Book Spotlight · Guest Post

(Guest Post) Your Storytelling Superpower by Author Jim Jackson @jacksontron

Hello awesome readers. Thank you so much for joining us today for a fantastic guest post by Jim Jackson. Author of How to Tell a Really Good Story about Absolutely Anything in 4 Easy Steps and Stones in My Passway with two upcoming books (get a peek of those at the end).

How to Tell a Really Good Story about Absolutely Anything in 4 Easy StepsSTONES cover KDP

 

Enjoy,


Your Storytelling Superpower

(and how to use it to make your life more awesome)

Does Superman ever use his heat vision to make toast? Does Batman have a gadget on his belt that helps keep the Batcave clean – (some kind of Batroomba)? Does Wonder Woman use the Lasso of Truth when she’s buying a used car? (Does Wonder Woman buy used cars?) If we had a superpower, wouldn’t we want to use to make our lives easier?

And yet we do have a superpower – we can tell a tale. We can put pixels to screen and invent new worlds, new people, new situations. We know the power contained within that ability. But how often do we resort to nagging, pestering or shouting in all caps to make our message heard? What if we could get our spouse to stop leaving his socks on the floor without all of that? What if we could market ourselves in an increasingly cluttered world? What if we could reinvent ourselves to be more the people we want to be?

I say we can. Using our storytelling superpower.

About a year ago, my first book came out – a non-fiction piece about using the power of story to make our messages memorable and meaningful called How to Tell a Really Good Story about Absolutely Anything in 4 Easy Steps. Since then, life hasn`t been the same. Life has been way more awesome.

That’s the power of story.

 

Why is Story So Powerful at Getting Messages Across?

Neuroscience shows us that stories act as a kind of simulator. When we read or listen to a story, our unconscious brains act as if the events are happening to us, but our bodies are safe on the couch, or a booth at Denny’s or wherever you like to take in your stories. We get the benefit of the experience without the hazards. We learn the lesson without the stakes. Stories are a risk-free form of experience. This is huge. You can give anyone a kind of practice run at a situation just by telling a really good story.

That means, we can put people in our shoes – or whosever shoes we want – through our power of telling a really good story. We can influence, convince and reinvent. Now that’s a superpower.

Okay. Great. How?

The 4 Easy Steps of Storytelling

Want to get your spouse to stop leaving his socks on the floor? Tell a story. Use your superpower.

How do we make a story about something so mundane? Follow the 4 easy steps.

Step 1 – get a Good Guy

We need to have a main character that our listeners can identify with – a Good Guy. Whether it’s a movie, book or just listening to someone talk, a good Good Guy keeps our attention. Stories aren’t about what happens to people, they’re about what happens to people.

Let’s see how we can apply that to the socks on the bedroom floor.

So, the other I day I came home, and there was this weird smell in the house. It was kind of … dairy-ish. I thought it might have been that French cheese I bought. I thought maybe you were right and that cheese did smell like stinky feet.

The Good Guy admits that the listener might have been right about the cheese – something that seems to have been a bone of contention.

Step 2 – what does she want?

Just like a love affair, there’s no story without desire. You can have the best most identifiable most sympathetic Good Guy, but if she just wants to sit around in her pajamas all day eating Doritos, you’re not going to have a really good story. For a story to move forward, the Good Guy needs to want something.

Well, I certainly wasn’t going to let you be right that easily! I needed to find the real source. It wasn’t the cheese. I was going to solve this mystery.

She wants to find the source of the smell. This is her quest.

Step 3 – put her behind the eight-ball

You can have the best Good Guy in the world, filled with motivation and conflicting desires, but if nothing happens, no one cares. There need to be obstacles the Good Guy can overcome on the way to her goal.

I was possessed. I was sniffing garbage cans, the back corners of the fridge – everything. I thought I came close once when I passed the bedroom, but I couldn’t think of anything that could possibly be emitting a smell like that that would be in there, so I kept looking.

She looks everywhere but can’t find the source of the smell. The closest she gets to it is the bedroom, but she doesn’t want to believe it could be anything there.

Step 4 – how does she change?

