What Makes A Good Story?

By November 13, 2014 Blog

In this time of multiplatform content delivery, most creators understand the key to good story is not the form on which it’s created, but the story itself. Whether it is a 3D Imax epic, a short film shot on a phone and uploaded to YouTube, or a series of diary entries on a blog, the thing that attracts an audience is always the story.

As screen content creators, it is crucial to engage an audience in an emotional experience and take them along for the ride.  One form that has been enjoying a healthy resurgence in recent times is the humble podcast. Smartphones and changes in technology have seen podcasts climbing back from out of their niche corner and establishing themselves as a serious and often profitable content delivery mode.

Last year Forbes Magazine noted “there are nearly 250,000 unique podcasts in existence and nearly 100 million people in the US alone have, at some point, heard a podcast.”

With this in mind we have compiled, for your inspiration and transit distraction, a list of our 10 favourite podcasts that tell great stories or explore the craft of storytelling (you’re welcome).

So in no particular order…

Host Sarah Koenig investigates a fifteen year old non-fiction murder case in this weekly episodic story that packages interviews and court documents into an immersive and very addictive narrative. As the title suggests you need to start at episode 1. Warning, did we mention addictive?

This American Life
One of the most popular US Podcasts presenting weekly themed real-life story collections. Hosted by Ira Glass and featuring a slew of writers and presenters, This American Life always delivers surprising and compelling stories that blend journalism with the techniques of fiction.

The Moth
True stories, told live. The Moth is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it.

Snap Judgement
Mixing killer beats and real drama Snap Judgement features real-life stories that drop you into the skin of another person following an episode theme to create cinematic, dramatic listening joy.

Other People with Brad Listi
More an interview series than a story collection host Brad Listi has a knack for dragging the most interesting and revealing tales out of his impressive guest list of today’s leading and up-and-coming authors.

The Stanford Story Project – Sate of The Human
Each episode, created by students at Stanford University, explores a common human experience, like Learning to Lie or Rites of Passage, with performed stories around the theme.

Radio Lab
Hosted by Robert Krulwich and Jad Abumrad, Radio Lab presents quirky stories that explore the big questions in science and philosophy through compelling storytelling.

Nerdist Writers Panel
Another interview series, NWP is moderated by Ben Blacker with professional writers about the process and business of writing. Covering TV, film, comic books, music, novels, and any other kind of writing about which you’d care to hear.

Selected Shorts Podcasts
PRI’s award-winning series of new and classic short fiction read by the stars of stage and screen. Recorded live at Peter Norton Symphony Space in NYC and on tour you can grab the latest episodes for free or buy the back catalogue.

The Flop House
For something a little lighter and looser, The Flop House, presenters Elliott Kalan, Stuart Wellington and Dan McCoy, discuss and dissect (possibly while drunk) their latest selection of fantastically crappy movies.


Did we miss your favourite podcast? Let us know in the comments section.