5 min readApr 28

10 Simple Rules to Shape and Tell a brilliant story by Dana Norris

Why did I pick up this book and what did I expect to get out of it:​

Everyone tells a story now and then for different reasons. I started learning about storytelling to get better at getting my message across be it professionally or in my private time. Some might find it strange to use stories professionally but from my experience using stories to present new information or to change someone’s perspective is a great tool. One of the things that convinced me to pick up “The Storytelling Code” was the promise from the author to provide advice on how to set a goal for each story, gather the best material, and shape a plot to keep your audience engaged.

I expect to learn more about the process of creating a story, developing the “story arc”, and what should I include and what not in the story. What I’m looking for the most is “the order of steps” in the process of writing the story, because sometimes I get stuck at a certain point and don’t know how to develop the story so that I don’t lose “my audience” or even worse to “overshadow” the message of the story.

My thoughts about the book:​

This is one of those books you can read in one sitting. The style of writing is simple and the author doesn’t go too much into psychology if she is explaining why something works or not. I really liked that the author added a “practice” and “checklist” section at the end of each chapter which provides additional guidance on how the reader should proceed with developing his storytelling skills. “The Storytelling Code” consists of two parts, the first being “Shape your Story” and the second “Tell your Story”, and each has five chapters. I’m pointing this out because I really enjoyed reading part one of the book, while not so much part two. Most of the things written in part two felt like trying to get the page count up, and those five rules could maybe be two rules at most (but I guess seven simple rules don’t sound as good as ten).

Overall if you are just starting out with storytelling I suggest you pick up “The Storytelling Code” and read it and practice writing and telling your story. Even if you have read a book or two about…


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