If youíd like an introduction to one method of core techniques to forming stories for traditional storytelling, then this is the book for you. According to Elizabeth Ellis, a "storyer" is anyone who uses story, in any format, to express ideas. While the author does make references about creating stories for any type of "storyer," the emphasis seems to us to be squarely on the creation of story for direct presentation to an audience sitting right there in front of the storyteller. We think thatís how it should be from someone who is as esteemed and experienced in the Oral Storytelling Community as Elizabeth Ellis.
"From Plot to Narrative," written by Elizabeth Ellis, gives the novice storyteller a chance to think about the creation of story from the barest idea to a full and completed narrative. If you follow the very hands-on directions, youíll delve deeply into the story you are creating. If you are an experienced "storyer," there are enough good points in the book to make it worth scanning through from time to time to have some "oh, yeah, good reminder" brain budging.
While not the authorís fault, the book does suffer from some unusual editing choices and a funky layout of paragraphs in the printed book. These are just slight things in this otherwise practical book, but it does distract from the text every now and then. Weíve noticed this in other books put out by the publisher (Parkhurst Brothers) and we hope they are able to fix this "bug" soon as they produce other good titles.
The book did happily surprise us in this editing choice: we like how, right in the text, the author and publisher prints the website URL of any storyteller whose work is referenced. Itís a small thing but a progressive idea coming from a storytelling publisher. It allows the reader to know where to dig deeper, even right in the moment if needed. This is a smart acknowledgement of technology in a field that is still struggling to figure out the Internet basics.
If you are making a list of the essential reference books to teach about oral-storytelling, this should be on your list. The book is available both in paperback and Amazon Kindle.
©2014 Storyteller.net Reviews. See our Privacy/Copyright page for our statement on affiliate links.We received a physical review copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.