Tutorial - Storytelling as a Journalist |Summer School 2021: Week 3 - JOURNALISM CLASS

Discussion in 'Summer School 2021' started by FarrahJobling, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. FarrahJobling

    FarrahJobling FarrahJobling

    Dec 17, 2012
    Storytelling has become a buzzword in everything from photography to advertising. As scrapbookers, we are the original storytellers. We’ve been telling stories through our pages for decades. There are many different styles of storytelling through scrapbooks. Some let photos speak a thousand words, and others use multimedia and art journalling to express their story.

    Crafting compelling stories isn’t always easy. One aspect of scrapbooking that I have always struggled with is Journalling. Literally, writing out the story I want to tell. I have never consider myself a writer by trade, but usually try to write a little something about a memory such as an event or a special moment.

    To some, writing comes naturally....look at bloggers and journalists. For this week’s lesson, we are going to approach our storytelling from the perspective of a journalist and apply tried and true writing and storytelling techniques that journalists have relied on for decades.

    In this post, we’ll cover:

    How to formulate unique angles that hook reader in
    How to structure content with a clear narrative focus
    How to elevate basic writing practices to keep your reader interested

    But first, let’s talk about what it means to write like a “journalist”...What exactly does that mean? When the word “journalism” comes up, most of us instantly picture a newspaper or magazine style article. We imagine facts and details and blah blah blah. .......boring....... Let’s consider that style as “data journalism”....data, facts and more facts. and a pretty straightforward story. Kind of like just listing the 5W’s - who, what, where, when and why. Now, let’s consider something more along the lines of “structured journalism”

    “When you break the story down into something smaller, you get something bigger”
    -David Cohn

    Structured Journalism begins with the story, hooking the reader in first and making them want to read more. Adding facts and details is wound in as the story flows as reminders of the memory. Creating good stories is how we preserve our memories, not only for ourselves, but for future generations that will be something worth their time and interest. We want our stories to engage, educate, entertain, and encourage our families to pause, even if for a short time. Structured Journalism begins with the story, hooking the reader in first and making them want to read more. Adding facts and details is wound in as the story flows as reminders of the memory and helps break down a large block of text.

    How to write like a journalist:

    1. Begin the story by engaging the reader. What is the whole point of the story? Is it a memory of a vacation? Or maybe a funny conversation with a friend. What do you want the reader to feel? What do YOU feel? Are you amused and want to portray something funny? Or maybe you've just lost a pet and want the reader to feel your heartbreak. You'll start any story with a statement. Make that statement BOLD and BIG and when in doubt.....“Just Do It”—in other words, just start creating the story. One of the biggest challenges in getting going with storytelling is taking the initial leap. Sometimes you just need to start writing and then you can always go back and write your opening statement.

    Here are some fun ideas to get your started:
    I want to remember.....
    Write a letter
    Reveal a fun tidbit or an unusual favorite


    2. Staying "structured" and "focused" doesn't mean you have to be boring....it just means that you decide what your story is and stick with it. Going off on a tangent that doesn't relate to your page might not be the best idea....or it might be brilliant! Try breaking things down and add a separate text box on the side or make it a double layout to include everything you want to tell.

    Things to think about
    Make a point
    Don't over-explain
    Don't under-explain
    Pay attention to details

    3. Elevate your writing from the basic 5W's by breaking the story down into prose and add a fun fact or a detail about one of the 5W's....If you're recording a memory from a vacation, try adding something informative about the location or the culture. When something is fresh, we always think, "oh, I'll remember it"...but often times, later when we look back on something, there might be a specific memory that we missed or something that really stuck with us but we didn't record it.

    Always remember:
    This is YOUR story...make it something you love
    There is NO right or wrong
    Practice makes perfect

    Ready to give it a try? Here is an example spread I made and I hope it inspires you

    umyesh, G.J., mirjam and 4 others like this.
  2. cfile

    cfile My bags are packed for Platform 9 3/4

    Sep 2, 2011
    Great page and great storytelling, Farrah! Thanks for sharing and for the lesson too!
    Here is my page :)
    FarrahJobling likes this.
  3. Cherylndesigns

    Cherylndesigns All glasses should be bigger than 1.5 oz

    Dec 15, 2017
    Wonderful pages and I am terrible at journaling. Maybe I'll give it a go.
    FarrahJobling likes this.
  4. sberkan

    sberkan Says "yes" to new adventures...

    Dec 23, 2014
    Looking back on some of my earliest travel scrapbooks - I included the photos but not the stories and now that makes me sad. I love this inspiration to try to find a different or fun way to tell the stories. Usually, my journalling is just the boring facts but some of my favourite pages are the ones I got creative on! I love your story and the map!
    cfile and FarrahJobling like this.
  5. mary kate

    mary kate Well-Known Member

    Aug 31, 2016
    @FarrahJobling I absolutely LOVE your 2-page LO. It's sort of clean and uncluttered, but also full of interesting detail and jam-packed with info. Wow!
    FarrahJobling likes this.
  6. FL-Karen

    FL-Karen Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2021
    Here is mine.... thank you for the tutorial. [​IMG]
    G.J. and FarrahJobling like this.
  7. jam-on-toast

    jam-on-toast Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2021
    Oh, I LOVE storytelling... being a super practical nerd, I try to create meaningful pages that will mean something for us in the future.
    FarrahJobling likes this.
  8. G.J.

    G.J. Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2019
    @FarrahJobling wonderful layout and tutorial, thank you so much, I'm a real disaster at journaling, simply isn't my strong point, lol, but I'll give it a try to this tutorial and try to apply all the tips, so very appreciated.
  9. umyesh

    umyesh President of the Hangry Ladies Supper Club

    Jul 17, 2012
    Thanks for this tutorial Farrah!
  10. Cherylndesigns

    Cherylndesigns All glasses should be bigger than 1.5 oz

    Dec 15, 2017
    Thanks for the challenge, Farrah.


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