Stephen Sondheim
December 2, 2021
What Makes a Good Story?
December 16, 2021


Photo by Ivan Obolensky

The more I write the more I am convinced that stories are the essential building blocks from which our lives are constructed. Our lives are made of stories, hundreds of them.

Being curious, I’ve often wondered where our stories come from.

Who puts our stories in our heads?

If we remove our stories, what is left?

Perhaps nothing at all.

Consider this: with no stories, there is no past. There is also no future—after all, a future is simply a story that may, or may not, happen. What’s left is only the present, and there’s a problem with the present. Alone, the present has no meaning.

It follows that if we are living lives with no meaning, then why are we here? What’s the point?

Our stories tell us. It’s what a story does.

And should this all seem too simplistic, there are always stories within stories, and larger ones of which ours are but a part. We cannot always know those larger stories, and perhaps we never can.

Let there be no doubt: Stories are powerful things.


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