There are many different types of stories. The most important consideration, when choosing a tale to tell, is whether you like it enough to tell it with enthusiasm. Stories should communicate to you a need to be told.

Some of the different categories of stories available to storytellers are:

1.  Fable ― a short moral story not based on fact, using animals as characters, such as, Aesop’s Fables – The Fox and the Grapes, Lion and the mouse and others.

2.  Fairytale ― The best-known, would be Grimm’s fairytales about imaginary folk, such as elves, giants, witches, gnomes, and fairies. Closer to home is: Mary and the Leprechaun, by Irish-Australian writer John Kelly.

3.  Folk tale ― a traditional story in which ordinary people gain special insight, transforming them and enabling them to overcome extraordinary obstacles. See: The Magic Orange Tree & other Haitian Folktales by Diane Wolkstein.

4.  Legend ― a story based on the life of a real person in which events are depicted larger than life, for example, The Stories of Robin Hood, or King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

5.  Myth ― a story about gods and heroes, explaining the workings of nature and human nature. See: Psyche and Eros or Inanna by Diane Wolkstein.

6.  Parable ― a fictitious story told to point to a moral, for example, The Sower and the Seed from the New Testament of the Bible.

7.  Personal story ― a life story from your own or your family’s experience, such as, Streets and Alleys by Syd Lieberman

8.  Religious story ― an historical and philosophical story based on a particular culture and religious persuasion, for example, The Story of Lazarus from the Bible.

9.  Tall tale ― an exaggerated story, often humorous.  Fishing stories, Australian Bush stories, see The Loaded Dog by Henry Lawson.

10. Traditional tale ― a story handed down orally from generation to generation, such as the Polynesian stories ― Maui, and The Coming of the Maori.

Anyone with a message to convey can do so more memorably and effectively with an appropriate story.

Helen McKay