The Power of Framing and the Importance of Storytelling

Aadil Verma

Hatched by Aadil Verma

Jun 08, 2024

3 min read


The Power of Framing and the Importance of Storytelling

Storytelling is a skill that has been ingrained in the human experience for centuries. It is a powerful tool that has the ability to captivate, inspire, and connect people on a deep level. Whether it's through books, movies, or even everyday conversations, storytelling has the power to shape our perception of the world and the people in it. But what makes a good story? How can we master the art of storytelling?

One aspect that is often underrated in storytelling is the concept of framing. A frame is like a lens through which we view an idea or concept. It can be big or small, depending on how we choose to present it. Take, for example, the topic of gardening. On its own, it may not seem like the most exciting or captivating subject. However, by framing it as an "infinite ratatouille glitch," suddenly the topic becomes intriguing and exciting. By finding unique and unexpected angles to frame our stories, we can make even the most mundane subjects captivating.

But framing is just one piece of the storytelling puzzle. In a conversation with Shaan Puri on the How I Write Podcast, the key to storytelling is revealed to be intention and obstacle. Puri states, "I worship at the altar of intention and obstacle." This means that at any given moment, the hero of the story, whether it's yourself or someone else, must have a clear intention. What do they want? Why do they want it? How bad do they want it? And most importantly, what happens if they don't get it?

Additionally, there must be an obstacle in their way. Who or what is preventing them from achieving their goal? In the world of Harry Potter, for example, Harry's intention is to live, but his obstacle is Voldemort, who is trying to kill him. This dynamic of intention and obstacle creates tension and keeps the audience engaged. It allows us to root for the hero and become emotionally invested in their journey.

The concept of intention and obstacle can be applied to any story or conversation. Whether you're telling a personal anecdote or crafting a fictional narrative, it is crucial to pause at any moment and ask yourself, "What does the protagonist want right now? And what is standing in their way?" By consistently keeping these elements clear and present, you can ensure that your audience's attention remains captivated.

So, how can we master storytelling and incorporate these principles into our own narratives? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Find your unique frame: Look for unexpected angles or perspectives that can make your story stand out. By presenting an idea in a new and exciting way, you can instantly grab your audience's attention.
  • 2. Establish clear intentions and obstacles: Whether you're talking about yourself or someone else, make sure the protagonist's goals are apparent. What do they want? Why do they want it? And who or what is preventing them from achieving it?
  • 3. Keep the tension alive: Always remember to maintain a sense of tension and conflict in your stories. This will keep your audience engaged and emotionally invested in the outcome.

In conclusion, storytelling is a powerful tool that can captivate and connect people on a deep level. By understanding the importance of framing, intention, and obstacle, we can master the art of storytelling and create narratives that resonate with our audience. So, the next time you find yourself sharing a story, remember to find your unique frame, establish clear intentions and obstacles, and keep the tension alive. Your audience will thank you for it.

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