Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ira Glass on Building a Great Story

Ira Glass, the host of This American Life explains the art of constructing a great story.

He looks at the building blocks of a compelling story, the way that narrating a sequence of events has momentum, suspense and is like being on a train moving toward a destination of discovery.

Glass tells how posing questions is like dangling tasty bait where the implication is that the storyteller will answer the questions that have been so tantalizingly raised.

The anecdote and the questions are insufficient unless there is a moment of reflection—‘Why the hell are we listening if there’s no point to the story? Who cares about a story that has no point?’

The way the storyteller switches between anecdote and reflection is the art of a good storyteller.

Watch Ira Glass Talk about Building a Good Story

Dr Geoff Pound

Geoff can be contacted by email at geoffpound(at) on Facebook and Twitter.

Image: Ira Glass