By Wil

Storytelling is a useful skill to have. Even if you aren’t a writer, incorporating elements of a story within lessons, presentations or even sales pitches can be a great way to help people understand and connect with what you are telling them. It can seem tricky but it’s actually quite simple if you divide it up into these simple steps.

Exposition

Set the scene by explaining the situation before the story starts. You could describe the setting (the place and time where the story happens) or even the main characters. Be descriptive and help the reader imagine the sights and sounds you are telling them about.

Rising action

This is something that starts the main story off. It’s where the tension builds, possibly because of a problem or challenge that one of the characters faces. This is also a good point in the story to introduce another character, especially one who will be important to later sections of the story.

Climax

The most exciting part of the story. This is where the action happens. A dramatic climax is what your readers are expecting and one of the main reasons they are paying attention to your story so don’t disappoint them.

Falling action

After the climax of your story, your readers are bound to have questions. Use this part of the story to explain anything that they might want to know after the dramatic events that happened earlier. There are some questions you might want to leave unanswered, though, so people have something to discuss once the story is over.

Resolution

Whether it’s a happy or sad ending, it’s best to leave the audience feeling satisfied. Bring the story to a logical end and reflect on the main points or moral if there is one. If there’s a lesson you want your audience to learn from the story, you can explain it at this point, or if you think that it is obvious, leave it to them to notice.

There are other structures you can use to tell a story but this one works well and has been used in countless famous stories in the past. Think of a famous film or book you know and see if you can spot these sections in it. If you can work them out, share the story and the sections in the comments section below.

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