The Heart of a Story


We’ve talked in earlier articles about the spectrum which lies behind story-telling - how a core vacuum or great threat or imminent disaster lies at the heart of any successful tale, ready to swallow up those who get too close, and how, coming out from that core, there are bands as represented by various characters and events, until, right on the edge of things, lie (in the majority of stories) freedom and wisdom. The arc of any truly great story is towards its core: some stories end with a gaping hole, compelling their readers to face horror or death or a terrible absence of meaning, but most end in triumph - the gap or hole is miraculously filled, and the hero lives ‘happily ever after’ to some degree.

The same process can be seen in the progress of the reader.