11 Ways Remarkable Storytellers Create New Worlds

11 Ways Remarkable Storytellers Create New Worlds

Time Magazine (New York, NY), June 10, 2015


The better at storytelling someone is, the more that readers and listeners are transported to a whole new world. According to studies conducted on this transportation phenomenon, great stories alter beliefs, result in the loss of access to real-world facts, evoke emotions, and significantly reduce ability to detect inaccuracies. To understand this phenomenon, you don’t need to look any further than your own personal experience desperately rooting for an immortal, time-traveling mutant in X-Men or another equally impossible character and plot from your favorite movie.

To understand how to develop this storytelling superpower and use it for good, I interviewed 11 top online storytellers who collectively generate hundreds of millions of page views every month and asked them to share the secrets of how they craft stories.

  • Balance the universal with the specific — Michael Margolis, Founder and CEO of Get Storied
  • Be unapologetically authentic — Jordan Harbinger, cofounder of The Art of Charm, iTunes top 50 podcast
  • Test your story until it’s a wow every time — Emerson Spartz, founder & CEO of Spartz Inc.
  • Do a double punch with visual stories — Nadine Hanafi, Founder and CEO of We Are Visual
  • Add incertainty to your plot — Marshall Ganz, Author of Why David Sometimes Wins, senior lecturer at Harvard University
  • Disrupt your industry’s fairy tale stories — Derek Flanzraich, founder and CEO of Greatist
  • Come from a place of stillness — Amber Rae, founder of The World We Want
  • Use open loops to create anticipation — Andre Chaperon, founder of AutoResponder Madness
  • Use quotes to build characters — Dorie Clark, CEO of Clark Strategic Communications, author of Stand Out
  • Find and reverse-engineer the emotions behind great stories — Todd Wiseman, co-founder and president of Hayden 5 Media
  • Bring them through an emotional roller coaster — Neil Patel, founder of Quick Sprout


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