Are You a Storyteller, Teacher or Enchanter?

MarilynDavisatTIERSStarred Page By MarilynDavisatTIERS, 21st Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/15gyhan3/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Tips

“There are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: he may be considered as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter. A major writer combines these three - storyteller, teacher, enchanter, but it is the enchanter in him that predominates and makes him a major writer.” Vladimir Nabokov

Using the Three Categories to Create Interesting Articles

This quote helped me frame some of my current writings; focusing on the mechanics of effective writing while still engaging readers.

In addition to your writing style and voice, how you present your information generally falls into one of three categories, each writing about the same subject from a different perspective. The three most used perspectives are:

Storyteller
• Teacher
• Enchanter

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is a good way to connect to readers, sharing the message or experience. Oral storytelling and recording cultural histories is ancient. In many cultures, storytellers enjoy an elevated stature as they not only keep a record of past events but also must maintain a way to present the message to the current generations.

African Griot or Jali are the historians, advisors, arbitrators, and praise singers. They are a walking, talking, singing history book. Oftentimes, this responsibility is a multi-generational vocation, where a grandfather teaches the history to a younger member of the group to maintain continuity in the message.

In many Native American cultures, the grandmothers are the storytellers. When the men would leave the camp to hunt, the women entertained the children with stories solidifying values, customs, and life lessons.

Point Of View: First, Second, or Third Person

I often tell stories in my addiction articles. If they are my story, I write it in the first person. In other words, I, me, my, and mine will show up in the writing. I know that I can sometimes sound preachy in my writing, probably because I am a vocabulary and grammar enthusiast, and writing about my life seems to soften this style without being dishonest.

Other times, I will use composites of people I have worked with to overcome their addictions. In those instances, I have to be mindful of confidentiality and will sometimes blend two or more similar people to develop the story of recovery and redemption. In those instances, I will use the second person point of view with him, her, or them.

Storytellers are not just entertaining. They can provide insightful and helpful information. One way to impart life lessons, especially to a younger audience is to use characters to deliver the messages.

Aesop’s Fables employs talking creatures and plants, although humans appear in a few. Winnie the Pooh – oh, and Tigger, too, or Dr. Seuss each convey truths through storytelling.

“A storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself.” Daniel Wallace, The Kings and Queens of Roam

Writing as a Teacher or Expert

Teaching has been around since we drew on cave walls. Teaching skills like hunting and gathering were primary examples. Formal teaching, according to Dieter Lenzen, president of the Freie Universität Berlin 1994, "began either millions of years ago or at the end of 1770".

I rather liked that quote, as it speaks to the idea of the traditional oral teaching, or cave paintings to deliver a message, all the way to the classroom setting that we are familiar with today.

Educational Titling

Writing as a teacher can be as simple as titling your articles to let people know they are going to learn something.

• The Top 5 Reasons for….
• Are You Making These 5 Mistakes When You …?
• An Introduction to …
• Learning …
• What I Learned about X

Titles let your reader know that you are going to educate them. Are you an encouraging teacher, a preachy one, or somewhere in-between?

What experience do you have with what you are trying to educate your reader about; life, degree, or “school of hard knocks” all can qualify you to teach.

Let Them Know You Are Qualified

Let you readers know quickly why you are the person to help them learn about your article’s subject.

• "As a professor of …
• "In business for 30 years, I …
• "Certified as …
• "Trained in …

These introductory statements help authenticate your writing. Do not be afraid of sounding arrogant when you substantiate that you have credibility about a subject. When you validate your information as accurate from education, life, or because you are the “go-to” person for the information, it can convey trust with your readers.

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say 'It's as plain as the nose on your face.' But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?” ― Isaac Asimov, I, Robot

While you may think that your writing should convey your credibility and it should be obvious that you know what you are writing about, your readers need to understand why you are an expert or knowledgeable person.

What Is Enchanting Writing?

An enchanter is one that delights, fascinates, captivates, or uses words magically. We typically think of poetry for this category. Poetry lends itself to the fanciful, whimsical and ethereal. However, incorporating the five senses in your article writing can bring this same element to narrative writing providing it does not deter from your overall message.

Enchanters also captivate their readers. This means showing the reader information, not just telling through words. When this happens, the reader has the movie playing in their head. Engaging their senses helps create this experience.

