The stories that are least true are the ones we most prefer

​The typical story: Beginning hook. Middle build. Ending payoff.

That’s how, as a reader, a listener, a viewer, as a consumer, we prefer our stories to be. We like the structure. How one thing leads to another. Perhaps because that kind of flow is logical, it makes sense, and the world around us doesn’t.

But as a creative, someone responsible for building something out of the fragments of experience, knowledge, thought and feeling, you don’t have to follow the same path.

When we consume, we do it in an orderly, logical fashion. In a linear way. Beginning hook leads to middle build leads to ending payoff.

But when we create, we can start with the ending. We can then jump to the opening scene, to the character’s backstory, to the final word or image, to the middle build. We aren’t bound by the same constraints in order of creation as we are in consumption.

There’s no proper way to go about creation. You can start anywhere and proceed in any order because you can arrange the pieces of the puzzle later.

Creation is non-linear.

But when you release your labour to the world, it must follow a discernible route, because we like order and predictability and things that makes sense. 

In an uncertain world, we prefer stories that go from A to B to C.