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Story-telling vs. plot

An interesting post on story-telling vs. plot

I believe a good story, plotted or plotless, rightly told, is satisfying as such and in itself. But here, with “rightly told,” is my conundrum or mystery

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
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masqthephlsphr
May. 14th, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC)
In the philosophy biz, we have this thing called an operational definition. It doesn't really define something, so much as allow us to "know X when we see X". The operational definition of good story-telling, for example, is that a lot of people enjoy reading blurb x, and recommend blurb x to their friends.

Doesn't help a writer become one iota a better story-teller, but there are stories that just capture people's imagination due to the way their told. And it's because they have that Certain Something, that people know when they see it, but can't define.

I think if you read enough of stories that meet the operational definition, you start to absorb their similarities, the elusive something, and it can then come out in your writing. You won't know when you got "it" or what it was you "got", but your writing has changed for the better.

'Least, that's what I'm hoping.
(Deleted comment)
masqthephlsphr
May. 15th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)
I think the point of the article I posted a link to is that no, being a good story-teller, and telling a "good" story are not the same thing. That's her point. She talks of the equivalent of entertaining people by reading the newspaper, or a phone book, in a way that enthralls people.

She is talking about the way you frame you story, not its content, necessarily. And it's an elusive concept, "framing" and delivery and charming your reader or keeping them in suspense. Not because the content is so charming or suspenseful, but because of the way you deliver the material.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )