Enhancing Your Story

Fellow yogi (actually she’s a yogini and I’m the yogi) L.A. based script consultant, Jen Grisanti believes that you are inextricably linked to your story. You cannot be passionate about a story in which you have no personal emotional investment. And if you don’t have any emotional investment, you can’t tell the best story.

Your story is what defines your voice as a writer, what sets you apart, how you make people feel, how people perceive you, how they remember you and how you will succeed.

When creating a story, think about your life experiences that can give it an authenticity. Jen talks about fictionalizing your truth, since you’re unlikely to have experienced everything. But you can do so vicariously. Embellish your life experience and infuse your emotional truth into all your stories. Think about pivotal times in your life, good and bad. What drives you to succeed? What gives you sanctuary? What terrifies you? What are the emotions involved in these pivotal moments? Love, acceptance, validation, abandonment, betrayal?

To set up a story, who is the main character? Create empathy, give them a dilemma (a problem with at least two viable causes of action), action, a goal with a twist of irony.

What is the intention of your story? How do you want your audience to react?

Use your character’s backstory as a basis for their arc. Add symbolism, color and mood. It helps define their motivation and inspiration. Allow your character to respond from their ego 75% of the time and from their spirit, the remaining 25% What is their wound that subconsciously or consciously affects their choices and actions?

As they progress through a story, let them move from emotional detachment to attachment. From non-commitment to commitment.

Things in life are not what they seem, but what they are. How do you interpret the world? Borrow from your own truth rather than trying to mimic others. Accept your role as the messenger of stories. It’s a role coveted by many, but perfected by few — Martin Luther King


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