Working late tonight on the opening for my new book on narrative. Here’s the text, then back to bed;


Narrative isn’t anything mysterious.  It is, simply, a description of our attempt to solve a particular problem.  At the end of the narrative, the author passes judgment on our efforts, declaring that we chose a wise path or a poor one.

Because our problem-solving process relies on a standard set of considerations, the same story points appear again and again in different narratives. Because each problem is unique, these story points come into play in different orders and at different points in the process.

For a story about a given problem to ring true, the narrative must include all the story points we would use in real life problem solving, explored in the order we would bring them to bear.

For a story to ignite our passion, the author must clothe the narrative in the trappings of storytelling style.

In a sense every narrative is a genome comprised of the same components, arranged to create a viable entity. This structure give the story its identity and storytelling provides its personality.

This book identifies the elements of narrative structure and describes how they are derived from and can also be applied to our own human nature.

Melanie Anne Phillips