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From prehistoric times when our ancestors gathered around fires in caves, storytellers have been aware of how arranging events in a story-like way held the attention of an audience. This essay explores how a storyteller engages the interest of an audience. Understanding that, writers can concentrate on how best to create dramatic, compelling stories.

What A Story Is

A Story is an arrangement of words and images that re-create life-like characters and events. By how a storyteller describes and arranges a description of a story's events, issues and ideas, the storyteller gains the attention of an audience. To sustain that interest, the action of a story is often presented as revolving around resolving some human need: to feel loved, to be in control of one's life and fate, to be able to avenge wrongs, overcome obstacles, discover and understand the meaning and purpose of life. To reward the interest of an audience, the storyteller arranges the elements of their story to fulfill the issues it raises.

Through experiencing a story's arrangement of its events, a story's audience has experiences of "life" more potent and "true" than real life. "Life" with meaning and purpose. Where people get what they want if they really believe. Wherein true love exists. Where inexplicable events are resolved. Where even pain and chaos can be ascribed meaning.

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