At the conference I was just at this past weekend, a panel of authors was asked to reflect on their definition of story. What is a story? There were a lot of good insights and answers.
Sitting in my chair listening to the panel, my mind got to wandering. It usually wanders. What is a story? After a moment of reflection I landed on what I feel is an accurate synonym for the word story. A story is a “participation.”
A story truly becomes a story when those who hear or read or watch it can take part in it. This seems to me like a reasonable understanding of what makes a story a story, though I don’t want to make a technical argument to backup this definition in this short blog post.
By this definition, there are many stories all around us. There are endless opportunities to participate. Certainly throughout our lives we are participants in many stories, small and grand. Well, but if we are going to be main characters in a story, then whose story are we going to take part in? Whose story are we going to focus our energies on? Participate wholeheartedly in?
BMW? The Gap? Apple? Patagonia? Frigidaire? This list could go on and on and on. It’s kind of late, though, so I’m going to trust you get the point.
A participation. It’s your leading role. What story are you going to take part in?