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Spooky Storytelling: Tips on Telling a Halloween Tale (page 2)

Spooky Storytelling: Tips on Telling a Halloween Tale

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Updated on Sep 30, 2009

Create and build tension. “Tension is the essence of a good ghost story,” says Kalsey. Use pacing, dialogue, foreshadowing, diversions, and detours, and convey clear and present danger or conflict. “Something must always be at stake,” he says. Storytellers also rely on vivid, precise description, sensory details – smells, textures, and sounds – and figurative expressions like similes, metaphors, and exaggeration. Build the story up to a surprise ending.

Use first-person perspective. “It's often effective to convey stories in the first person. Even the most fantastical tale takes on a reality, almost a believability, when I put myself in a leading or supporting role as though I were really there to witness the strange occurrences,” says Kalsey. For instance, he has told a story of his encounters with a Giant Talking Clam of Borneo many times. “It's an old and silly story and it's been told many ways, but it is more engaging when I swear to my listeners that it's a true tale of my own unbelievable experience.” Storytelling is heightened when a child has a desire to believe an absurd story – a tug between doubt and acceptance that makes a story – and the experience – effective.

Excited to sift through a book of ghost stories and select one to tell this Halloween? The world of the paranormal is vast – you’ll have fun reading and finding the perfect piece.

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