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Leave out the boring parts

Storytelling is rather simple if you follow this advice from writer Elmore Leonard:

“A story is real life with the boring parts left out.”

Simple, right?

Just leave out all the boring parts and voilà: your story is ready.

But.

What if you can’t leave out the boring parts? Because, let’s say, it’s a really dry topic … with lots of facts …

Sounds like bad luck, doesn’t it? I mean you can’t just leave the facts out when it’s about the facts, do you? You’re basically doomed to be giving a boring talk.

Well, unless the premise is wrong.

Which it is: Facts are facts. In and of itself, a fact is neither boring nor exciting.

But if the facts relate to our lives, if the facts have an impact on our lives (even if it’s just an impact on your business’ bottom line), then we’re back in Leonards domain: Leave out the boring parts, i.e. those facts that don’t relate to the point we’re trying to make about our lives.

Facts make for a boring story if (and only if) you write real life out of the story and if you waste your time on the facts without making the connection to real life.

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