A Good Story by Sara Haller

“My definition: An account of something.” That’s what I wrote as my definition of story as I began to read Storyproof Chapters 2 & 7, but as I continued on my definition was clarified. I liked how the writers made it clear that a story is not as ambiguous or far-reaching as some would like to think it is. They dismiss certain theories on the subject cannot be true, which I found to be refreshing.  Blanket myth and binary association myth are just a couple of misconceptions held generally that give “story” a murky definition. Stories are not a single frame or idea or found in everything we do and see, they must have more.

We talked in class about the five essentials to a story: 1) Character, 2) Intent, 3) Actions, 4) Struggles, and 5) Details. I would argue that not ALL of these 5 elements are absolutely essential to a story but if a story includes those 5 things I think it is made more interesting. For example, your little sister may come and tell you a story about how she went out into grandpa’s field and lay down in the grass looking up at the clouds above. The writers in the reading do not agree with me, but I consider that to be a story. Though it lacks struggles and may be deficient in detail,  nevertheless it is a story that any one person may or may not find to be interesting.

Whether it is of interest or not cannot be the defining factor, for that is a matter of opinion and therefore cannot be measured, though I am not making the point that anyone would define it such. And so to answer the original question “What is a story?” I think a good story is an account that projects information which is linked by causation, or in other words, one idea or piece causes the next, thus making a story.


2 thoughts on “A Good Story by Sara Haller

  1. meaganmthornton January 19, 2015 / 1:35 am

    I like your definition of a story as an “account of something,” since it encompasses nearly all narratives and anything that is, at its core, a story. I also agree with your point on arguing against the writers of the reading; I personally feel that they were aiming to answer the question, “What is a good story?” rather than “What is a story?”

    ~Alexander Lewandowski


  2. meaganmthornton January 22, 2015 / 11:18 pm

    Good point Alexander. The author does clarify that they are looking what is “effective story”. What draws someone in?


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