Episode 452: Pivot, Payoff, and the Geometry of Story — Interview with Steven James

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Steven James. We’ll be talking about his multifaceted storytelling framework, and his book The Art of the Tale.

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In this episode Steven James and I discuss:

  • The importance of what is, not what appears to be.
  • Giving readers what they don’t know they want.
  • How plot isn’t about events, but about the collision of desires.

Plus, his #1 tip for writers.

About Steven James

Steven James is the bestselling, critically acclaimed author of eighteen novels that have won or been shortlisted for more than a dozen national and international awards. His thrillers have been praised by Suspense Magazine, Booklist, and the New York Journal of Books and received starred reviews from both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, who called his work “thought-provoking” and “riveting.” He has also written two award-winning books on the craft of writing, Story Trumps Structure and Troubleshooting Your Novel. When he’s not writing, he teaches storytelling at events around the globe and hosts the weekly podcast, The Story Blender.

You can find him on his website or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Art of the Tale

Whether your audience is a boardroom of executives, a classroom of students, or an auditorium full of eager listeners, the right story, well told, can transform and impact your presentation like nothing else. The Art of the Tale shows you how.

Everyone, regardless of their background and training, can improve their storytelling abilities. But what is a story? How can you tell it in a way that delights and informs your listeners? Take a journey into the keys to great storytelling with two of the country’s top experts on story presentation and speech writing.

In The Art of the Tale, seasoned storytellers Steven James and Tom Morrisey team up and tap into their decades of experience to show you how to prepare stellar presentations, tell stories in your own unique way, adapt your material to different groups of listeners, and gain confidence in your ability as a speaker. In this book, you’ll learn why:

  • practice doesn’t make perfect.
  • you should never tell the same story twice.
  • it’s best to avoid memorizing your stories.

You’ll also find helpful hints on:

  • gaining confidence in your storytelling ability.
  • connecting with your audience.
  • matching your expectations with those of your listeners.
  • shaping your memories into inspiring messages.
  • understanding what makes a story work.
  • drawing truth out of the stories you wish to tell.
  • crafting and remembering stories.

Learn how to tell stories more effectively, lead and teach more creatively, and prepare your message in less time by using this unique resource provided by two of the nation’s premier communicators.

Broker of Lies

When Travis Brock, a high-level Pentagon redactor with an eidetic memory, finds a clue to solving the tragic arson that took his wife from him, he risks everything to find the truth―and chances losing himself in the process.

With a terror attack looming on the horizon and a pair of assassins on his tail, Brock drops off the grid and joins forces with a disavowed Homeland Security operative. Together they race to stop the attack before Brock is neutralized by the people he trusts the most.

From critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist Steven James comes a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that asks just how far across the line we might go to see justice carried out.

If you decide to check out the books, we hope you’ll do so via these Amazon affiliate links: The Art of the Tale and Broker of Lies, where, if you choose to purchase via the link, DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 452

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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