A good story is a thing of beauty. And a good story is hell to create. But it’s a sweet, privileged kind of hell. Here’s a quick version of mine.
A French-Canadian boy is born into a middle-class family in a rusting, New England mill town. Overcomes a nasty, wobbly start. Studies photography at University. Works for Kodak, gets fired. Years later, fulfills secret childhood dream to become a writer. In those first lean days, almost loses his house. Later, is invited to join an eccentric, English writing society called Dark Angels, wins an award with them, writes a book with his new friends, and with them, tutors other writers on how to bring STORIES and DELIGHT and HUMANITY to corporate communications. Takes pictures, runs a blog, spends far too much time on Twitter, enjoys coffee, lives with his wife and cat in a log cabin (on an island in the Pacific Northwest) where he has a novel underway.
How do you use words and language to tell the stories you need to tell? If you tell a story really well any bloody thing can happen. You just might inspire someone. But tell it poorly, and well, all manner of suffering is yours.
Well-told stories stop people. “Wait, what?” they say.
“Did I just hear something that sounded like a human voice? Did I hear a story? Keep going.”
Stories, real stories, hook people. They create real distinctions and can persuade real humans to do real business with you. A well-told story can fire up your brand, your employees, and your prospects while revealing your character, personality and values. WARNING: Real stories involve doubt, struggle, failure, and success.
When they’re done well, stories can be ridiculously powerful, which makes it all the more surprising how few brands take advantage. A well-crafted story signifies passion, intent. ‘This is who we are. This is how we can help.”
In my writing, the things that I think about and work with are clarity, structure, storytelling, readability, voice, empathy, and all the creativity I can muster in service of your project.
I’m a 2015 D&AD award-winner for Writing & Design. (I had help.)
It’s true, I’m an Associate Partner with the famed Dark Angels of the UK. Which means I am privileged to help train other copywriters. I’m a long time photographer as well. You can see my work here — >
In 2015, I traveled to Torridon in the Scottish Highlands to join the legendary Dark Angels. photograph by Richard Pelletier