Storytelling Practice 1

Hello! Below is a collection of tape from Ayesha’s visit to a donkey sanctuary. Right-click the link and choose “Save” to download them if you’d like to play around with them.

As an exercise, listen to the clips and start thinking about how these clips can come together as a story. It’s a bit of a Scrabble exercise. You have all these pieces, but how will you arrange them and make them fit together into something that works?

For help getting started, consider the following broad topics:

– Donkey Health
– The Effects of Drought
– Volunteerism
– A Specific Person or Donkey’s Story

Don’t feel limited by these topics! You could choose any topic that enters your mind as you listen.

When building your story remember that you can do research, mix in other stories, and add your own writing and voice to fill in any blanks that might be missing.

Imagine that you only have:

  • Some tape on how brushing donkeys increases their longevity, and
  • Some tape from a volunteer talking about how much they enjoy working with donkeys

But you want to tell a story about how volunteering with animals is great for the health of both humans and animals. To fill in the blanks, you could do some research on comfort animals, include tape from other sources about other comfort animals, and then include your own voice speaking on how volunteering with a donkey sanctuary is great for volunteers AND donkeys. My loose plan for such a story might look like this:

  1. Tape of a volunteer speaking about how good it feels to help donkeys.
    (I have this.)
  2. Narration about the benefits of comfort animals.
    (I need to write and record this.)
  3. Tape about comfort animals being used to treat mental illness.
    (I need to find or collect this.)
  4. Narration about the benefits to the animals as well.
    (I need to write and record this.)
  5. Tape of a volunteer talking about the longevity benefits to donkeys of daily interaction, brushing, hugging, etc.
    (I have this.)
  6. Narration about the symbiotic relationship between volunteers and animal shelters.
    (I need to write and record this.)

I’m keeping track of what I have and what I need to create/gather. I might have some trouble collecting that tape about comfort animals, so I should be prepared to write and record that myself. Once I have all the clips I’m going to need, I can start writing transitions for every clip – but that’s a lesson for later.

So if you’d like to get some practice, try creating your own loose plan for a story using these clips and imagining whatever you might need to fill in the blanks in your story. Have fun!

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