From my brother, Mike:
While teaching English as a Foreign Language in Istanbul, I came across a wonderful book titled The Art of the Story-Teller by Marie L. Shedlock. Although she discusses telling stories to children in classrooms, many of her ideas are relevant to story-telling for any audience in any fashion. I thought I would share one part of the book where she lays out nine dangers of story. I think of this list often when editing interviews in my work at StoryCorps. For full explanations of each item, you can visit Penn's digital library where the book is available in its entirety. Lots of great stuff to dig into, especially for those of you involved in developing animation and other media for children.
1. Danger of side issues.
2. Altering the story to suit special occasions.
3. Danger of introducing unfamiliar words.
4. Danger of claiming cooperation of audience by means of questions.
5. The difficulty of gauging the effect of a story on its audience.
6. Danger of over-illustration.
7. The danger of obscuring the point of the story with too many details.
8. The danger of over-explanation.
9. The danger of lowering the standard of the story in order to appeal to undeveloped tastes.