Jan 8 - 2018

40: Likable Narrator: Be the Biggest Asshole in the Story

About the Episode

On this episode, we’re talking about creating a likable narrator. The narrator is the I in the story. It’s YOU. We see this a lot with beginner writers and we probably did this too, and that is tell a story about a time we were the hero. Sad truth: no one wants to hear how great you are. This is true in life too. What people connect to in stories and in life are times when you’re vulnerable. This is counterintuitive because everyone wants to show a good face, but we connect to a narrator who’s willing to admit something ugly. By “ugly” we mean the stuff you don’t want people to know. Stuff like, when you were a jealous bitch. When you lost your moral compass. When you were mean to your kids. The truths you spend most of your days covering up.

To find the ugly in your story, tell the truth, without leaving out all the good shit out. Here are five ways: Dig deep. Admit something you haven’t told anyone. Look at yourself from your partner or kids’ or best friend’s point of view. Always be the biggest asshole in your story. Use self deprecation.

Student, Misha Mehrel shows that being a dick is a sure way to be a likable narrator. Misha told a stunning story in our last episode. Student Karen Collazo also shows that even admitting to being a potential thief–because she’s admitting the truth–makes you a likable narrator. Allison Langer also proves to be a likable narrator in a stunningly honest story called Ungrateful Little Piece of Shit.

Announcement: Andrea is teaching How to Tell Your Story as part of CreativeLive’s Writing Week. You can watch live and for free on January 15, 2018 at noon Eastern. If you miss the live stream, catch her 90 minute class any time on CreativeLive.com

Thank you for listening to Writing Class Radio.

Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are. There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in.

Writing Class Radio is produced by Misha Mehrel, Virginia Lora,  Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com).

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