Creating the First Draft of Your Story | Storytelling for Podcasters #5

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Here's how to create the first draft of your story. It might be a real-life personal one, or a script for a fiction podcast. This is how to get it on paper.

This is the second time I’ve written this episode. Take one was okay, but, it left me cold. Take two is much better AND much more valuable.

I want to help you create the stories for your podcast shows as quickly, and, as efficiently as possible. I’ve created a framework for creating stories that, so far, I’ve only shared with my coaching clients. I thought now was the ideal time to share it with the World.

In fact, I’m sharing The Story Stack on Colin’s fine site, before I’ve even shared it over at The Story Edge.

So what is The Story Stack. It’s a story building framework. There are 8 steps. In this episode, I’ll introduce the 8 steps and in episode 6 – I’ll let you know how to practically use it in a more creative way.

Welcome to The Story Stack


Every story needs a hero. Imagine Star Wars without Luke Skywalker. Wouldn’t work would it? The hero drives your story. We care about the hero. And, if we introduce the Hero in the right way, your listeners will put themselves in the hero’s shoes.

In your show, the Hero shouldn’t be you. The hero could be the guests that you interview.


Our hero needs a goal. They have to want something. Something that matters to them. Using young Mr. Skywalker as an example, he wanted to be anything other than a farm boy. He wanted to leave his home planet. He wanted adventure.


A goal might have existed for a long time without our hero taking it on. There is usually a trigger or an inciting incident that compels our hero to finally take their goal seriously. In Luke’s case the event was the death of his Aunt and Uncle. It’s what drove him.

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Our Hero now has a goal and a real drive but what’s stopping them accomplishing it? What’s holding them back? It might be a physical barrier. A lack of skill. Or, it could be an antagonist. The villain. In Luke’s case his obstacle is that he’s a boy with big dreams but little in the way of real skills and strength.


Sometimes, the hero of our story can’t accomplish their goal on their own. They need support. They need a guide. They need a mentor. Luke’s mentor was Obi Wan Kenobi. He introduces him to the Force. He introduces him to the Force and shows him how to wield a Lightsaber.

Obi Wan Kenobi is understated. And that’s the way it should be. We should never forget who the real hero of the story is.


If a story is predictable, it’s dull. It fails to excite. The best stories have highs and lows. Victory, snatched from the jaws of defeat is what we’re looking for. Luke Skywalker experiences plenty of highs and lows. The lowest being when his mentor is killed.

Keep your listeners on the edge of their seat. Surprise them and share the raw story. The real story.


Luke goes from naive farm boy to powerful Jedi in just 2 hours and 1 minute. That’s his change. He isn’t the same person. And that’s what a story needs.I used this phrase in an earlier episode of this series, but it’s worth repeating – no change = no story. The change is what gives your story meaning.

This is a great place to start when considering guests to interview for your show. Find people that have experienced some sort of transformational change. Take your listeners on THAT journey.


The universal truth or moral of your tale will sometimes be obvious. But it’s worth stating anyway. It’s the point of the story. It’s why you’re sharing it. If you’re struggling to find a Lesson, then maybe your story is missing something.

There are a few lessons we can take from Star Wars, but the one I like is this – people from different backgrounds can work together to achieve great things.

The Self Publishing Podcast

Taking that last analogy forward, one of my favourite shows is The Self Publishing Podcast.

The three hosts couldn't be more different, but they unite to deliver a hugely entertaining show that also educates in the process. Part of that education comes from their guests who typically take you on a flow that is similar to The Story Stack. The guests will show how they’ve risen from rejected author to self-publishing gods. In other words, they’ll tell you the story of their change.

Listen Differently

Over the next week I want you to listen carefully to your favourite shows and identify the stories that they share. I want you to listen more intently than ever. I want you to recognise why the stories they tell WORK.

On the next episode, we’ll get into the 2nd element that gives The Story Stack it’s real power and changes it from a ‘formula’ into a ‘framework’.

Guide Index