Even a Limited Vocabulary Can Be Enchanting

For instance, in May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among schoolchildren, which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, or as we came to know him, Dr. Seuss, got a list of only 348 words; then he was to cut it to 250 words that were not boring for first graders to read.

Nine months later, Geisel only used 236 of the words and completed The Cat in the Hat,b] which has captivated children and created tongue twisters for their parents. That is entertainment.

Open Season for All Storytellers, Teachers and Enchanters

In the south, we talk about it being “open season” or a specific time of the year when hunting is legal.

However, as writers, don’t we hunt for just the right word as well?

We may not be in the woods; however, we may be searching frantically in a dictionary or a Thesaurus to capture just the right expression for our article. We make an effort to zero in on the targeted words that will enthrall, educate or enchant our readers.

By using the words like hunt, woods, capture, zero in on, and targeted, I have kept the hunting theme going as a play on words. This is just one example of using words to convey information, educate or engage the reader.

Figure of Speech Works for All Writers

Storytellers, Teachers, and Enchanters can all use the various types of grammar called, figure of speech. A figure of speech is using expressions that are generally associated with one thing to describe another. Learn about figures of speech such as:

Simile
Hyperbole
Irony
Metaphor

Simile, hyperbole, irony and metaphor educate your readers from a different perspective or captivate them.

For instance, the sentence: It is cold today.

• Simile would be a comparative: It is as cold today as a Popsicle in a freezer.
• Hyperbole exaggerates: It is colder today than surface of Jupiter.
• Irony is generally the opposite: Yesterday you were cool and trendy; today, you just got cold.
• Metaphor: The biting bitterness of the cold crept into her heart when she thought of his betrayal.

On-line writing is typically shorter and to the point, so each storyteller, teacher and enchanter needs to be relevant, useful, and of interest, otherwise, you will lose your reader to the next offering on Google.



Additional articles about writing from Marilyn Davis
Views, Comments and Reflections
Styles and the Five Senses: Engaging Your Readers
You Have 140 Characters to Get Their Attention*
You Have 140 Characters to Get Their Attention* Part 2: Body and Content
The Art and Heart of Writing
Over and Under and Through the Niche
Inspired Ideas, Images, and Information: Make Them Want to Read your Article
Tell Your Story
Proof It B4 You Publish It

Each person has a unique voice and Wikinut is a place for you to share your wisdom, humor, insight and knowledge. Join, write and become connected to others who share a passion for writing, supporting one another, and learning on Wikinut.


Credits
Griot: Wikipedia
Dr. Seuss Postage Stamp: US Postal Service
Bow: Morgue File

Tags

Enchanted Writing, Storyteller, Writing As A Teacher, Writing Skills, Writing Styles, Writing Tips

Meet the author

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
A Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist, with 25 years of abstinence-based recovery. I write about addictions, recovery, life lessons and general writing tips.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
21st Dec 2013 (#)

Good afternoon, Steve; thank you for the quick moderating and the star. I appreciate both. ~Marilyn

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author avatar spirited
21st Dec 2013 (#)

Great Article, Marilyn,

Those three categories mentioned sum up writing in a nice way. I hadn't heard of them before.

I guess some writers can even blend them all together, and can write teaching stories that are enchanting!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
21st Dec 2013 (#)

Good evening, Spirited. I imagine there are other ways to reference writing styles or perspectives, I just happen to like these three. Yes, there are those writters who combine them all; trying to capture a bit of all in my writing, too. Thanks for commenting. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Good job. Sharing!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Good evening, Phyl; thanks for the comment and share. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. I probably won't have time for another article or to wish you happy holidays until after Christmas - family down from Baltimore. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
23rd Dec 2013 (#)

OK. Take good care. I've been with family the past two days. It's exhausting but good. My best to you and yours,
P

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
23rd Dec 2013 (#)

Good evening, Phyl; thanks. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Connie McKinney
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Well done as usual, Marilyn. I especially liked the advice about letting readers know if you are qualified to write about that particular topic. I need to do more of this in my own writing. Sharing now.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Good evening, Connie; thank you. I know that several people on here have been teachers and/or have had experiences that qualify them to address particular subjects. Granted, we all write, but I think that readers today can discern if the information seems legitimate. Don't get me wrong, I think that most of us could write about a subject, however, it would lack that personal feel that experience, education or life brings to our articles. Again, thanks and for the share as well.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

love this Marilyn..you cover so much...I guess I am a story teller, enchanter and a teacher on the level I am, a student on the level below...oh oh oh....sharing again...because this is so good...

