Beat Generation 2.0: Decoding Story for a Sustainable Planet

Here is a 34-point manifesto for those of us who grew up on a diet of narrative media, however sweet or sour.

Because we all know how sitcoms and movies and UX and games and books and ripping yarns work … and we all have the power to interrupt the story. (Even if it’s only the crazy writers among us that get hung up on technical terms.)

  1. We know we are a protagonist of sorts.
  2. We know we tell our own stories.
  3. We know we inhabit our own contexts.
  4. We know that even when our narration is a mess, if we’re telling it from our heart, it’s a good story.
  5. We know stories are our way of touching others.
  6. We know stories are our way of holding others hostage.
  7. We know stories are our way of building histories and backstories and futures and dreams.
  8. We know we can get desperately lost in stories.
  9. We know words are the tip of the iceberg.
  10. We know fear and desire are black-belt character motivators.
  11. We know actions say more than words because ‘show’ always overrides ‘tell’.
  12. We know a story loves seduction.
  13. We know a story fears the sickness of isolation.
  14. We know love is the bomb.
  15. We know there is no story without conflict.
  16. We know conflict can occur between people.
  17. We know conflict can occur between us and the forces of the universe.
  18. We know conflict can occur inside our selves.
  19. We know conflict can lead to all kinds of drama.
  20. We know drama lacks intent.
  21. We know love doesn’t seek drama.
  22. We know that in a state of drama there can be no growth.
  23. We know there is no story if there is no change.
  24. We know the surprise of a plot twist.
  25. We know that the power of delivery is in the timing.
  26. We know the power of timing is in the beat.
  27. We know a beat is a rhythm … and a beat is a moment.
  28. We know there’s a beat between every action.
  29. We know that when there’s a beat, the protagonist must choose.
  30. We know stories propel choices.
  31. We know choices propel the story.
  32. We know stories can get tired and frayed, and tangled and toxic.
  33. We know stories … can be interrupted.
  34. We know the story is born in the beat.


Bonus awesomeness

You can download your own Microstory version of the Manifesto to print out and have on hand in case you need a quick burst of inspo on a rainy day. Or give it to a friend.

Download the MicroManifesto PDF to make your own.

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