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How to make your story coherent with the “Golden Thread”

There’s a single, golden thread running through a really good story. It’s the theme that takes you from beginning to end. It’s the consistent message running through every version of your story, from a two minute chat to a conference keynote.

So how do you find your golden thread?

Step 1: find ALL the threads.

At first, your story is a confusing mess: tangled balls of string floating in a murky soup. You need to explore – fish around in the soup – to find all the different threads. Get the whole tangled mess out in the open.Big, Small, Inside, Outside and Audience Profile help you find the right bowl to fish around in, increasing your chances of finding something useful.Story-ish Conversations and What’s it About? help you narrow down your search.

Step 2: Catch a glimpse of gold

As you sift through all the different strands of your story, something will catch your eye. The first glimpse of gold comes from attention or emotion: “Hey, look at that!” or “Ooh, that feels interesting…”Story HooksThat’s FunnyCurious Tales and Emotional Dashboard all help you spot your golden thread.

Step 3: Pull on that thread

See where this golden thread leads you. How many connected ideas does it bring up? Weave the thread through your story:from the beginning of your story – Story Hooks to a single moment where something new happens- Movie Time  and on to a satisfying end – Happy Ever Afters.

If you get it right, you’ll find the thread that runs through your wor, runs through your heart and connects you to your listener.

You can watch a case study – me trying to find the golden thread in conversation with Pip Decks customer here and here.

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