I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again. Stories aren’t about what happens to people, they’re about what happens to people. Story is how the Good Guy changes as a result of what happens. Because of the experiences the Good Guy has, she changes. Permanently.

I was exhausted. I could still smell it, but I’d searched everywhere I could think of. There was only one thing I didn’t check. I didn’t want to believe it could be that, so I left it for a long time. But now I needed to know. I needed to find the source of the smell. My hunch was right – I didn’t want it to be, but it was.

It was your socks on the bedroom floor. Sorry, honey.

The Good Guy is forced to admit to herself (and her spouse) that it was the socks on the floor. She then has the task of telling him.

 

The S-C-Q Method

But maybe you don’t have that problem. Maybe your spouse is always diligent and perfect in everything they do. You can still use your storytelling superpower to make your life more awesome.

You’re a writer. Need to convince someone to buy your book? Tell a story. Use your superpower.

I love the S-C-Q method for this.

The S-C-Q method was developed to teach consultants how to write the introductions to their reports. But it has so many more applications.

S-C-Q stands for situation, complication, question, and it’s a way to use kind of a micro-story to ease your audience into what you’re telling them. We’re all resistant when someone tells us to do something – the S-C-Q method uses story to frame a problem that your audience has already thought of. We do this by first stating a non-controversial fact – the situation.

Stories are a great way to influence people.

Simple enough. Hard to disagree with that, no matter how reluctant an audience you have.

Next, we add something that makes the situation not work anymore – the complication.

Not everyone knows how to apply their storytelling ability to real-life situations.

Alright, since our audience bought the situation, they now have to concede that it’s more complicated than it seemed at first. By framing the situation and the complication this way, a question – the next part of the method – comes up naturally in the audience’s minds.

What can we do?

We don’t even need to mention the question – it will pop up naturally if we’ve set up the situation and the complication.

Now, the fun part. You have the answer to that question ready – the answer is the message you’re trying to get across.

Stories are a great way to influence people.

Not everyone knows how to apply their storytelling ability to real-life situations.

What can we do?

Anwser?

Buy Jim Jackson’s storytelling handbook. It’ll show you the ins and outs of storytelling.

Superpower.

How to Tell a Really Good Story about Absolutely Anything in 4 Easy Steps

Change Your Story, Change Your Life

Want to reinvent yourself? Become more the person you’d like to be? Tell a story. Use your superpower.

Stories are who we are – so much more than our body or our past. We’re made up of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. We’re not so much the sum of our experiences but the sum of the stories we make from those experiences. Our stories influence our beliefs, our actions, the people we choose to spend time with.

By changing our story, we can change who we are.

I don’t mean lying about our past, here. The facts stay the same. It’s the story we make from those facts that can change to change the way we think about ourselves.

Since we’re talking about superpowers, take Spider-Man. What’s his story?

Get a Good Guy

Peter Parker, the future Spider-Man, is just a nerdy kid who keeps getting picked on. He’s smart, but a bit socially awkward. Then he gets superpowers.

What does he want?

Peter wants to show up all the bullies who pushed him around. Using his new powers, he becomes a wrestler, winning a bit of cash and the respect he’s after.

Put him behind the eight-ball

Peter chooses not to stop a thug running out of the wrestling area with a stolen bag of cash. It’s not his problem. When he gets home, he realizes his uncle – the man who raised him – has been killed by that same thug.

How does he change?

Peter – now Spider-Man – realizes that with great power comes great responsibility. He vows to use his powers for good.

He’s changed his story. He’s no longer a nerdy kid being bullied. He’s no longer a masked wrestler out to make some dough. He could have stayed as either of those things – there was no inevitability in becoming a hero, even after his uncle’s death. But her chose a new story to live. He chose to be a superhero.

 

Putting Your Power to Use

You already have the power – you can tell stories. You’re out there changing the world with your stories – making people laugh, cry and generally feel. So let your stories work for you in your everyday life, too. Let the stories you tell make your life more awesome.

Today.

Right now.

Tell. Your. Story.

For more information or to sign up for exclusive storytelling resources, visit www.reallygoodstory.com.


