Types of Story — Helen McKay & Berice Dudley

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: —

• 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.
•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.
•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.
•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.
•Myth – a story about gods and heroes, explaining the workings of nature and human nature. See Psyche and Eros or Inanna by Diane Wolkstein.
•Parable – a fictitious story told to point to a moral, for example, The Sower and the Seed from the New Testament of the Bible.
•Personal story – a life story from your own or your family’s experience, such as, Streets and Alleys by Syd Lieberman.
•Religious story – an historical and philosophical story based on a particular culture and religious persuasion, for example, The Story of Lazarus from the Bible.
•Tall tale – an exaggerated story, often humorous. Fishing stories, Australian Bush stories, see The Loaded Dog by Henry Lawson.
•Traditional tale – a story handed down orally from generation to generation, such as the Polynesian stories – Maui, and The Coming of the Maori.
From About Storytelling – Published by Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, Australia — ISBN 0 86806 593 5 – by Helen McKay and Berice Dudley © 1996