Big and small “s” stories

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Big and small “s” stories

298178764_37eac24f66One of the questions Sonja and I often get when introducing ourselves is this, “Why use the word narrative? We find the word “story” easier to understand.”

In response we’ve said that the word “narrative” has more gravitas to it and communicates that we’re more than just story-tellers. However, of late we’ve begun to use a way of describing narrative that Anecdote use: the difference between big “S” story and small “s” story. Here’s what I mean …

Big “S” stories are the stories we’re accustomed to – those told by our parents about our family history, those we were told at bedtime and the ones told by professional storytellers. They are high touch stories that touch our hearts and move us emotionally.

Then, there are small “s” stories – the little anecdotes we tell everyday as we relate our experiences to family, friends and colleugues. Sometimes these small “s” stories don’t seem to be stories at all, but normal conversation.These stories are high in concept – there’s a level of complex information in these seemingly simple stories that is valuable.

There we go …

Narrative is all about the interplay between big “S” and small “s” stories.

By |April 17th, 2009|Categories: Narrative|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

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