“The universe is not made of atoms; it’s made of stories.”
― Muriel Rukeyser
You’d have to travel to some of the most obscure and desolate places in the world to find someone who hasn’t heard his name.
In fact, the name is so recognizable that some even say it’s the third most popular word ever, after “okay” and “Coca-Cola.”
His work has been translated, adapted, changed, and remixed countless times throughout the ages. Four centuries after his death, the cautionary tales he shared with the world are still some of the most popular stories ever created.
William Shakespeare was a master at harnessing the power of stories. He told stories like none other before him, and few ever dared imagine into existence such a plethora of fascinating stories after him.
Stories are at the foundation of who we are, who we wish to be, and who we should avoid becoming. Stories are the tools we use to make sense of the world around us.
Stories are powerful. Tell the right story, to the right person, at the right time, and you can even nudge the world a bit off its axis.
And here’s how you can use the power of stories in your articles.
Use Stories to Set The Emotional Undertone of Your Articles
The opening lines of an article are crucial to its success. Few readers ever get past the first paragraph.
Opening a blog post with a story is one of the best ways to captivate your audience and make sure they read on.
Think in terms of:
- What story is relevant to the topic I am writing about?
- What story can I tell to set the mood?
- What story can I use as a successful introduction for further development and discussion?
Whether it’s a personal story (writing from experience) or a story about someone else, the most important thing to keep in mind is to use a story that’s fascinating, intriguing, and offers a strong emotional incentive to read past the introduction.
Use the Unlimited Power of The Imagination to Discuss Hypothetical Scenarios
There’s no better way to make sure your readers can relate to your article than by using this word, “Imagine.”
By telling them a story about a possible outcome, your writing becomes more persuasive. They know they have to act, but now they also know why they have to act.
You can open an article by explaining all the negative side-effects they face if they do not take action upon the advice you share, or you can share the consequences they face if they fail to take action.
Create a Compelling Vision of the Future
The limitless potential of our imagination is most obvious when we imagine the future.
Imagine sharing a story with your readers about the magic of that first dawn after they go through a true dark night of the soul.
Wouldn’t that comfort the disturbed?
I believe it would.
Imagine sharing the story of how you overcame insurmountable obstacles, and how you were made stronger by that which wanted to kill you.
Wouldn’t that disturb those who wish nothing but to be comfortable?
I believe it would.
A good story is a weapon far more potent than any other trick we might find in our blogging arsenal.
A good story can be found at the crossroads between knowledge and creativity, and it’s what makes the impossible lose its first two letters.
I find that we often read blog posts because we want to be guided, not taught. We want to be taken on a journey, we want to follow this map to the writer’s soul, to learn from their experiences, from their vision of the future, from their ideas on how to act and dream and think and learn and talk and love.
Shakespeare changed the world with his stories. He helped us make sense of an impossibly complex universe by weaving narratives that we could relate to.
If you want to shape the way your readers think, you’ve got to tell them stories.
Because, even though the universe is made of atoms, we’re far more interested in the story of how those atoms came to be.
Everything you call real is but a story made up by someone, and everything we’ve built started as the brainchild of someone’s imagination.