4 factors that lead to great stories

A few people have tons of stories. Tons of people have only a few. Why is that?

For example, people in the military usually have lots of stories. So do people who’re always traveling. And so do people named William J. Pellas.

I think certain factors contribute to some people experiencing memorable situations more frequently than most people. Here are a couple of the common factors I’ve noticed.

  1. People: Without a doubt, this is #1. People are messy, they’re unpredictable, and no one’s like anyone else. Result? Excitement. Intrigue. Drama.
  2. First-timers: First time experiences make wonderful stories because your audience is experiencing it for the first time with you as you tell it. And even if they’ve done it many times before, they’ve definitely had that first experience, so they relate.
  3. Failures: People also like to relate to other people who make mistakes. For example, which would you rather hear: how I climbed to the top of Mt. Everest or how I almost climbed to the top?
  4. Playfulness: If you try to play in a serious situation, you’re bound to wind up with a memorable story. Practical jokes fit in well here. Also, think sticking out and embarrassment… because that’s what goofing off usually means.

Each of these combines well with each of the others. In fact, you could probably hit all four in some situations… and I can almost guarantee a story will result.

So these are the four factors I’m going to try to incorporate into my life more often so I can live more stories. We’ll see how it goes.

What else would you add? What other situations lead to the stories in your life?