Can You Craft a Story With Few Words?

Do you need words to be able to tell a good story? While you might think so, the truth could actually be very different. Find out more here.

You might think that you need an epic block of prose and countless words to be able to tell a good story. Even if you want to focus on a medium like film, we can still recount memorable pieces of dialogue that have stuck with us. Can you actually craft a story by using only a few words?

Breaking Down the Components

Every story is built the same way. No matter what it might be about, whether it is a simple love story or a murder mystery packed with twists and turns, there is no denying that every tale has similar components woven about it.

We tend to use the same tropes over and over, and within that, patterns can emerge. Just look at an archetype of storytelling such as the Hero’s Journey. This can be seen across many different stories – from ancient myths to modern blockbusters. Using archetypes and components such as this, we are able to create the framework of stories without using a single word. It is easier than you might imagine to construct a believable story – we just need to use the building blocks of what we already know.

Playing with Imagery

Can’t use words? It is time to play with imagery then! This can often be found in games like online slots and other media that cannot afford to waste time with long explanations. Through the right imagery, a good storyteller will be able to convey the right tale without using a single word.

Take away dialogue and narration, and see what it would take for you to be able to pass along a story. You will most likely return to the images of the story, and use them in careful ways to put your tale across. 

Using Non-Verbal Cues

Images are a great non-verbal cue to use, but they are not the only ones that you have access to. If you are crafting a story for a game or film, you have the option to add in music and sound effects to the tale.

There are so many different cues you could use here. Certain styles of music will evoke an emotion in you, and many storytellers use this to their advantage. If you had an upbeat jazzy number playing over a scene of two lovers parting ways, it would not make sense. Editors use non-verbal cues such as music to convey emotion to us, and thus change how we feel when interacting with the content.

Do you need words to be able to tell a story? While they most certainly do help, you would be shocked to know just how much you can convey when you omit words from your storytelling arsenal. Being able to craft a scene using just images and music can be a real skill, but it can also make for some of the most beautiful moments in a story. Try it for yourself in your next project, you might be surprised at the results!


Leave a Comment