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"Thomas Clifford has made something useful here. This report will give you some really catchy, useful ideas.

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Chris Brogan, President, Human Business Works 


"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

Now, though, he's producing tens of thousands of words a year, first as a Fast Company "Expert Blogger," and then as a writer for the Content Marketing Institute. 

How did Tom go from a non-writer to a prolific and much-read one? His eBook, '5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways . . . , ' holds some of his secrets."

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“Tom is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet—if you have the privilege to meet him. And he does sterling work as well. But don’t just take my word for it.

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Sean D’Souza, Psychotactics.com


“Anyone who wants to improve their writing needs this e-book. A lot of ebooks are short because they just don’t have much substance to offer. They’re not worth your time (and so are many of the long ones, too, for that matter). Tom’s is short because he’s so good at giving you only what you need to know. 

‘5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier’ lives up to its promise by example as well as in the words themselves. Tom used the very same techniques he teaches you to write this book. 

And what’s in here is not just a rehash of the same tired ideas you find coming from people who have suddenly fancied themselves as writing gurus. There are tricks in here I never heard of (like the Writing Funnel) and some I had forgotten about and was glad to be reminded of (like Sporadic Writing).” 

Michael Martine, Blog Alchemist, Remarkablogger.com 


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Wednesday
Mar142007

Tips on Storytelling from Ira Glass

Thanks for Paul Williams at Idea Sandbox for pointing this out to me.

Veteran radio personality Ira Glass, host of This American Life, has a four part series on storytelling. Ira's ideas are accessible for everyone...regardless of your profession.




Here a quick rundown...

Part 1. The Two Building Blocks of Stories.
1. Use the power of the anecdote. Tell a sequence of events; first this happened, then this, then that, etc.
2. Raise questions to create moments of reflection.

Part 2. Discovering Great Stories is Hard Work.
1. The amount of time to produce a story in the edit room takes just as much time to find a great story.
2. Kill the story to make something else better live. If it doesn't work...quit. Move on to another story.
3. All video production is trying to be crap. You have to prop it up aggressively to bring the story to life. The nature of video follows the laws of entropy.
4. Video and audio production is about luck. You have to record a lot of stuff to make something memorable.

Part 3. On Good Taste.
1. We make TV because we have good taste.
2. In the beginning, it's not too good. And your taste tells you it's not good. We know if it falls short.
3. Do lots of work, put yourself on a deadline. Put yourself through a volume of work and close the gap between where you are and where you want it to be. Keep at it.
4. It takes a long time to get good.

Part 4. Two Common Pitfalls.
1. Just talk like yourself, be yourself. Don't try to be someone else. Don't imitate someone else, some famous personality. Talk like yourself.
2. Be interested in the world and the people around you. You are a part of the story, but don't be the main part of the story.
3. You need some drama, interaction with others, to make the story interesting. In other words, don't tell a story in a vacuum.
4. Have your character interact with other people to create some drama; some problem.

Don't miss these. Now go on...get out there and tell a story!

---Tom

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