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Watch Your Language

Beware starting a story, spoken or written, with "When I..." It's usually a flashing neon signal: "Boring, long, ancient history ahead."

5 comments:

  1. you are correct, as it is usually followed by: younger, your age, a little girl/boy etc

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  2. One of the best pieces of advice was given to me when I was 15 and about to move away from Weaverville, changing high schools and my entire world. It was very similar to this post. It was summed up by not beginning any sentence when "In (Weaverville, my old high school), etc." This has served me very well in moves and other transitions I have made.

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  3. But, but, but...When I tell a story it is exciting, short, new.

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  4. I trust you didn't mean this advice for listeners as much as for (aspiring) writers. For,in my experience,the quality and enjoyment of a story has had little to do with how it began, but rather, how it unfolded. If i had "protected" myself (my time) from them by this criteria i would have missed out on many a good tale. Of course, i have been bored a few times as well.

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  5. In some cultures, relaxed settings, or a fairy tale the story might start with "When Cinderella was a young woman..." and in others it would start with ..."HEY, did you hear Cindy got married?" Joanne Snyder

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