My story work teaches 3 things:
• Story structure: the five stages of a hero’s journey.
• Essential archetypes: the 4 forces needed for plot development
• Building character: the 3 levels of character growth.
What can you do with this information?
1. Write stories: you can use it to create fictional stories with transformational power.
2. Personal growth: you can use it to understand and design your own life story.
3. Teaching, training and mentoring:. If you are a teacher, facilitator, parent or manager, you can use it to structure other people’s stories: classes, workshops, programmes, events etc.
4. Marketing and presentations: You can use it to structure material and content for talks, presentations and marketing material.
Playing Mantis has a product for each of these applications:
Story Course: To play with fictional story so that you can learn to write your own.
Your Present success Story: using story for personal growth amd engineering your own success story.
Leading for Transformation: Training to help you impact the lives of others and instigate change.
Structuring your story: A presentation skills workshop to help you use story in structuring talks, presentations and marketing material.
Why is story structure such a powerful tool?
There is a mythic structure underlying almost all stories. It serves the purpose of taking the main character in the story on a journey of self discovery and personal growth. If you have read the Bible, or studied Greek mythology, or heard fairy tales from your grandmother, studied some Shakespeare at school, or just seen a few Hollywood films, you would recognize this structure right away.
Knowing this structure is useful because our personal cycles of growth and learning take the same shape. This applies to individuals and to groups. Story tellers through the ages have tried to first explain and then to instigate change. Story is the toll they use to do both.
The personal growth of a fictional hero mirrors the pattern of personal growth for you and the people around you. If you understand the structure and are able to wield it, you can understand how and why people change and grow and you can use it to instigate change and growth.
The problem is that change and growth is uncomfortable. Stories make the pain more bearable. Stories makes concrete that which is abstract. It simplifies things that are painfully complex and they give us perspective on what we see as our struggles. Stories allow us to come out of our lives for a moment and get a little safe distance so that we have renewed energy to get back in there and live the lives we were meant to live.
How do you want to use story structure now where you are in your journey?
To play with and create fictional stories? then the Story course is for you. Personal growth will be a welcome side effect, but is not the main aim.
To undergo personal growth? The Present Success Story Workshop is for you. It involves you and your life story.
To lead and teach others? Leading for Transformation is your thing and you will experience personal growth as a necessary component.
To structure presentations, talks and marketing material: Structure your Story is the product for you.
I think I made too many assumptions about you last night. I assumed that you knew it was about creating and playing with fictional stories that has transformational power. I apologize for the confusion and the uncertainty. Thank you for your grace and generosity. Think carefully what you want right now in your life, where do you want to take this?
I will call each of you for a conversation on where you are and what you want right now.
Stories and story structure are tools for guided and cushioned change. If you do not want change, or transformation right now, you do not need any of our courses. You are in a place where you need to rest and gather yourself. Honour that. But if you want to experience something different, create something different and live a different life, walk the road with Playing Mantis.
Dr. Petro Janse van Vuuren