Storytelling Paradox: A quote by Steven James

“In one of the paradoxes of storytelling, the reader wants to predict how the story will end, but he wants to be wrong.  So, the story will be most satisfying when it ends in a way that is both inevitable and unexpected.” – Steven James from his article Story Trumps Structure in the February 2011 issue of Writer’s Digest

Guilty.  As much as I try to just read stories and not ponder “who dunnit” or how they’re going to end, I can’t help it.  It’s fairly easy for me to shut down my noggin and watch a story unfold during a movie, but, when I’m reading, I’m constantly thinking about each word or dialogue, each detail of the setting, what’s happening ‘off-screen’, and so forth.  As long as the twists and turns and ending are plausible, I love it when I’m wrong.


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