Why Should We Look at Story?

If I asked you what you did today, what would you say?

Think about it for a moment.

There are really only a handful of choices to keep the conversation going.

1) You could pick one event of your day and try to relate that experience in detail.
2) You could give a quick brief summary of your day
3) You could talk on and on about everything you did so far in your day.

But what would your answer sound like?

It would more than likely take the form of a narrative. This is pretty much inevitable. Your answer would involve setting (where you were earlier), character (who else was with you), and a problem of some sort (what happened and what lead up to it). These are the ingredients of story.

So your day, up until the point you were asked about it, is a story. They way you answer the question is also a story. And your buddy gets to take a story away with him in the process. He might even retell this story later with his own spin on it, “Did you hear that so and so…”

Humans think in terms of story. It is a simple as that. It is the way that our brain organizes information. Everything is pretty much storied in our brains. Stories help us make sense of our world. Everything is story. We can’t get away from it.

I believe that story is the one true thing that everyone shares. We all organize events and situations into stories. We all tell stories. We all consume stories by our choice of entertainment. We do this without exception.

As such, story should be studied in detail. We should try to figure out exactly what it is and why it is so prevalent in our lives. That is the purpose of this series on both of my blogs.

More Storied Thursdays to come.