Pip Decks

Movie Time

From Episode 16 of the weekly Storyteller Tactics episodes

Each week we release a new story and two Storyteller Tactics cards from the deck, launching on Kickstarter later this year.

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What is the Movie Time tactic?

When you tell me a story, a little movie starts playing in my head. I literally "see" what you mean.

Your brain processes language by running a visual simulation. Abstract concepts are hard to visualise because nothing happens. What's the movie playing in your head when I say "sustainability" or “accessibility”?There isn't one. So tell me about a moment where something happened that brings those abstracts to life.


How to use Movie Time

Write a list of the key concepts you need to explain or the main points you want to get across. You need to find a movie moment for each one:

1. "ACTION!" 

  • Where are we?
  • What is happening? 
  • What happens next?

2. Emotion

  • Who is involved?
  • What is at stake?
  • How does it feel?

Once you've set the scene with Action and Emotion, we're ready to listen to the point you'd like to make. 

3. Meaning

  • What has changed, what have we learned?
  • Why does this matter?
  • What do you want us to think or do differently now?

Get into the habit of movie-checking your own writing. At the end of a paragraph, ask yourself "what's the movie playing in their heads now?" If the answer is none, you're not telling a story.


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