There is no better source than Mark Twain when it comes to learning about telling stories. He is one of the best story tellers of all times.
Storytelling Learning From Mark Twain
Storytelling 101: A Guide
I love stories, story tellers and storytelling. Most of the time, I think of myself as a storyteller, but when I read Mark Twain, I remember I’m just an amateur. For a firsthand guide on story telling you can read the small little book, How to Tell a Story and Others.
Most writers will agree, it is difficult to write humor. It takes longer to write and edit, plus it’s nearly impossible to know whether or not you hit your target. Everyone has a different sense of what’s funny. That’s why humor is best when it explores cultural, societal or any other kind of shared or we all got this problem experiences. Even then, it takes a lot of effort to write.
How to Tell a Story by Mark Twain
There are several kinds of stories, but only one difficult kind—the humorous. I will talk mainly about that one. The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling; the comic story and the witty story upon the matter.
The humorous story may be spun out to great length, and may wander around as much as it pleases, and arrive nowhere in particular; but the comic and witty stories must be brief and end with a point. The humorous story bubbles gently along, the others burst.
The humorous story is strictly a work of art—high and delicate art—and only an artist can tell it; but no art is necessary in telling the comic and the witty story; anybody can do it. The art of telling a humorous story—understand, I mean by word of mouth, not print—was created in America, and has remained at home.
Funny Is Best
I love humorous tales. For me, they are the best types of stories. Twain got it right. Humor is hard. My latest work, Dad Stories, have been the most difficult writing of my career. At the same time, writing those stories gives me the most joy. Through them, I get to revisit my life with my father.
In every Dad Story, I hope to bring in a little humor as I talk about growing up. Hardest thing ever!