Monday, February 23, 2009

I wish I were as smart as Ira Glass.

During some blog reading in the last week or so, I was lucky enough to come across this video of Ira Glass speaking on stories. I've heard him once before on this topic, and he has such a sharp view of what makes a good story, and articulates it so well. Though he's, of course, speaking about making stories for radio, what he says about stories is universal for any medium. I transcribed a number of things, including:

"Narrative is like a back door into a very deep place inside of us, and a place where reason doesn't necessarily hold sway."

"When a story gets inside of us, it makes us less crazy."

He also talks about taste, about surprise, about the structure of telling a story. And about how a story is most satisfying when the audience knows what the bigger, universal "something" of the story is.

Ira Glass at Gel 2007 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.


  1. Hmmm....but what about those stories that get inside us and make us MORE crazy? I've always found the best stories to be the ones that make me think outside my norm.

  2. I think that's what he means by less crazy, though. We take in stories and to some extent they bring us out of ourselves and widen our horizons.

  3. OH! I could not download the video before--now I get it. Thanks!