Step 2: Map Your Story
You do not have have to be a practiced storyteller or identify as a writer, or performer, of any kind to contribute to this project. Just interview yourself! Ask yourself the questions that your chosen prompt presents, and share what comes to mind. If you’d like a bit of advice on storytelling, here are a list of tips and tricks, as well as some upcoming events if you want some more support, but don’t sweat it. All you need to do is be yourself, and answer the questions. 
Want a little more guidance? Check out these excerpts from Dante’s workshop, if you missed it!
“A story is an offering of yourself.”
“We talk to ourselves in stories. We tell stories because it is human nature to tell stories. Stories are primal.”
“A good storyteller, like a good teacher, makes it nearly impossible not to pay attention.”

Past Events

FROM A BLANK PAGE TO A COMPLETE TALE IN LESS THAN AN HOUR!

Tuesday June 15, 6pm

Our first mixtape theme is “Belonging,” and the deadline to submit is coming up soon.

This is an optional work session to help you meet the deadline. We will pick a prompt, jot down thoughts, do a little editing with some storytelling techniques, and then we’ll all call the hotline (or record and upload them to the online form) and submit our stories. We’ll end with a celebratory beverage clink!
Build your story bone by bone!
Two workshops with author Dante Zúñiga-West
Wednesday, May 12th, 6-8pm, or Wednesday, May 26th, 6-8pm

Join author Dante Zúñiga-West and explore the basic fundamentals of storytelling as an artform and vehicle of self-discovery. In this workshop you will learn how to tell engaging stories that use basic narrative and meta-narrative structures to convey meaningful elements of the shared human experience.
The workshop will provide:
Tools and Techniques for basic and complex storytelling
A safe place to gather and discuss the process/art of storytelling
Encouragement and guidance in telling your own stories.
After this workshop, you’ll be ready to call the HelixHotline and tell your story!
About the Instructor: Dante Zúñiga-West is a storyteller who lives in the coastal mountain range. He is author of the novel Rumble Young Man Rumble (2014, Zharmae Press) and a founder of the Stonecutter’s Union. His writing is frequently published in alternative newspapers, lifestyle magazines, and adventure journals. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Cal Arts and a BA in Creative Writing and Mixed Media from The Evergreen State College. He serves as Head of School at the Wellsprings Friends School.

These free workshops were made possible by Lane Arts Council and the City of Eugene Cultural Services Downtown Program Fund.

More Tips & Tricks

From Master Class: How to Tell a Story Effectively

HAVE A CLEAR STRUCTURE

There are many different ways to structure a story, but the three ingredients a story must have are a beginning, middle, and end.

MINE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

Look to your life for inspiration when coming up with stories.

ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE

So much depends upon the expressiveness of your voice and your ability to convey emotion with your tone. 

NARROW THE SCOPE

Many people have a tendency to include every detail and end up inundating their audience with facts that dilute the central story arc. Choose a clear beginning and end to your story, then write the key plot events as bullet points between them. Trust that your audience will be able to follow your story, and don’t overwhelm them with unnecessary backstory or tangential plot points.

Tips from the Moth in NY: 

HAVE SOME STAKES

Why is what happens in the story important to you? 

START IN THE ACTION

Have a great first line that sets up the stakes and grabs attention

KNOW YOUR STORY

Steer clear of meandering endings. Your last line should be clear in your head before you start. You are driving the story, and must know the final destination. Keep your hands on the wheel!

NO FAKE ACCENTS

If your story doesn’t work in your own voice, or that of your people of origin, please consider another story. In our experience, imitating accents from another culture or race rarely works and often offends. 

From a Moth Instructor on FastCompany

STORIES ARE ABOUT HOW YOU FELT

“It’s really not what transpired that makes a good story,” says Leitman, upending conventional wisdom. “It’s about how you felt about what transpired.” The “plot” of your story is almost irrelevant when it comes to making a connection with your audience. “It’s not a matter of, ‘We won the game.’ It’s, ‘How did you feel when you won? What did you believe was impossible that now suddenly you can do?’” A corollary of this: Stories can be about very small stuff, so long as the emotions involved are big.

From Harvey Deutschendorf at FastCompany

KEEP IT SIMPLE

SHARE SOMETHING OF YOURSELF

KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE IN MIND

SHARE SINCERELY FELT EMOTIONS