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Evolution and Story Crafting

Last year, Ingrid Nixon was traveling in Patagonia in the footsteps of Charles Darwin who completed scientific exploration of the area on the HMS Beagle in the early 1830s. It was during his explorations that Darwin collected specimens and made observations that would eventually lead him to his theory of evolution by natural selection. (Until that time, many believed that each plant and animal on the planet had been created in its current form by the Creator and as such, it was immutable; it could not change). Darwin’s theory rocked the world. He defined natural selection as the principle by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved” and it provided the mechanism by which species could adapt to changing conditions.

Ingrid reflects: “I got to thinking how this theory could be applied to story crafting. It might be that once we’ve worked up a story to a

certain point, we’re “done” with that creative phase; now we’re ready to perform it. If we perform the story successfully, we can start to cling to that one successful style of delivery. Over time, our story and our delivery can become immutable – unchanged regardless of the audience, setting or circumstances.

“The goal of my highly interactive workshop (Story Evolution by Way of Creative Selection) is to examine a myriad of ways we can play with stories as we craft them to help ensure we are making the best creative decisions. Rather than just jumping in with our “go-to” style because it has worked in the past, we’ll mess around with different techniques and approaches. Whether crafting traditional or personal stories, participants will walk away with some very practical tools to use in story development to ensure that in the stories we tell, only the strongest, most effective elements survive!”

Ingrid Nixon is an award-winning, world-traveling storyteller who whisks listeners away on journeys of the imagination. Exploration nail-biters, tall tales, traditional and personal stories—she tells them all on international expeditions, and at venues around the country, including the National Storytelling Festival. Her CD, Grimm’s with a Twist, is a Storytelling World winner. She holds a Masters in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University. More at .  

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