Be careful that your words don’t betray your story

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In working with a storyteller, he said, “I figured it wasn’t going to work out, and all my effort had been wasted.”

See the problem?

“I figured…” is a subtle but real signal that his assumption was false and things were about to change.

A better sentence would be:

“It wasn’t going to work out. All of my effort had been wasted.”

No hint about the future.

As a storyteller, we almost always want to relect our mindset in the moment rather than a posthumous mindset, complete with an awareness and understanding of the future. We must remain in the moment, both in terms of what we see and hear, but also in terms of what we are thinking and how we are feeling.

This is why phrases like “Little did I know…” and “Things were about to change…” make me crazy. They betray your story. They spoil the future. They ruin surprise.
Something as small as “I figured…” is a lot less obvious but still quite damaging.

Avoid hinting at the future at all costs.

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