February 27, 2011

Where does a story begin?

Where does a story begin? Determining when and where your story begins impacts the direction your story takes. Over the next month I’m going to be sharing the process I go through to construct a story as Deborah and I go off on our journey to Malaysia.

Here’s the back story. I’ve been hired to do six days of story training in Kuala Lampur by a large training organization. In addition, they’ve licensed my Story Theater Method for two years. That means I have to train six of their trainers to teach my method. This is an amazing opportunity to visit a new country, meet some wonderful people and do some very good work.

So where does the Malaysia story begin? There are a number of options. I could start the story on Tuesday March 1st, the day we board our flights to Malaysia. But the story begins long before we board the plane. Do I start it in Washington DC in June of 2009 when I gave a presentation at the ASTD International Conference? ┬áThat’s where the client first saw me. But I didn’t meet him until December of 2009 when he came to Denver to go skiing with his family. We met in a hotel lobby where he talked about bringing me to Malaysia. Is that where the story starts? Or does it start in Colorado Springs when Deborah showed me an email requesting a meeting in Denver?

Think about a story that you’d like to tell. Where does your story begin?

Step One of the Nine Steps of Story Structure is called Set the Scene. It’s a specific time and place. It’s where the journey begins. Once you consider all of your options, choose one starting point and go from there. As you develop the story, you’ll soon discover whether the time and place you chose was right. If it’s not, you can choose one of your other options and go from there.

I intend to take you along on this journey as my Malaysia Story unfolds. Stay tuned.


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