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What is a Story

by Helen McKay and Berice Dudley

What is a story? A story is defined as a narrative or tale of real or fictitious events.

Stories are a form of nourishment for our hungry souls. Often stories we regard as fiction, have elements of truth dressed up, to make them more palatable.

Stories are magic, taking us everywhere: backwards, forwards, or happening right in the present time, transporting us to many places and situations we might never go.

The teller is the magician; creating an atmosphere in which anything is possible. When storytelling is presented well, a special kind of energy develops between the teller and the audience; it really is magic.

Telling stories is like taking a group of people to the cinema. You can think of storytelling as a piece of film being projected on to a screen. The vision of the script writer and director are what the audience sees and interprets.

In a similar way, the storyteller shows the pictures seen in his or her mind and passes them to the listeners’ minds, for interpretation. Each time a story is told, the words change, according to the way the teller visualises the images passing through his or her mind. The teller tailors the story, to suit that particular audience.

From About Storytelling Published by Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, Australia — ISBN 0 86806 593 5
by Helen McKay and Berice Dudley © 1996