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For a number of years I have been thinking of initiating a community of Story Architects, to share insights, ideas and examples of great stories. To form a pact against bad stories and share and inspire each other to create even better stories. So this article can be seen as a call to arms: Story Architects, unite!

What is Story Architecture?

You’ve probably heard the buzz around storytelling and the growing need to use stories to communicate in a personal, relatable way. But, what is Story Architecture? My first take on the defining the field can be seen as follows, although I would really like to enrich this together with the Story Architects community.

My (working)definition of Story Architecture:

“Story Architecture focuses on organising, structuring and designing story elements into an effective and understandable story-structure. The goal is to make stories more attractive and powerful. To do this, you need to understand how stories work, how you handle large amounts and complex information, how to create story tension, and how (and why) people want to engage in stories.”

Manifesto

What is a community without a manifesto? So, I have outlined a first draft by sharing my thoughts, ideas and statements around the craft of Story Architecture. If you agree and/or are excited to join, please sign the manifesto and share with others.

Act 1: A Story Architecture community is a good idea because there..

… is a need for good stories, to make sense owhat’s important.
… is a lot of buzz around storytelling today.
… are a lot of important stories out there that deserve maximum impact.
… are a lot of stories that could be more effective if common sense and logical thinking is applied to its structure.
… is no shortcut for creating impactful stories.
… is much to learn from each other.

Act 2: Story Architecture matters because…

… the amount of information will only increase, making sense of it is crucial.
… various disciplines are more and more interconnected and start to overlap. For example filmmaking, gaming, website design, customer experience design, Internet of Things, visual design, product design. Storytelling is what can connect these disciplines.
… the majority of todays stories are created with a specific publication in mind. There are huge syndication and re-use opportunities if stories are created in a universal structure/language.
… todays audiences are more diverse and unpredictable than ever, so applying methods and principles from user centered design offers a great opportunity.

Act 3: As a Story Architecture community we should…

bring together professionals from around the world who are working on the structure and impact of stories.
share our best practices, methods and experiences.
show the importance of good story architecture to the rest of the world
fight crappy stories, celebrate good stories.

Are you in? Great!

Let’s connect and unite: come to our Story Architecture Meetup!

How cool would it be to have a group of storytelling professionals that are into crafting great storylines and impactful stories? Sharing examples, methods and experiences or asking feedback and share materials? Very cool!

Join our meet ups!

We regularly organize free meetups at our office in Utrecht, the Netherlands. In these meetups we will explore the field of storytelling and the role of story architecture.

The next meetup ‘Exploring the importance and use of storylines’ takes place on November 22nd and starts at 5pm. Stories have the potential to be highly effective for important communication goals, such as engagement, activation and inspiration, especially if they are well designed! A good way to design and structure your story is to apply a standard storyline.

In this meetup we would like to discuss importance and potential of using storylines for story architecture. How do we effectively design a story using storylines? Bring your brain and if you’ll let us know you’ll be there, we will make sure there is pizza and drinks!

Share thoughts & ideas in our LinkedIn Group

Can’t make it to the meetup? I have also created a Linkedin Group to make connecting online easier, to see if this resonates and if we can come to a global movement. Please feel free to join: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13542778