Join me on Saturday, June 18 at 7:00 PM ET at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, CT for the launch of my next book, Someday Is Today: 22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life.
I'll be telling stories from the book, offering some brand new strategies for making your creative dreams come true, and taking questions from the audience. I'll also be joined by Elysha Dicks, author of the foreword, and Matthew Shepard, author of the afterword, and Jeni Bonaldo, frequently maligned figure in the pages of the book, to talk about their part of the process, too, as well as some very special guests.
We'll also play games, give away prizes, sign books, and more!
RJ Julia Booksellers will be onsite to sell books, and refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Historical Society.
A suggested donation of $10 is requested – all proceeds go directly to the Connecticut Historical Society.
If you live locally (or if you're willing to travel), I hope you'll join me for a fun night!
THIS WEEK'S LESSON
Lots of things can impact the pacing of a story.
If you're competing in a Moth GrandSLAM championship, as I was doing earlier this week, pacing is dictated - at least in part - by the six minute time limit of the competition.
If I wanted to win, I needed to land my story in the designated amount of time.
Happily, it managed to come in under the wire and ultimately win the championship.
Remember: The shorter version of your story is almost always the best version of your story.
But maybe you're telling a story at a party and know you can only hold your audience's attention for so long before you'll be interrupted or lose people's interest.
Or perhaps you're in the midst of a three day epic car ride and have all the time in the world, in which case perhaps you're slowing the pace, knowing you have a captive audience in need to entertainment and plenty of time to fill.
Or maybe you're telling a story as a part of a sales pitch, marketing rollout, or inspirational speech. In those cases, the pacing of the story is often dictated by the content surrounding your story.
Lots of external needs can impact your story, but the story itself should also dictate pacing.
My GrandSLAM winning story, for example, opens with a fast pace because I start the story by chasing a child across a playground. I wanted the pace of the words to be reflective of the actions taking place within the story. Throughout the course of the chase, I speak quickly to capture the spirit of the moment.
When the story shifts to my classroom, where I'm trying to lull my student into a false sense of security, things slow down. My pacing becomes more methodical and measured.
But when there are just minutes left before the end of the school day and my plan has not yet come together, my pacing increases again because now there is time pressure. A literal ticking clock.
Near the end of the story, my pacing gets downright glacial as I'm saying the most important words of the story. Heavy, ponderous words reflecting the gravity and solemnity of the moment.
When your pacing matches your content, your story can come to life for an audience without them even realizing what is happening, and there are a multitude of ways of making this happen. These are just a few.
While adjusting your pace to match the content of a story is not necessary to tell a great story, it's another powerful tool in the toolbox of the storyteller when used well.
Looking to learn more about storytelling through something more than a weekly email lesson?