There are a few essential requirements of narrative. Here are two:
The author must show us something of what she knows to be true. She must find something to say, something worth saying. The author does not tell this story; rather, the story tells the story. It transforms itself by its own telling. The author must simply stay out of the story’s way.
By the end of the story, the reader will have moved from one place to another, riding the momentum of the narrative. Something must be changed, something must be different. The reader should be able to answer the question, “What was that all about?”
His answer won’t be the same as the author’s. That’s okay.
Original copyright 19 February 2012.