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So what is an extraordinary story?

Here at Renegade Digital Post, we talk a lot about telling extraordinary stories. But what separates a story from an extraordinary story? And why does telling an extraordinary story matter?

Stories are used everywhere in our world. They’re used to tell us information about the news, products, services, people, sports, you name it. Everytime we hear or see a story, we take in information, internalize it, think about it, and then share it with other people.

We often think of stories as just “entertainment.” And entertainment is BIG. From blockbuster movies to bingable TV shows, this year’s summer bestselling novel, the next anthem song… Entertainment keeps us hooked, watching, listening, engaged. Even viral videos and memes rely on this entertainment factor.

It’s not that entertainment is all bad. Watching Captain America kick some Hydra ass is a reminder that good can triumph over evil–even if it’s an uphill battle.

At it’s core, entertainment relies on manipulating our emotions to guide us into what we should feel about what we see or hear. When we’re watching Captain America kick Hydra’s ass, we’re perfectly happy with being guided to feel angry at Hydra’s evil and victorius when Cap wins. But what if we’re being guided to feel good about something that’s an outright lie? Or we’re sold another product we don’t need on the basis that it will make us happy?

It’s in those moments we ask: What are we being entertained by? Is it really worth our time? Our brainspace? Do we really need another Widget? Admit it, we’ve all asked, “Why did I just watch/read/listen to that?” Not all stories are really worth engaging with.

If this is true, then an extraordinary story is one that gives us something worthwhile to see. They’re stories that tell us there is hope in the world. They empower us to make a change in our lives and in our communities. They show us people making a difference in their little nook of the world. Of people inventing new tools to build a better future for our kids.

Extraordinary stories inspire us, educate us, and give us the gift of hope.

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