(Story)telling the Truth: Experience, Perception and Narrative Structure video lecture  

I recently gave a talk about storytelling focusing on the following themes. We should write/tell true stories using a style and structure that reflects the way we perceive the world as human beings. But the human mind isn’t merely a camera recording what is happening in the world out there, we have thoughts and feelings too that relate to what we experience in the world. The great life writers often begin with a striking visual or dramatic detail that they witnessed personally which then impels them to reflect upon the wider implications of this detail. Key to the success of this ‘formula’ is the slickness of the transition between the visceral, lived experience of the traveller-narrator and the macro, sometimes abstract idea or thought that follows. Finally, useful narrative structures from the Lester Dent formula to the Hero’s Journey are examined.

Writers discussed: Salman Rushdie, Colin Thubron, Lester Dent, Kari Gísláson, Joseph Campbell, Mary Karr, Steven Pinker, Aristotle, Anton Chekhov, Robert Olen Butler.

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