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Good evening, Carolina; you came to mind when I was writing enchanter - that is what I read first in your poetry, which does not negate your abilities in the other two areas, it is just that one stands out so clearly for me when I read yours. ~Marilyn

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

thank you so much Marilyn...

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author avatar Jerry Walch
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Another well deserved star, Marilyn.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Good evening, Jerry; thank you very much. You know I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Joy for the season. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

All three of them!!!! You have no idea what I can do.... What I show the world is only a tip of the iceberg....

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

we are really not very interested in what you can or cannot do...miss aiyanna

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author avatar Jerry Walch
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Hey Lady! Why don't you get off of "how great I am" and do something constructive with your life. It's "show", not "tell" here Aiyanna. If you're so great write something that reflects how great you are.

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author avatar Legend
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

I think we all do a bit of each, combining them all is the point!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Good morning, Legend; that is where the skill comes in; that ability to incorporate all three. I think we get locked into one type or style and sometimes do not venture out of our comfort zone, whether writing or life. Thanks for your comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Mariah
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

I agree with Legend's comment
well written post Marilyn

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Good morning, Mariah; thank you for the comment, and you, Legend and many ofther writers on this site make the effort to improve our writing and this is just another way to expand on our basic writing abilities. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Ian R Thorpe
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Storytelling is so important in all cultures.
I used to be an enchanter although that's perhaps not the word my wife would use - I think she would more likely say Lothario. An incorrigible flirt.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Good afternoon, Ian; most, if not all of your comments make me smile. This one was no exception. You incorrigible enchanter, you. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Michelle Stanley
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Hello Marilyn, wonderful article and images It's so true that grandparents are the ones that pass down stories from generations to generations. Not all persons knew how to write, so it is unfortunate that some stories were eventually forgotten or not told accurately. I like to think that I'm all three you mentioned, based on the various writing I do. Thank you for making my day with this. Michelle

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
22nd Dec 2013 (#)

Good evening, Michelle; you do write from all three perspectives. I've had the pleasure of reading many of your articles and enjoyed them all. Thanks for stopping by this close to the holiday as yours sounded hectic in another post. Take care. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Tony Barnes
23rd Dec 2013 (#)

I use story telling as a way of teaching on my radio broadcast.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
23rd Dec 2013 (#)

Good evening, Tony; that is an excellent way to convey a message. In keeping with all ancient oral traditions, it helps keep the art of storytelling alive in this day. Thanks for commenting and letting us know that skill is alive and well. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Dec 2013 (#)

Grandparents, especially grandmothers, were the real story tellers. Now they get less attention and that is a big loss. Yes, they may not be computer savvy but they have graduated with distinction from the school of hard knocks and that matters when the push comes to shove. Another insightful article doing full justice to your writing talents, Marilyn, thank you - siva

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
24th Dec 2013 (#)

Good morning, Siva; thank you. I know in my family, my grandmothers both told stories while knitting or darning socks. I also had an uncle who usually had all of us sitting at his feet in a circle listening to his tales of the animals in the woods on his farm. What was surprising was that he never had children, yet was so patient and guiding in his stories to us; full of morals and values without being preachy - that is a storyteller. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
25th Dec 2013 (#)

Nice piece Marilynn, maybe both, why not my dear friend. Hang a star in this one of a kind piece!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
25th Dec 2013 (#)

Good evening, Fern; thank you for a kind comment. I hope you and yours have a safe and Merry Christmas tomorrow. ~Marilyn and have a Merry Christmas

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author avatar Retired
26th Dec 2013 (#)

Storytellers have always fascinated me! I'm only 70 this year, but I hope one day, when I grow up, to have mastered that art myself. Wonderful article! Thanks so much for sharing...!

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author avatar Ptrikha
27th Dec 2013 (#)

Great article- quite engrossing.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
27th Dec 2013 (#)

Good morning, Ptrikha; thank you. I think we all have voice and then further defining our other style helps us frame our perspective on the topic. I tend towards storytelling and teaching and once in a while manage to couple a few words together that might fall into enchant, or would like to think so :) ~Marilyn

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