For several years, Aneeta Sundararaj has been helping writers through her website with countless articles, reviews and interviews. Now, she has compiled all her experience and expertise in her new book for beginner writers, How to Tell a Great Story.
After a brief introduction, Sundararaj takes beginners through all the steps necessary to become a great storyteller, from vital preparation, to understanding themes, to the reasons for telling a great story, to painting your setting and much more. At the end of the book there are five appendixes: on planning and analyzing your research material, information for market research, character profiling, copyright issues for storytellers, and a sample storyline.
Written in an engaging, yet thoughtful style, and combining quotes and written material from other authors, How to Tell a Great Story makes a helpful, information-laden reference book for any aspiring storyteller. What I really like about this book, though, is the new angle the author brings into it: the importance of storytelling not only for writing stories, but for other aspects of our lives. For example, knowing how to tell a great story can be helpful in the workplace if you work in marketing and publicity and must give a presentation. A story connects people in a way that a simple explanation or demonstration cannot.
Sundararaj points out the importance of timing and intonation; in other words, often it isn’t just the story that’s vital but how you tell it. It is a talent some people are born with, but it is also a skill that can be learned and improved. The same logic works for writing. You may have a great story idea, but how you write it and execute it is what counts. The author’s advice works for aspiring short stories writers, novelists, and anyone who would like to get better at storytelling for everyday use. Reading this book was informative and interesting, and I look forward to more of Sundararaj’s work in the future.