My vision for Story Cauldron
Or, what is this newsletter going to be about, anyway?
I have always been entranced by Story.
By ‘Story,’ rather than ‘stories,’ what I mean is the higher concept. Story is the essence of life. It is how we function, how we learn about ourselves, how we relate to other people and the world around us. It is the conscious pattern of existence.
It is also a theoretical, or even scientific, concept. For example, Star Wars is a story about a boy who wants to save a princess. But it can also be understood in terms of Story—how it is structured in terms of beats or acts, the format (film), dialogue, imagery, and so on.
In Story Cauldron I want to explore both ways of understanding the word ‘story.’ I’d like to dig into what makes a good story—why some tales are more entertaining, moving, or memorable than others. But I also want to tackle, dismantle, rearrange, or demolish certain aspects of Story.
Questions I’d like to explore: do we have to tell stories according to a prearranged, mutually agreed-upon, format? Where do stories live? When we think of stories, what comes to mind? Books and short stories of course, and maybe TV and movies. What about poetry? Songs? Video games? Stories even consist of the things we tell ourselves (“I’m so bad at this”) or what we talk about at parties. They are the lies we tell our parents to get to stay home from school and the answer to “how was your day?” Like it or not, they are even the meat of meetings, data analytics, and dry 100-page reports. And even when we sleep we can’t escape stories, which follow us through our dreams.
Stories are inextricably part of humanity. Without them, we would surely perish.
So let’s talk about Story, and stories, and see what happens.
(p.s. I’ll also be sharing updates on my own writing journey, so if you want to know what I’m working on, watch this space!)