Toward Opening the Structures of Stories

We often confuse convention with Truth. No more is this logical fallacy more apparent than in storytelling. The Patriarchal has a monopoly on how we tell stories, and we train storytellers to memorize the script structure as we assure then that this is the One Right and Proper Way to do it. As a journalist, I knew this truism was complete rubbish. I got stories is disjointed bits and pieces, yet I understood the story with no difficulty.

I also was riveted and interested as well.

Was I different from the rest of humanity? Are journalists the Chosen Ones who are the only special people who can comprehend stories in chaos?

Of course not. Our lives are disjointed and overlapping and yet we can make sense of it all.

So why is fiction stuck in a stifling vortex?

There is so much emphasis on the content of stories that we ignore the structure. It is akin to living a townhouse complex where all the houses are the same, but how we decorate them expresses our individuality. We become a little too proud of our navigating through confined as we forget that we can have other structures of a building.

And changing the structure ultimately alters the content: two stories can have the same content, but the divergent structures will have vastly different meanings.


Because the structure is the quiet context that guides the overt one. The Patriarchal is about the One, meaning there is a pecking order and one is better than other ones. The Matriarchal is about the Infinite, meaning there is more than one way to solve problems and ours is a journey to understand them.

I talk about Matriarchal stories, but of course there are others we have yet to discover. We can have hybrids and experiment with structures. Poetry has no trouble with testing structures, yet storytelling is lagging far behind.

It will take some doing, however. How to get publishers and reviewers to open up is still a serious question to ponder. I struck out on my own, and if I hadn't, I would not be able to experiment and test the boundaries of Matriarchal Storytelling. It is the way to rejuvenate an industry that is not keeping up with a changing world, but is critical in guiding the changing world with maps of a better way.