The little one-question survey I have on my sidebar has been a dicey thing because it has no mechanism for preventing spammers from responding — and they do. If the spam is ever so overwhelming I can’t handle it, I’ll get rid of it (or figure out a way to add some sort of “Captcha” device to it), but currently it harvests no more than about 10 spammers a day.
I’ve been waiting many weeks to have enough critical mass of responses to the second question I posed on the survey; I feel as though four responses is the minimum number to publish. So I’m very grateful to Tammy Vitale for posting that fourth response.
The question responders answered: “How do you define “story” and how important is it to you to work within that definition?”
I’ve written in this space that I work within a very broad definition of “story.” A session of the superb Golden Fleece conference yesterday (which I will blog about soon) presented by Gerry Lantz compels me to perhaps re-think my broad definition. The program describing Gerry’s session noted “nearly any verbal recounting is labeled a ‘story’ and therefore nothing is a story.” Now that’s food for thought. While I ponder that notion, I present the four responses to my survey question:
Story is a butterfly whose wings transport us to another world where we receive gifts that change who we are and who we want to be.
— Harley King
A story is a fact wrapped in an emotion, which causes an action that changes something. For instance: an 18-month-old baby can hold up her bottle and say “all gone;” Mom feels an emotional pull and fills the bottle and the result of that action is a satisfied baby. Now that is a very short two-word story and yet it meets the criteria of this definition.
— Robert Dickman
A story is a compilation of events leading to an outcome that is either a surprise or planned; one never knows how the story will evolve as it is a work in progress. I can work within this definition because it is open-ended.
— Gladys Kartin
Story is the mythology we tell of our own life, and is a smaller story set within the story of our culture and the world. I am always open to an expansion of the definition.
— Tammy Vitale