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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Northerner How to handle criticism? (134* d) RE: How to handle criticism? 23 Jun 07

Hi AW.   People talk to me at a club after a story, and I get an idea of how well a story has been received. It takes a long time to develop as a storyteller so it is not surprising if I am not yet at master level!!! It also takes time to learn the art of listening to stories. And that shouldn't come as a surprise either. How many people could go to an opera or an evening of jazz, say, and really appreciate them when their experience of listening to them is limited/or of short duration? Knowledge of stories tends to increase with experience. I can listen to longer and more complex stories now than when I started four years ago. As one becomes more experienced one starts to recognise the different patterns in the stories that one is hearing. One starts to develop a sense of the larger picture of how stories relate to each other, and not just a sense of the invidual story. I do understand that someone who is unfamiliar with stories may find it difficult to understand the "rules" governing this artform initially.

It's definitely a two-way process. If I feel confident that everyone is with me, then I can stride forward confidently, improving breadth and depth in my storytelling. If I feel someone is a little lost then I have to backtrack a little and work out how to handle that.

Listening to stories is an active activity, not a passive one. Ideally when a story is being told a listener should be forming pictures in their imagination, visualizing it. It is harder than watching a soap-opera on television, say.

Some storytellers are able to remember a story from just one hearing. And be able to retell it. Some of us need more time than that.

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