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Book Review: Playing with Stories
By: Staff at

Kevin Cordiís new book, "Playing With Stories: Story Crafting for Storytellers, Writers, Teachers and Other Imaginative Thinkers," will help storytellers craft stories from the inside out, playing with alternate ways to approach your story creation.

Our take: the book suggests that "playing" with stories essentially is the act of applying improvisational techniques to a mostly group-based exploration of characters and situations in any given narrative. Paraphrasing the book, itís not enough to only tell the story of the Three Little Pigs from beginning to end. Rather, we think that Dr. Cordi suggests taking apart the characters, locale and situations of the Pigs and Big Bad Wolf results in deeper understanding of the story. This understanding is then turned about to create new ways of expressing the story through storytelling or other means.

A conversation with Kevin is an experience of both eclectic and practical discussion. His book reflects that same energy. Youíll find it is a mix of autobiography, reflections on philosophy and a how-to on helping teams to "play" with narratives and anecdotes. This is a good book for adults but the concepts in the book require a bit of abstract thinking, so the activities are good for classrooms of children over the age of ten. We also think your artist-guild meetings of any type would benefit from many applications and experiences of using Kevinís exercises.

While the idea of starting a story "in the middle" is not a new idea to story crafters, being given the tools to play with that idea (and others like it) might be very freeing to newbies to oral storytelling or to those coming from a long background of plot-based writing. We canít escape the idea that a story needs a beginning, middle and end; who is to say that everyone must have the same ideas of where the story begins? That awareness is bedrock to oral storytellers and this book can help you think and play more with that idea.

We received a copy of the book from the publisher to facilitate this review. Reviews

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Name: Staff at
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