Writer’s of Audio Storytelling in Action

I can really tell this week is going to be I will never forget. Already, there has been some good advice given about writing in general. This comes from a famous Audio storytellers Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad. I Learned more from Ira Glass then I did from Jad Abumrad. Both storytellers though have a similar message.

Jad Abumrad 

Jad was not my favorite I think because he only touched on one part of the creative process. The main idea that he shared was that gut churn is essential to the creative process. He explains further  being on the airwaves (creating a show)or just doing something creative  something is a risk and will cause your body to shut down. There are steps to preventing such disaster he gave an example of a famous artist who when encountering this kind of situation stops what he is doing and goes  abroad to  reinvent himself. During that time he turned down commissions from very famous people. Jad suggest that not every piece of work is going to be perfect and that maybe if it is that “gut retching” that airtist are doing their job.

Ira Glass

These are the video’s that I watched about the creative process of digital story telling according  Ira Glass (The youtube video’s are called  Ira Glass on Story Telling). There where four parts below the reader can see the the videos along with the commentary about what was learned from each part.

Part 1 of 4

In this part Ira talks about the writing process itself and try’s to instruct about how to write. When writing for a station that is broadcasting it should not written in the  traditional way or writing. He suggest that there are two powerful components to writing in storytelling the anecdote (a story in its purest from). He tells instructs that if you would like to keep an audience’s attention you have to constantly be asking questions and answering them. He also in this video  talks about the importance of having not just the storytellers perspective but also the people who are participating to have their perspective shared as well. Ira also talks about some of the trouble that other podcasters run into and that is they never know when a project is not longer interesting. They also have they have trouble understanding when to let a project go.

Part 2 0f 4

In part 2 he begins to share the secret of finding a great story. Where to begin on this one, Ira tell the people watching on that find a story should take as much time as it take to write the story. He also gives a in depth examples of how hard it is to find a good story and why. From experience Ira tells about how it take up to 5 weeks to find a good story because of discouraging  elements. He reports that discouraging elements include getting to the sight and the author not telling the same story or the story becomes less exciting. He then began’s to talk about failure he suggest if you don’t fail then a great story will not be found.

Part 3 of 4

In this this video Ira tells about his first couple of years creating audio. He encourages people who are just starting out in this career field to keep going even though the audio  they are  creating is not what they want it to be. He comforts other aspiring artist by saying that what they are going through in the first couple of years is totally normal. There is also a cure, Ira suggest that the artist should do a  lot of practicing by doing a lot of work. There is also a refection of his earlier work as a prof of what a storyteller might expect to go through.

4 of 4

In the final video he talks about common pitfalls that beginners make in audio . The first one being that the artist try to copy (sound wise) how the stars on tv sound (they don’t follow use  their natural voice). The second  is storytellers need to have a set balance of talking time, for example if they are talking on the airwaves the person they are talking with should have a equal amount of talking time as well.


I just summarized these video’s if the reader watches them you can glean so much more. Ira’s talent extends further then the surface. I learn a lot just about writing in general, it should’t be such a hardship and structure as they teach in school. It should literally a tale of a series of actions (story telling in its purest form). A story to also has to have a hidden question or two and has to be answered as well. I like how he not only points out the wrong doing of beginners but instructs them how to do better. He also recounts his struggles which lets the watcher (the one watching the video) understand that he was not far from flaw at one time he had to keep practicing as well. Ira in general seems like he is a great mast of his art because he is able to recount as well as instruct people pursing a career in audio in a way that they would understand.


One thought on “Writer’s of Audio Storytelling in Action

  1. I love how you set up this page with the videos embedded and then the summary underneath. I feel the same way about the videos from Ira Glass. He goes into such depth about the points he brings up such as anecdote. I learned a lot from what he covers in those videos and I wasn’t sure if it was just because I was so new to all of the material. I’m glad that someone else related so I now know his videos were very informative to more than just me!

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