Oct 30, 2021
Here is something that is true. You and I are all story tellers.
My thesis is that a story does one of four things: inform or inspire, educate or entertain. A story teller is one who informs, inspires, educates, or entertains.
I was listening to a podcast the other day where a screenwriter was talking about adapting a short story into a screenplay, how some stories lend themselves to the adaption, how the scope of the story changes with the format, and why some great novels, plays or short stories become really bad movies.
As a story teller she would say, you have to know if your story should be told on a stage, a page, or a screen.
Let’s say you have a story to tell and you have a blank page. The question is does this story want to become a Broadway play, the great American Novel , or a Hollywood blockbuster? Or is it a short format story told best in a literary magazine, a community theater, or an independent short film festival?
The story you have determines what you write.
As physician story tellers we are asked to inform or inspire, educate or entertain.
For most of us in medicine the stories that we tell will be intended for education and information rather than for entertainment or inspiration.
As physician storytellers we need to know if our stories are meant for the stage, the page, or the screen. A famous person once said that the most important part of every painting is the frame.
A page lends itself to dense material, detailed pictures, and a reference for going back to later. A stage lends itself to a personal connection, a real time shared experience and developing a relationship between the story teller and the person hearing the story. A screen lends itself to a cinematic experience and story-telling on a large scale.
But what, you may be asking, about the podcast format? Hmm. What about the podcast format?
If you have been a listener you know that I do not have an answer to that question. I have tried to tell you a story. I have tried to inform, inspire, educate, or entertain you. I have tried to make it as simple, to speak slowly and softly, to record often and always. I have tried to be complete, concise, clear, concrete, and correct. Finally I have tried to be compassionate.
That’s my story, and I’m stickin to it.