On Stories

Story Perspective:  The focus of your story

Story Purpose:  Understanding your theme

How to Construct a Story

Classic Storylines

Setting

Characters

Plot Basics

Competition Plots

Journey Plots I:  most often external or action driven stories.

Journey Plots II: most often internal or character driven stories.

Relationship Plots

I spent the day listening to stories.  Not unusual.  I do this every day, and so do you.  Stories are pervasive and integral to being human.  Stories are the way people convey all sorts of information, advice, suggestions, and explain everything from love to hate; and people have been telling each other stories since the days when we sat around the campfire and did not complain about doing dishes because dishes had not yet been invented.

Today, I heard stories about corporate indifference (regarding expense checks), boyfriends in New York (and eating Monte Christos), how one fellow lost his car (it broke down on the interstate), how another got a surprise check (and what he spent it on), etc. etc.

Everyone tells stories.  We are natural storytellers, and to those who suggest that everyone has a story to tell, I would rather say, “everyone has a thousand stories to tell.”  To do it well, though, may be a different story.  To be like the shaman or wise woman of old and tell stories “professionally” may require some serious work—and understanding how the best stories work.

In this series I look at what separates a good story from a bad one.  I dissect the whole idea of stories and examine the elements that make up the art, craft, tradition, or instinct.  In particular, I focus on that often misunderstood element called plot, because there are some, dating back to Aristotle, who claim that there are only two plots in the universe…  See Story Perspective for information about that…

-Michael

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