My favorite definition of story comes from a gentleman called Peter Guber. He is a producer out in L.A. who produced such movies as Color Purple, Batman, Kids are Alright, Midnight Express, Gorillas in the Mist and many more.
In his book, “Tell to Win”, he stated that all his successes have been when he told the story, and his failures have been when he got too wrapped up in the numbers and profits.
At one point he said, “A story is a vehicle that allows you to put the facts in an emotional context.” I have always loved this definition for a few reasons.
First I like its simplicity.
Think of stories as little pockets of information. They can be short, concise, purposeful, and often can be told in the same amount of time it would take to list facts or figure. Don’t think of stories as long-winded, drawn out tales that take a long time to tell.
Second, it’s all about the facts. Facts are important. For years people have thought of stories as fluff. They are not. It’s just a different, more successful way of delivering your facts.
And third, it tells us what to do! All we have to do is take our facts and wrap them in an emotional context so the audience can recall them.
That’s it. Simple. Done.