Periodic Table of Storytelling

February 1st, 2014

James R Harris has constructed a Periodic Table of Storytelling and it is awesome.1

[Via LinkMachineGo!]

  1. Warning: contains links to TVTropes. Do not follow that link if you had plans to get anything important done in the next three hours.

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Finding Emilie

February 17th, 2011

Seeing this MetaFilter post reminded me that I'd listened to the Radioab podcast's account of the same story, Finding Emilie, a few weeks ago.

In this segment, we take an emotional left turn to a story of a very different kind of lost and found. We begin with a college student, Alan Lundgard, who fell in love with a fellow art student, Emilie Gossiaux. Emilie's mom, Susan Gossiaux, describes her daughter, and the terrible phone call she recieved from Alan nine months after he became Emilie's boyfriend. Together, Susan and Alan tell Jad and Robert about the devastating fork in the road that left Emilie lost in a netherworld […]

I'm not a huge fan of Radiolab1, but this episode was first rate. I defy anyone to listen to Emilie's story all the way to the end and remain unmoved.

  1. I keep subscribing to their feed, then finding myself with a backlog of Radiolab podcasts to listen to and unsubscribing, only to find myself subscribing again a few months later when someone points out a particularly good episode and I convince myself that this time I'll stick with it. A bit like the way I watch House.

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Ridiculously entertaining

December 12th, 2010

Sledgehammer and Whore:

[…] This is a story of a Procedural. Specifically, mine.

Last Sunday night the wife and I were sound asleep at 1145pm after a night of Entourage, True Blood and Schadenfreude. Because I have the iPhone4 and thus cannot use it as a phone, I had forwarded my cell phone to our home phone. At approximately 11:47:52, the phone rings and my wife answers it. Here is the call as has been best reconstructed:

WIFE: Hello…Who is this?

WOMAN: I need to speak to Josh.

WIFE: What? Why? Who is this?

WOMAN: Let me speak to Josh. He owes me money.

WIFE: Money? Call back in the morning.

WOMAN: I need to talk to him now. I'm in his office. He owes me money.

WIFE: (to me, handing over the phone) It's for you.

WOMAN: Josh? I need my money. I'm in your office.

ME: I don't know what the fuck you are talking about. What office?

WOMAN: Your office. In Larchmont. I'm there.

ME: You're in my office? At midnight. On Sunday? Describe my office.

At which point the woman gives me a very detailed description of my writing office–a second floor one room/one bathroom space that I rent because as much as I love my family…well, The Shining.

ME: Okay, fine, you're in my office. Why? And again, who are you?

WOMAN: You know why I'm in your office, Josh. You've been here with me for the last three or four hours.

[…]

[Via Longform.org's Best of 2010: The 10 Most Ridiculously Entertaining Reads of 2010, which is well worth a few minutes of your time.]

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Not passive

September 1st, 2010

Every thing is a play thing, or, Why Woody is like Sam Lowry and Cobb:

I've been enjoying the summer movie blockbusters, more or less, and have been struck by a couple that veer off in a decidedly metaphysical direction. And you won't be surprised to hear that I've spent a while thinking about the last few scenes of one film in particular, which may rewrite or redefine the entire narrative you've just seen.

I'm talking, of course, about Toy Story 3.

The Toy Story trilogy is being hailed as one of the great film series of all time, on a par with the Godfather series or the original Star Wars movies. Both of those were weakest in their third acts, while Toy Story 3 is a masterpiece. But it's also the one that pulls together a number of strings that have run through the three films, and threatens – right at its very end – to drag the whole edifice to the ground. And it's all done with one line of dialogue, that almost everybody else seems to have missed. […]

(Do I really need to add that spoilers for Toy Story 3 abound?)

[Via Yoz Grahame]

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Emulating Hemingway

March 20th, 2010

One Sentence – true stories, told in one sentence:

I swore with excitement when my new Bible came in the mail.

[Via Word Magazine]

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