Many times in my reading and learning about the art of writing I stumble across people who define story as conterminous with plot. I feel this can be a limiting view of story and in the end is harmful to the ‘long view’ for our writing.
1.Also called storyline. the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.
1.the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
1.a narration of a chain of events told or written in prose or verse.
If you stick to these narrow definitions, Plot=Story; but we are missing one critical element here. All fiction is a narration from the lips of a storyteller – you the writer. An interesting thing happens to our idea of story when we consider the root meanings and origins of narration:
WORD ORIGIN & HISTORY
It is this last idea that is critical to how we view story. I find it helpful to think of if this way: I am a storyteller standing on a stage – I must let my audience know not only what happened, but also how, why, and to whom. Everything we write is an effort to make our readers acquainted with our characters, our themes, our ideas, our fictional events – in short, our stories. By keeping the whole tapestry of Story in our minds we will allow our readers to become acquainted with the entirety of our fictional world.
How do you view story?