Are you a good storyteller?

OswinOswald

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I feel like some people have a natural storytelling gene that I totally lack. They have a punchline or a reveal set up in their story, they have all these excellent embellishments, they know how to give these little flourishes sprinkled throughout the tale. Is this something I just have no natural aptitude for? Are there organizations like Toastmasters that would get me to practice these skills? Did I not tell enough spooky stories over campfire when I was a kid?
Do you have a favorite story that you tell to friends or at family gatherings or such?
 
I’m not a good storyteller when I don’t have anything to read off of because I tend to steer away from the subject and just start rambling. When I have a book in front of me, I feel like I’m a good storyteller. I’ve always been a good reader, and I just add emotion to whatever I’m reading, that way it’s not a monotonous snorefest.
 
I like to think I am gifted in the art of description, but the actual art of narrative and plot construction is where I often fall short. It's not that I can't, but I find it easy to fall into the trap of assuming the reader/listener can simply read my mind and visualize things without being told.
 
I've been told that I'm excellent at telling stories about my own life. I've been a writer since I learned what writing was, and was obsessed with books growing up, so I think I internalized some things about pacing and reveals. (I'm also autistic, and I think I spent a lot of my growing-up years doing a sort of trial and error every time I talked. "Okay, they liked that one for whatever reason! I'll keep that story on hand for later.")

On the other hand, I am absolutely garbage at making up stories. I have no improvisational skills whatsoever. I can relay true information in a compelling way, and I can write fiction (since I'm just doing it on my own time with lots of pauses and planning), but making up a tale out loud on the fly to entertain a bored child, or playing along with a game of make-believe . . . those things are much, much harder for me, even painful.
 
No, lol. I can barely come up with ideas for drawings. I can only imagine how bad I'd be with storytelling.
 
Nope, I'm no good at storytelling, no matter how much I want to try writing stories...

I am much better at drawing.
 
Yes. I don't want to elaborate any further. All I can say is that I like creating my own stories and characters. Any story or character that isn't mine needs proper research for a proper adaptation and I don't have time for that.
 
I've been told that I'm excellent at telling stories about my own life. I've been a writer since I learned what writing was, and was obsessed with books growing up, so I think I internalized some things about pacing and reveals. (I'm also autistic, and I think I spent a lot of my growing-up years doing a sort of trial and error every time I talked. "Okay, they liked that one for whatever reason! I'll keep that story on hand for later.")
Oh, yeah I was definitely thinking about stories from one's own life when I wrote the OP. I find your response fascinating exactly because I feel like I *lack* that ability to pick up on those social cues to help me catalogue things like 'oh, that was a good joke I told!' or such. Maybe I need to just pay attention more.

One of my professors always said that lecturing was like stand-up comedy - you tell them what you're about to tell them, you tell them, then you tell them again. The repetition makes sense for learning, and he definitely knew the 'punch lines', or the one key phrase or point he wanted us to remember. Sometimes I wonder if it's being mindful of little tricks like this that makes for good pacing in a story. Because if you know what your joke is going to be at the end, you can know to set it up earlier on in the story.

Sometimes I wonder if some people just THINK that way to begin with! Whenever I goon a job interview or some such, I always dread that "so, tell me about yourself" question. Where do you want me to start? How much detail do you want to know? And even then I start to draw a blank because I can't think of what salient points there are about my experiences.
But then I have other friends who always turn everything into a story. "hey, remember that one time we ...." is such a ubiquitous part of their vocabulary! It's like they're constantly filing away episodes of their lives to retell later.
 
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