Friday, September 2, 2011

Ira Glass on what makes a story compelling

I found this video a few days ago, and let it play while I checked email, but I found myself listening rather than reading. It's a bit long at 32 minutes, but worth a look. Ira Glass talks about how to hold the listener's attention, and the power of story to make the reader feel what the main character feels.

Some highlights (and I've paraphrased):

Narrative itself is like a back door into a very deep place inside of us, a place where reason doesn’t necessarily hold sway.

When a story gets inside of us, it makes us less crazy.

Until you actually hear the story of how someone actually joined al-Quaeda, you have no idea what it’s like to be that person. Until that moment, you know nothing.

We’re bombarded by more narrative on a daily basis than ever before. Every song is a narrative, every ad, every TV show – all trying to get our attention, to pierce through the noise of the narrative. They’re all yelling, which gives them a shrillness, a falseness.

One of the rarest things is to encounter something in a story that makes you be able to imagine yourself as that person.When it happens, it’s rare, and you notice.


Angela Brown said...

This is some very good advice. Thank you so much for sharing.

Cate Masters said...

Isn't it cool? It definitely snuck up on me and grabbed my attention!