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The Interaction

After you’ve talked about the situation your characters are in, now it’s time to talk about how they’re interacting verbally.  If your situation seems normal to the listener then this is a great place to change things up with unexpected conversation between your characters.  It will communicate to the listener why you’re telling the story, because the message when you tell a story is always some version of something out of the ordinary that’s happened to you.

Conversely, if your situation has most of the unexpectedness in it, then the situation has likely already communicated to the listener why you’re telling the story, and therefore your conversation can be much less interesting and your story will still be just fine.

A big mistake people make when telling stories is that they don’t include interactions between the people in the story.  This makes the storyteller (you) just a bystander or an observer of something that happened to other people.  When you tell a story like this it comes off hollow and meaningless, and in my opinion this demonstrates to others an apparent lack of depth in your social understanding.  For example, a guy who forgets to include interactions in his story might say something like:

“Dude!  I was at this intersection today and a car flew through a red light and hit another car and knocked it upside-down!”  

Every time I hear a story like this I have the same reaction…  I go “wow, crazy.”

Aaaaaand then that’s the end of the conversation.

Can you see how this type of a story is somehow hollow and how it seems like it’s missing something?  Worse yet, telling a story in this manner communicates to the listener that you’re a bystander in life because you’re telling a story that’s essentially about you observing something that happened to others and didn’t include you.

That same story could be amazing if it included interactions.  Maybe the guy falls out of the overturned car with some blood coming out of his head and he wipes if off and walks towards the other car screaming:

“LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO ME, YOU ___________!!!!!”  

Now I don’t know about you, but If I’m listening to a story like this and you tell me that the other person gets out of the car after the bloody dude calls him a dirty name, I’m really going to be tuning into what you say next as the storyteller because i’m curious about what’s going to happen to these two maniacs in the crazy situation.  I’m also going to be curious if you (the storyteller) get involved with the situation in some way.

Can you see how this is starting to be a great story and how the interactions have created that interest?  This is why the interactions in your story are of paramount importance.

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