A story is like a map.
A map is not the territory and a story is not exactly what happened.
A map erases certain features to bring others into relief.
A story is condensed.
Because it’s condensed, it has a POV, a POV about what to include and what to elide.
A story creates meaning like a map, by picking the events, their order, and their connections, just like a cartographer chooses the scale, center, and what to include on a map.
A story starts somewhere and ends somewhere, and these are not arbitrary points.
A story can be true and a lie or it can be fiction and deeply true.
A good map helps us understand the territory at the level of detail that’s important to us.
A good story helps us understand humans, cultures, relationships, or societies at the level of detail that’s important to us.