About the author.
My name is Ashraf Ramzy, Narratologist, Business Story Consultant, Coach, Author, Speaker, Founder and CEO of MasterStory®. Some 30 years ago I attained a master’s degree in Narratology, the science and study of Story. Since then I have been quietly putting the power of Story to work for visionary brands, organizations and leaders. And, with great success. During those 30 years, a systematic and effective methodology emerged. One that ensured the successful development of a business narrative with impact. Be it a campaign story, a customer story, a target audience story, a brand story, an organizational story, a corporate story or a masterstory. Building further on that methodology I developed StoryMeter®, a diagnostic tool that measures the power of story and its impact on business. In addition I have developed the StoryMaster® program, a 3 day workshop to equip and license you to use the MasterStory® methodology and diagnostic tool. In the weeks, months and years ahead I will post (infrequent) updates on my work, my methodology and my own journey. So make sure to check this page every once in a while. Or subscribe to our newsletter.
Recap. Does your Story work?
My journey into the heart of story started in the summer of 1982. I stumbled on a book on screenwriting and had a life altering epiphany: “Life is a Story. So if I know how Story works I’ll know how Life works. And than maybe I’ll get my life in order“. I vowed to dedicate the rest of my life in pursuit of understanding and applying the power of story.
Indeed, understanding how story works is like a lens to the mind. It filters out the distractions. It helps you focus on the vital and the essential. It helps you to see clearer. Understanding who the Hero is makes you a better storyteller because it will give substance to your truth and depth to your beauty. It will make you a better leader because it will help you recognize, unlock and unleash the truly heroic within yourself and, more importantly, within those you lead and serve.
We started this series with the notion that there are laws and principles that govern story, that these laws have been studied and taught at least since Aristotle wrote both Poetics and Rhetoric, some 2500 years ago.
We continued with the hard distinction between “the Story” and “the Telling”, where ‘the Telling’ is about expression and communication and the Story is about creating meaning and making sense.
We continued the technical journey and examined the two drivers of Story: “Character” and “Plot”. We looked first at the function of these drivers and saw how they generate Audience Engagement, or Buy In, through Identification and Participation.
Then, digging deeper into the dynamics of “Character” and “Plot”, we saw how they form and shape story. “Character” juxtaposes roles and relationships. “Plot” determines the course and result of actions.
We then took a closer look at the central figure of Story: The Hero. We saw that the Hero is the essence and engine of story. His actions drive the story. He is the core around which the entire story revolves.
Then, after a long hiatus and as a reminder of the importance of understanding how story works we discussed that story is not built by words but by actions. After all there is a difference between the man who tells you he is funny and the man who makes you laugh.
We then looked at the Hero’s Profile and examined its 8 components: The Hero is (1) the protagonist, who (2) suffers and struggles towards (3) a greater purpose. He (4) overcomes obstacles and (5) defeats the villain. He (6) brings rescue to (7) his beneficiary and (8) changes the world.
And last but not least we reflected on what drives the Hero. It’s a jungle out there. And there is nothing more important than a deeper understanding of who the Hero is. It makes you a better storyteller because it will give substance to your truth and depth to your beauty. It will make you a better leader because it will help you to recognize, unlock and unleash the truly heroic within yourself and, more importantly, within those you lead and serve.