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Storytelling: 10 Takeaways from Discussion between Two Legends on Brains Podcast

James put it nicely in ABS - Always Be Storytelling in this idea list, one of my favorites.

I am learning about storytelling and how to turn experiences and events into stories that resonate with people. Hopefully, through storytelling, I can share some hard-learned wisdom or pitfalls from experiences that others can learn from.

I listened to a podcast episode from the Brain podcast with Eric Kripke (The Boys) and Marc Miller (Kingsman) to learn about storytelling from the masters.

When you teach something, you get to learn it twice ;)

Here are 10 takeaways.

    1. Characters before plots

    If you know your character well enough, they will tell you what to do.

    For a point that I want to make, it is good to start with a character, even if it is technical.

    2. The job of the storyteller is to make their obsessions the audience's obsessions

    Eric did this marvelously in The Boys. I am not sure how to think about this, but I think we can show authenticity if, as a storyteller, we make our obsession the readers' obsession. Maybe!

    3. Storytellers are valuable to the extent of their personal experiences, passions, and hangups

    This means we are all storytellers. We simply need to dig a bit deeper.

    4. Sail that boat out to the water and see if someone shoots at it

    Eric did not know if The Boys was going to be a hit.

    The only thing we can do is write, get feedback, learn and improve.

    5. Put things on paper, put things out

    We have to have something our brain can work with. Our brain is wired to identify how something bad could become good than coming up with something good from scratch.

    6. Start at the end and work your way back

    Related to the last takeaway, you can start from the intent and the end and work back to fix the plot when you have something on paper.

    7. Anyone who wants to be a serious writer has to understand that failure is success

    This is the most important truth, yet people are still afraid of failure and what people would think of them. If only we summon the courage to embrace failure.

    Eric wanted to be a comedy director, but he failed.

    8. "You don't finish a draft; you are surrendering it to the weakness that you cannot make it better"

    I am still pondering this one! But I love it.

    9. There will be people who will not like your work

    We should be fine if it happens to the brains behind The Boys and Kingsman. We just need to pay attention to the constructive critics and ignore everything or everyone else.

    10. "It is important to know the classic rules and if you are going to deviate, know what you are deviating from"

    First, know the fundamentals, then innovate.

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