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Many storytellers try to stick roughly to a programme pattern of Haha! (summarised this way by Elizabeth Ellis, USA teller) - This means to start with short, funny stories, then something clever, witty or with a twist, continue with a longer interesting tale with some emotional depth, and end with a powerful or meaningful one (or continue for another cycle).Consider telling stories around a specific theme if you haven't already been given one by your client - it can provide a way of linking from one story to the next.

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Most try and apply common sense, realising that the laws weren't made to protect artists from the humble storyteller, but from exploitative profit-making businesses.Traditional tales are yours to tell, wherever you find them.Many have existed for millenia, owned by nobody, and nobody can claim them now and restrict the rights of others, although some have tried.But the more professional a storyteller you become, the more professionally you must behave.The law varies between countries, but essentially copyright protects a specific form of words, design, music etc. Therefore the exact text of a story printed in a book can be copyrighted, but the ideas in it can't, so someone could adapt them into their own story or version.This official internet Storytelling FAQ is at Tim Sheppard's Storytelling Resources for Storytellers at . "Storytelling is an age-old tradition that has existed since the dawn of time in every culture there ever was.

This FAQ is maintained by Tim Sheppard in England: email [email protected] Please see the document end for full credits and usage policy for copying this information. Here we may discuss its roots and how they relate to the storytelling of today.

But a storyteller almost never recites verbatim from a book, so the exact form of those printed words won't be used, and every telling will be a new version. There are guidelines, but open to much interpretation.

For storytellers there are two kinds of tales: traditional and original.

But a copyrighted tale can still be told - you should just try and get permission from the author first.

The complications start to arise when you hear a story and retell it.

Take a clock that you can easily and unobtrusively see to track your time, if you have a set length for the show. Remember - adrenalin can do strange things to your sense of time. If you wish to delve into the complexities, controversies and diverse opinions, look in the archives of Storytell at edu/lists/.