Narratives

Are all narratives – by default – wrong? I’d say yes. Even though, a quick and dirty search on that phrase didn’t yield much. Does that mean that narratives are not by default wrong? Are they just incomplete?

I guess it depends. There is fibbing, or even outright lying. But I’m not talking about that. I am talking about an honest attempt at describing an entity, any entity – be it a person, a business, an organization, a country – correctly by way of a narrative.

Entities and their stories are complex. How would you pack that complexity into a short, compelling narrative and still get it right, at least sort of?

Precision might be the foe here, and ambiguity a friend. It comes down to the question: “Which emotion is your narrative eliciting in the one seeing, hearing, reading it?”

So, how are you going to evoke a feeling of trust?

Authenticity matters, we are told. I agree. Yet, isn’t it safer to create a persona – rooted in an authentic, even core trait of the entity? Or is that hiding? At least, partially hiding?

The truth is hard to stomach and usually complex. Again, show part of that truth, if it can even be understood in full, and maybe, only by the one creating the narrative? Go with the truth that creates maximum trust? Leave the shadier parts under the shades of a somewhat glossy cover?

Poems are powerful examples of impreciseness and ambiguity that – when done well – elicit strong emotional responses of being understood, of connection, of warmth, of trust in the message and its creator.

Should we start to wax poetic about ourselves, our businesses, organizations, communities? – Not in rhyme, but maybe, in rhythm? Find, and describe, the frequency at which each entity pulses, relay its rhythm, so others could sync with it?

With jingles, music scores, the way promo videos are cut, the tone in the voice of a narrator, this is being widely done.

Which written narratives of entities that convey their rhythm come to your mind? Will you share these examples with me?