top of page

The 6 Ws and How of Storytelling

Storytelling is an art, they say. Like any art form, some storytellers are naturals and some learn the craft.


I recently realized that storytelling is in my genes:

  • My dad can turn a 2-minute story into a 20-minute novel.

  • One of my uncles was an English professor who taught courses such as C.S. Lewis, Modern Christian Writers, and Shakespeare.

  • Four other uncles were preachers.

  • Then, there was my granddad who wrote his story in journals for decades.

When I started writing on LinkedIn in the summer of 2022, I did not call myself a storyteller. Slowly, I started writing stories about life as a new widow, teaching nurses, and my daily adventures.

A young, brown-haired Caucasian woman stands smiling in front of a terracotta-coloured earth hut, round in shape with a thatch roof. The background shows a savannah. The woman is wearing a green hoodie and light-weight trousers with a butterfly print.
Photo courtesy of Amber Williams, Founder of The Golden Graph

Then, a fellow Write Wiser contributor, Chiamaka Joyce Nzeako, gave a challenge:


Write about how you got to your career.


I have been a registered nurse since 2004, and there is definitely a story behind how I found this career. So, I started writing it. The words kept coming off my fingertips until I realized the story was no longer one LinkedIn post. It was at least two.


So far, I’ve written nine short stories in this series. The last seven are stories set during my five months as a nurse in Zimbabwe. How did I do it?


How did I go from one question to nine short stories?

  1. It started with an inquiry question: how did I decide on this career?

  2. I went to the beginning: when did this happen?

  3. This was the fun part of the story for me: where was I when I decided to become a nurse?

  4. The next question I had to answer: what happened after I made that decision?

  5. I needed to add the people: who was I with and who helped me along the journey?

  6. My “why?” also needed an answer: why did I do what I did and go where I went?

  7. Editing the events that happened over days and years into individual posts: which parts of each would I tell?

Did you catch it? These are the “6 Ws and How” of writing and storytelling.

Who

What

Where

When

Why

Which

How

Every good story should answer these questions. Some answers will be blatant in the way you tell them. Others, like which, will be more “behind the scenes” and determined by the choices you make about which parts of the story you tell.


With practice, I have become a better storyteller. I know there is still room for improvement so I will continue to write and develop this craft and skill.


Have I piqued your curiosity with my short stories? Click here for the first in the series!

Why not follow in Amber's footsteps? Start sharing stories about how you got into your current job and begin developing your storytelling skills. Come back and tell us how it goes!

277 views

4 Comments


Amber,


I really like how you broke this down. It’s like a guide to writing. I know it’s going to be something I could definitely use to keep me on track, as I start my writing career.


❤️ Nicole Angai-Galindo

Like
Replying to

Nicole,

I'm glad this will help you. You are such a great writer!


Amber

Like

Wambui Njuguna
Wambui Njuguna
Mar 04, 2023

I sure enjoyed reading your stories, Amber.


It's been great having the insight of how you crafted them.


Wambui Njuguna.

Like
Replying to

Wambui!

Sorry that I'm just now seeing your comment! Thank you for being here.

More stories to come. I promise. 💜


Amber

Like
bottom of page