Five Storytelling Techniques For Better Filmmaking

Following on from last week’s article, as promised we will take a deeper dive into a few essentials and basics of storytelling. Whether you are creating a film, writing a novel, or developing a marketing campaign, the ability to tell a compelling story is critical to engaging your audience and leaving a lasting impact. We’ll explore the importance of storytelling in media production, and help you identify your core message as well as master the art of pacing. We’ll cover everything you need to know to become a master storyteller…

Storytelling is an art that has been used for centuries to captivate and engage audiences. Whether it’s through books, movies, or television shows, the best stories are those that transport us to new worlds and connect us with the characters in them. But how exactly do storytellers do it? What techniques do they use to create compelling narratives that resonate with people? Let’s take a look at some of the most common storytelling techniques and how you can use them to create your own engaging stories.

  1. Characterisation One of the most important aspects of storytelling is creating believable and relatable characters. A good character has a clear personality, unique quirks and traits, and a compelling backstory that informs their motivations and actions throughout the story. When creating your characters, think about what makes them interesting and why readers or viewers should care about them. What are their goals, fears, and desires? What challenges will they face throughout the story? By giving your characters depth and complexity, you’ll make them more engaging and memorable.
  2. Conflict Another essential component of storytelling is conflict. Without it, stories would be flat and uninteresting. Conflict can take many forms, including external struggles like battles or competitions, as well as internal struggles like personal growth or overcoming past traumas. To create compelling conflict, consider what’s at stake for your characters. What are they fighting for, and what will happen if they fail? By raising the stakes and creating a sense of urgency, you’ll keep your audience engaged and invested in the story.
  3. Setting The setting of a story is another important element that can help to transport readers or viewers to a different time or place. A well-crafted setting should feel immersive and believable, with enough detail to paint a vivid picture in the audience’s mind without overwhelming them with unnecessary information. Consider what aspects of your setting are most important to the story, and focus on those in your descriptions. Additionally, think about how the setting can be used to create additional conflict or tension in the story.
  4. Dialogue Dialogue is one of the most powerful tools a storyteller has for revealing character and advancing the plot. When writing dialogue, it’s important to consider each character’s voice and how they speak. Do they have any verbal tics or catchphrases? Are they more formal or casual in their speech? Additionally, try to avoid exposition-heavy dialogue that simply spells out information for the audience. Instead, use dialogue to reveal character motivations and move the story forward in a natural way.
  5. Structure Finally, the structure of a story can be just as important as its individual components. A well-structured story should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, with each section building on the one before it to create a sense of momentum and progression. Consider using traditional story structures like the hero’s journey or three-act structure as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different narrative structures to find what works best for your story.

All in all, storytelling is an art form that requires a combination of technical skill and creative inspiration. By using techniques like characterisation, conflict, setting, dialogue, and structure, you can create engaging stories that captivate and connect with your audience. However, it’s important to remember that these techniques are just tools, and ultimately it’s up to you as the storyteller to use them in a way that feels authentic and true to your vision. With practice and dedication, anyone can become a great storyteller and create works that inspire and entertain.