You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page. “


Jodi Picoult


Editing refines your story and the more you edit it the better the story. You are looking to keep your story to the bare essentials with no unnecessary distractions.


Be aware there is a tipping point where more editing will only lead to a marginal gain in the storytelling and at this point your story is finished.


Value Your Audiences Time


“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”


Steve Jobs


Your audience will value their own time and you are privileged to be allowed use some what is essentially life’s only really limited resource. Do not abuse this privilege, as your audience will not thank you.


Keeping your story short will force you to stick to your story essentials and thus simplify your content.


Create Value For Your Audience


“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. “


Albert Einstein


No matter how simple your stories are if they do not create value for your audience they will not succeed. Your content needs to create audience value to engage them. Remember when your audience is engaged they will find it easier to consume content, as they are more motivated than a casual observer.


“There is nothing permanent except change. “




Simple stories well told are how we influence change. It does not matter if we are trying to create brand awareness about our product or an individual trying to effect change. Stories are the way to show people that there is another way of doing things. The better the story the more chance of effecting real change.