Founded by Katya Andresen and Mark Rovner, Characters Magazine is on a mission to showcase amazing stories of and by those seeking to make the world a better place. Each month the magazine will feature stories from the nonprofit sector.
Stories are older than written language. Stories have started wars and built civilizations. They renew and sustain our faith traditions. They teach us what it means to be a good person.
For me, practicing the craft of storytelling is among the most rewarding and humbling parts of my work. Storytelling tests every writer’s mettle. It requires courage and a willingness to expose one’s self in public. And it can always be better. If we want to change the world for the better and further our good causes, we must embrace the power of storytelling and become comfortable speaking in story to attract, inspire and move people to action. We operate in a world in which we trust our heads too much and our hearts too little. Story is the language of heart, it’s a language that is well worth mastering.
The stories featured in Characters run the gamut from a clever — and heartbreaking — story told in the form of tweets, to a short play about a successful and powerful woman looking for love. The stories share two qualities: they are all terrific and they are written by people who have made a career of trying to make the world a better place.
Inspired to use the power of storytelling to gain support for your cause? Try these tips for crafting amazing stories for your nonprofit:
- Provide focus: Don’t try to tell everything that’s ever happened. Focus on one succinct story to allow your readers to really connect with the experience you’re trying to relate.
- Be visual: Compelling photos instantly draw readers into your story. Select an image that sparks emotion and grabs your attention. Photos of people or animals looking directly at the camera almost always work best.
- Incorporate reality: Use real details to tell your story. Quotes, sights, sounds and events help make your story more tangible and give readers something to grab onto.
- Get personal: Just as you focus on one story, focus your attention on one person. Tap into that human emotion to let readers form a bond with your characters.