Stories which serve as effective platforms for advocacy, branding, and actual selling have been carefully crafted. No cagey political consultant, lawyer, marketing guru, or public relations representative allows the client to fall in love with the raw, unorganized pieces.
So, what goes into that editing process? Here are the critical steps:
Simplification. What narrative is it that the client needs to put out there? The material has to be dug into until that essence is uncovered. Rarely is it obvious, at first. The client might want to communicate that he is innocent of the crime. However, the story that will be most effective with the jury is that there is not adequate evidence for a conviction.
The acid test to determining if the core has been reached is to tell the story to third-graders. If they don't get the point, the narrative contains too many moving parts. Go to the drawing board and keep reducing the complexity.
Make it interesting. No one can get away without being entertaining, that is, capturing attention. That means lopping off all the details which siphon off interest.
The acid test for that is asking: Why should anyone care? People care about their self-interest, immediate pleasure, and feeling better. Making a difference has to be framed under one of those categories.
Create drama. As the old saying goes, life is a stage and we are all players on it. Performance art is the key to successful narrative. Great Communicator Ronald Reagan told his stories with just the right facial gestures, body language, and nods of the head (metalinguistic factors).
It helps to bone up on the principles of "creative non-fiction." Those tactics leverage the tricks of fiction to non-fiction narratives. Those include establishing setting, characters, and suspense.
Refine narrative. Everything changes. Therefore, stories might change in tone, what's highlighted, support for assertions, and theatrics. Each set of performers of "Hamlet" render the play differently.
As we approach Campaign 2016, it will be useful to observe and analyse how candidates manage their narratives.