Telling stories well saves lives, plain and simple. In the book that’s come to be known as Arabian Nights, the Persian king Shahryar marries and executes a series of virgin brides, to preemptively stop them from cuckolding him. Eventually, the only eligible bride left around is the vizier’s daughter, who nominates herself for the position. On the couple’s wedding night, the new bride begins telling her husband a tale, but leaves it open with a cliffhanger. Thus begins 1,001 nights of the precursor to serialized entertainment which saves the vizier’s daughter’s life.
What’s the point of all this? Well, while it’s unlikely that anybody would be put in such a situation today, the truth is that all too many people literally can’t tell a story to save their own lives.
If they absolutely had to start learning to do so, though, if not to stay alive than to at least stay highly employable, a solid place to start would be Co.Create. Over the course of 2014, we picked the brains of some of the greatest storytellers currently working in television, movies, and the literary world to get the choicest tips on their captivating techniques. Whether it’s Gillian Flynn describing how she learned to trust her instincts, or Richard Linklater explaining how he uses stories to solve problems, there’s more than enough advice on this site to help you spin a yarn fit for a Persian king–and we’ve collected this year’s best additions right here.
Have a look through the slides above for some of Co.Create’s favorite storytelling insights from 2014.