Monday, June 20, 2016

Story Structure's Underpinnings?

Last week I talked about the hoary three-part structure of a story and my inability to find an alternative one.  This led me to wonder what, if anything, lies below that three-part structure besides the normal and boring words, sentences, paragraphs, etc.  To be clear I want to know exactly what constitutes a story?

Stupid question, no?  Everybody knows what a story is.  It's something that has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Along the voyage we encounter plot, characters, scenery and summary activities that involve all of these as a grouping of scenes or acts. Are these just convenient tokens we use to mark time as the story is told?  If we strip all of those away do we still have a story.

Is there a foundation that supports the tale that is apart from these tokens??  Can Story be a thing independent of its content or form?  Do we have some innate mental model that allows us to separate a story from a shopping list?

Perhaps if I can get closer to an answer to that question I will be able to find that alternative pattern?


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