Jim Jackson

jim jackson - bio

author – educator – gentleman

Jim Jackson spent five years wandering the spicy-food-eating lands and collecting stories (most of which can’t be shared). Jim’s mission is to show that the stories we all grew up with – the heroes, the monsters, the adventures – are still solid, muscular realities that can shape our lives (for good or for ill).

Jim is the author of Stones in My Passway: a Novel in Blues and How to Tell a Really Good Story about Absolutely Anything in 4 Easy Steps, and the upcoming Kiss of the Cockroach Queen and Dispatches from an Accidental Sex Tourist.

 


Follow me at:

www.reallygoodstory.com

Amazon

Twitter: @jacksontron

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jim.jackson.author

www.accidentalsextourist.com (if you like your updates a little racier!)


Books:

STONES cover KDPStones in My Passway: a Novel in Blues

A folklore-laden, bluesy trip to the devil’s crossroads with bluenotes and hellhounds tripping behind the beat Wood Sweeney needs to find a way out of the deal he just made with the devil. Or a just way to slay the prince of darkness. He wanted to know who he could have been if he’d done one thing differently, and the devil deal was too tempting to turn down. And why wouldn’t he be tempted? He’s perfectly dissatisfied at work, he’s been fighting with his wife, and his daughter just got picked up by the police. The grinning devil makes a quick snip-snip life story alteration, and Wood lives a life perfectly forged for his own pleasure. But can he dodge the deals, the devils and the hellhounds? Stones in My Passway – like the blues it was born of – is a harrowing transcendental journey. Sometimes sexy, sometimes comical, sometimes heart-rending – always enjoyable.

 

How to Tell a Really Good Story about Absolutely Anything in 4 Easy StepsHow to Tell a Really Good Story about Absolutely Anything in 4 Easy Steps 

The only how-to book about using the power of story to make your life a little more awesome!

You want to get your spouse to stop leaving his socks on the floor, and nagging isn’t working. You want to get your staff to start using the new expense form, but the memo was ignored. How do you get to where you need to be?

How to Tell a Really Good Story about Absolutely Anything in 4 Easy Steps is a roadmap to getting your message across in an increasingly noisy and cluttered world. This handbook guides you along the 4 easy steps that make your message memorable and meaningful by harnessing it to the power of story.

Public speaking educator, author and gentleman, Jim Jackson, has done the heavy lifting for you. He’s looked at how our brains react to story and how writers and tellers of really good stories have used this very human reaction. All in 4 steps.

This handbook is indispensable for anyone who wants to use the power of story to reach people and get a message across in a meaningful, memorable way.

Whether that message is about saving the planet or following the IT help desk process.

Tell your story.


Upcoming Books:

cockroach queen cover Feb 12Kiss of the Cockroach Queen

     fantasy noir and old-style pulp explode in Hong Kong’s seedy, mystical underbelly​

King Wong, the world’s only exoterric consultant and expert on the Otherkind, is down on his luck with a leaky, keep-you-up-at-night shower and a fold-out bed in grungy Kowloon.

So, when an expensive-looking dame from the swanky Mid-Levels offers him a year’s rent to find her missing shady, financial-wizard husband, he takes the case.

Now, he’s tracking down an ancient, Tang-dynasty magic and a buxom, violet-eyed barmaid cult leader in Hong Kong’s seedy, mystical underside with only the help of a hippie girl in dreadlocks and whatever allies he can muster from the mists of Chinese myth.

Or is he just making the whole thing up?

 

AST cover jan 30Dispatches from an Accidental Sex Tourist

     a soulful sex comedy from the bizarre heart of Communist China

(co-written with Tony Phillips)

Rick Shaw is a fish out of water and truly bewildered in the absolute elsewhere of Mainland China.

So, when he meets mystical, Far East sex guru known only to the Chinese as X, he can’t help but tag along to learn the ins and outs of life in the land of the dragon.

Now, he’s thrown into the sexy backalleys of Changsha, China, passing in and out of increasingly awkward yet arousing encounters with women he can’t even converse with. And he thinks he might be falling in love.

 


This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

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