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  • Rogier van Kralingen

Storytelling Lesson 1: Friction

Updated: May 23, 2019

Rogier van Kralingen – The Whole Story (founder)

The first and most important thing in any story – whether it’s a film, video, book, brand,

blog, musical, art or corporate story – is a little thing called conflict. Now for those new

to storytelling this may come as a shock. But it actually makes a lot of sense.

The best things that human beings have ever created all come from some type of friction,

conflict, disagreement or paradox. Music for instance is only considered worthwhile if it

builds up some sort of tension. It has to sound at least somewhat new and original, even

in established genres, for it to grab hold of our attention.

The same of course goes for good novels or movies, not to mention art. The most memorable things in those professions are often shocking or amusing because they marry concepts that are new to the eyes and ears. In Hollywood, characters are built up in such a way that friction occurs, only to be resolved in latter stages of the movie.

But it goes beyond the classical arts. In advertising friction is often used to convey short

messages that are remembered, simply because of that friction. And even the best

corporate stories are told with that in mind. Just think of the stories surrounding great

entrepreneurs working themselves up from hardship, or social responsibilities

mastered against all odds and surroundings.

People react to things they can relate too. And life is full of conflicts that need to be

resolved. So adding friction makes things recognizable, it humanizes. This being our first

blog on storytelling, we promise you we’ll elaborate on friction in much greater detail in

our other blogs.

For now however, If you want to be remembered, remember to add something rough

around the edges in your story. That’s what makes it interesting.

Until then, keep it real.