Learning the bones of a story. You can use this to bring a story from home or to learn a story you hear when you are abroad. Learning a story by heart is different from memorising words. To tell a story, all you really need to memorise are its bare bones, the key set up elements and turning points in the story. You can start by listing as many as you can remember, then keep weeding them down until only seven remain. Try reducing each of these seven to a single word. You can write these seven on an index card, a match box, or even the back of your hand, until you them memorised. Then you’ll know a story by heart.