During some blog reading in the last week or so, I was lucky enough to come across this video of Ira Glass speaking on stories. I've heard him once before on this topic, and he has such a sharp view of what makes a good story, and articulates it so well. Though he's, of course, speaking about making stories for radio, what he says about stories is universal for any medium. I transcribed a number of things, including:
"Narrative is like a back door into a very deep place inside of us, and a place where reason doesn't necessarily hold sway."
"When a story gets inside of us, it makes us less crazy."
He also talks about taste, about surprise, about the structure of telling a story. And about how a story is most satisfying when the audience knows what the bigger, universal "something" of the story is.