Ummmmmm… Forgot your story?
So you’re spinning a splendid saga when suddenly…you’ve forgotten the next part.
There’s nothing worse for a child listening enchanted on the edge of their bed, then to have that magical trance broken, by a wavering hesitant adult.
The storyteller being hesitant about the tale is a real atmosphere killer. Not only could your audience lose confidence in your story, they could lose confidence in you.
You are, after all, to their tender young minds, the person who knows everything, and the fount of all knowledge!
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to deal with this!
What do you think happens next?
You can involve your audience and ask them excitedly, ‘What do you think happens next?’
Let them contribute to the story and build spontaneously on whatever they come up with.
If you’re stuck for ideas, mash in some flavour of another tale you know.
Even if your audience knows the both tales, they will be delighted at this hilarious turn of events.
Introduce a new and exciting character, and while you spend moments describing what they look like, be planning what part they can play in the story.
It doesn’t matter if it’s weird or wacky – just go with whatever comes to mind – with children, the weirder the better!
In a worse case scenario, when your mind just seases up, fall off the seat! That’ll get them laughing and you can always pretend that it was the character from the story or indeed a whole new invisible foe to involve in the games.
It’s supposed to be like that!
Whatever you choose to do, try to keep the story going and don’t waver! Act like everything was planned this way, and keep your voice confident as you continue.