Back to the core model of storytelling, starting to examine its components. Remember this entire search was initiated in order to find possible common ground between various practices whose members state they are connected to storytelling one way or another. As usual, you are welcome to make any comment.
Utterance is a spoken expression, something said. It isn’t the final station of a text though. Since storytelling is a dynamic exchange we want to consider how the spoken is affected by the understood which in turn effects the utterance again and again, like molding bread-dough. For storytellers it is one third of the entire exchange. Looking at the accumulating amount of story practitioners though, it seems many of them are busy mainly with the components of this part of storytelling. My guess is that it is because text is the more tangible part and it can be packaged in many ways. In many cases it is also scalable business wise and can sit under the rule of copyright claimed by its author. In a world busy possessing, it might seem like a good business choice.
Definitions for this discussion (and you can shake them or suggest others if you wish)
Narrative is the playground of what will eventually materialize into a story event including the medium. Endless pieces of information, connections, sensations etc. (Narrative and story are words that carry many meanings for different people. Here is a position posted by Shawn Callahan just yesterday on Anecdote’s blog where he refers to a post by John Hagel and you will find many many more).
Plot is a choice taken in the narrative. A linear path of actions meeting details put in a certain way. This is mainly a mental process and it can elicit different paths.
Story is the emotional arch that rises in the listener – listening to the plot, using parts of the narrative, some of them not mentioned at all in the plot. This is mainly an emotional process and it is unique to every single listener.
The plot’s influence on the narrative is – structure.
The way the story is expressed in the plot is – theme.
The purification of story in the narrative is – metaphor.
All the above is interconnected and works in mutual influence.
Possible relations to practices
I don’t think I can cover every suggestion since various people see and call what they are doing in so many ways. Remeber this is only about the utterance – we still have the messanger and the witness to look at and many practitioners incorporate traits from there too.
Just for starters: people who work a lot with metaphors can be poets and brand strategists; people who work with theme can be strategic consultants and if they know structures they might be good with tactics too or creating brand stories; those who feel comfortable working with theme and metaphor can help organizations elicit and extract their true vision; screenplay writers and journalists are great with narrative (research), plot (line of actions), theme (because they have a ‘nose’ for what moves people), structure (they need to put their compositions into formats) while authors are also very good with metaphor on top of all mentioned here; researchers can be narrative experts as are marketing practitioners collecting user stories and other massive amounts of anecdotes for decision makers to look at; they can also be in the sense making arena, just like knowledge managers; psychologists looking at narrative will easily extract theme and possible stories with their reflections.
This is only a short list of possibilities locating story practitioners’ practices on the complex storytelling ‘grid’. I’ll be happy to read your suggestions.