What's Your Story? Creating Effective Narratives

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Whats your story? Crafting effective narratives

Whats your story?Crafting effective narrativesJoy Jenkins & Marina HendricksUniversity of Missouri School of Journalism


What is a narrative?Narrative is the dirt path that leads us through the impenetrable forest, so we move forward and don't feel lost. Wade Rawlins, RaleighNews and ObserverNarrative means any technique that produces the visceral desire in a reader to want to know what happened next. Bob Baker, Los Angeles TimesAnarrative or story is a form of vicarious (or substitute) experience. The story transports the reader to a place and a time not otherwise available to the reader. What's the purpose of such vicarious experience: maybe empathy, understanding, catharsis. Roy Peter Clark, The Poynter InstituteNarrative is what I come up with when I put my niece to bed and she says, "Tell me a story." I tell her a story, I don't tell her an article. Janet Rae Brooks, Salt Lake Tribune


What is a narrative?A true narrative, as I understand it, requires 1) core character, 2) facing core conflict, and 3) resolving same through a forward-moving plot. Jacqui Banaszynski, Seattle Times, University of MissouriNarrative is a simple thing, at bottom:chronology with meaning. Jon Franklin, Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writerNarrative simply means storytelling, with a sense of character, time, and place. Narrative journalism goes beyond the mere facts of traditional news writing to tell a human story. The story line flows from the lives, thoughts, and emotions of the people at the center of that story as they face changing circumstances. A narrative has a thoughtfully arranged thematic development. The story continues to enlarge from beginning to end, almost like a flower unfolding in the sun, until an epiphany or sense of understanding is revealed at the end. Matt Schudel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Why use narratives?Humans understand the world through stories.Stories tell us who we are and what we value.Stories can appear in multiple forms.


Elements of narrativeCharacterSceneTimeDialogueDescriptionActionTensionPurpose


What elements are in this ad?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPOVwKPMG8o


Where do you find story ideas?Your beatArticles in other media, local and nationalEvent listingsYour own sources and contactsObservationTalking (and listening) to people around youPress releases


Yoga with catshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdESvEXBfoc


Whats the best platform?Print or online feature?Photo essay?Video?Audio slideshow?Social media?


Roots n Blues festivalhttp://www.voxmagazine.com/arts/art/wildy-s-world-art-at-roots-n-blues-n-bbq/article_dabdc0b8-890e-11e6-ad28-d7ed63f1d6da.htmlhttps://www.instagram.com/p/BLAJkz7hA0q/http://www.voxmagazine.com/news/roots-n-blues-fans-reminisce-about-last-night-and-get/article_16293550-8816-11e6-be5f-e7822bbde924.htmlhttp://www.voxmagazine.com/music/missouri-icon-beatle-bob-returns-to-the-stage-at-roots/article_76c67950-8851-11e6-a6bb-8b8fe7c85e24.html


Building the narrativeCreate an outline of what you plan to do.Create a storyboard.Key questions to ask: What is your time element?Who are your characters?What is your conflict?What is the resolution?What is the key takeaway?


Mindy mcadams university of floridaThe first question a reporter should ask when creating a multimedia piece like an audio slide show isWhat do you intend to communicate?Once the reporter knows what she wants to communicate with the story, find theopeningandclosingof the story. A strong and clear beginning is essential to hook the audience. Then a piece should make a direct track toward the conclusion with the ending clearly in mind.


Ira Glass, This American LifeEvery great audio or video story has two elements: ananecdoteand amoment of reflection.Ananecdoteis the sequence of actions that builds the momentum and raises questions to be answered. Stringing together a series of actions (this happens, and then this happens) makes the audience feel that they are moving toward a destination.Amoment of reflectionis the point when someone clearly says, Here is the point of the story.


A man and his goosehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRA3LnBwzvo


Your turnStory idea?What platform should you use?Text?Audio?Video?Photo slideshow?Social media?How will you structure it?


Thank you!Joy JenkinsDoctoral Candidate, University of Missouri School of Journalismjoyjenkins@mail.missouri.edu@joyjenkins

Marina HendricksDoctoral Candidate, University of Missouri School of Journalismmarina.hendricks@mail.missouri.edu@mhendwv