General

A good storyteller

How to tell a story

Created on
Day
65/100
Reading Time
2 mins
Word Count
700 approx.

Hello again. This time I’d like to share my views on storytelling. I think I’m interested in people who’ve been doing vlogging on YouTube for quite some time. In my opinion, not many can create content that is fun, entertaining, and keeps you intrigued to watch through the whole video. Casey Neistat is one of the few top players in this regard. He’s back in the game lately. Let’s see if there’s any takeaway for us.

A few days ago, I wrote a post about content creators. I want to talk about the subject a little more. YouTuber, vlogger, influencer, or whatever you call it, it all goes down to the same thing: creating content online in video format. They all tell stories. Different content for different folks. A YouTube channel that you don’t like does not necessarily mean that it’s bad. To put it simply, maybe it’s just not for you. I admit I’ve never watched a single TikTok video and i hate most of the so-called influencer. Anyway, the question is, what makes a good storyteller?

Casey Neistat has more than 12 million followers on YouTube. I don’t really care about the number, but it has to be good to have this many viewers. After watching his videos, I can tell he certainly knows filmmaking very well. He has a strong personality, is smart about producing content with nice presentation, has great editing skills, a good sense of music, and tells stories in a very creative way. You can take a look at some of his videos, a lot of them are rough around the edges, but he conveys and presents the message very effectively. And I think that’s creative. He literally reinvent and create a trend of how to produce vlog on YouTube since 2010. I’m intrigued by how he present what seems like an everyday, nothing special story into an engaging and fun piece of content.

Let’s take a look at this vlog: Someone stole my car and I stole it back. The style of his video is something that’s very hard to pull off. I can see there’s a lot of hard work and planning in there. Pay attention to the beginning and the end of the video. See what you can find.

So, what’s the takeaway? As you can tell, I can barely read and write. But writing a blog post is also a way of telling a story. Despite I’m doing a horrible job at that, I’m still going to write. I don’t need followers, mind you, but I do want to have the ability to write better stories. And I’m trying to learn.

Why does that matter? Because doing any kind of creative work always starts with writing. From writing a song, a short film, a book, a video game, a blog post, photography, to cooking. Pretty much everything has something to do with “writing”. Writing is a process for you to gather you thoughts, it’s always the initial step to begin with. By writing, I mean it consist of “thinking”, “brainstorming”, “organizing”, “planning”, and “elaborating”. To me, writing is a way to generate and solidify your ideas. Writing.

Design also has some storytelling aspects to it. No matter the formats, it’s the “soul”. The core idea behind your layouts, the visual styles, colour scheme, the theme—they’re the elements or components of building the “story”. In a bigger picture, the “story” is what you’re trying to sell. With a concept, it’s so much easier to look for the design direction of the piece of work you’re going to create. The very “message” you try to convey; it’s all there. And that’s storytelling.

Last thing, I want to share two more of Casey’s best pieces of content: Do What You Can’t and Make it Count. His videos do give me some inspiration on storytelling. But how to translate, distill, and apply them to your work? It’s always easier said than done. FYI, I’m not going to produce vlog or into filmmaking.

Guys, witness me.

This is #Day65 of #100DaysToOffload.

Footnotes

  1. You do need a recipe before you buy the ingredients and start cooking. Just like you need the script for a film. ↩︎