Thursday, November 4, 2010

What's a Story? In Visuals/Words

 So, I've spent a lot of time figuring out my own personal definition of story and storytelling. While working on a presentation for this week I came up with some simple visuals to show what I mean. Unfortunately, I had to scrap this presentation and simplify, so the visuals weren't used, but I figured they could live on here.

This is a chart that most people have seen in grade school about plot. I think it's actually a good start, but the idea of rising and falling action can leave out a lot of stories. I think a lot of stories actually look like:

So this gets at the temporal aspect of story, but doesn't talk about characters (and there's always at least one):

Much better, but what about setting? Stories have settings. (Even a lack of clear setting can be argued as a setting):

Ok, so this seems like a good chart about what a story is, but what about storytelling? Well, that requires a storyteller:

The storyteller is never alone, the story is always told to an audience (even if the storyteller is the audience):

That seems pretty good, but there's something else we've forgotten:

The audience members are storytellers as well. They respond and react to the story, maybe even change some of its content.

So, that seems good. Let's put it all together:

And that's what I'm working on.

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