Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story (StoryCon)

Venue: Hilton Palm Springs Resort

Location: Palm Springs,, California, United States

Event Date/Time: Feb 04, 2005 End Date/Time: Feb 05, 2005
Early Registration Date: Jan 31, 2005
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Why hold a Conference on the Science of Story?

The pieces are coming together.

A growing school of independent workshop presenters have taught tens of thousands of budding screenwriters, novelists, film and TV producers, directors and other writers their new models of story structure and story creation.

At least eight software programs have been designed to help writers build stories, with artificial intelligence prompting the writer to tap his or her unconscious resources for creative elements. Some story creation algorithms have already been patented.

At the same time, consultants have begun helping organizations by using stories to build community culture, team and customer relations, sales, visions, etc. But those applications are just starting to appear. A form of family therapy has been developed called Narrative therapy. It uses stories to heal. This is just the beginning.

At a recent Robert McKee workshop, attendees included three people from 60 Minutes, several more from MAD TV, over a dozen from America’s Most Wanted, and many others, among the close to 250 registrants (paying $300-$495 each) who were screenwriters, journalists, comedians, advertising copy writers, etc.

The entertainment world is already investing and committing heavily to the concepts described in the new story arts/sciences. We’re talking literally hundreds of billions of dollars of capital that are clearly being put into projects solidly moored in these new story "technologies" and algorithms.

None of the new breed of story model builders encountered-- the Einsteins and Curies of the Story Theory nuclear explosion -- have presented their ideas to psychologists or other scientists. Almost uniformly, these model builders-- Robert McKee, (author of Story Structure book and a very hot workshops series,) James Bonnet (Author of Stealing Fire From the Gods, a blend of Jung, Campbell and Bonnets own unique Golden Circle Model,) Melanie Phillips (co-author of Dramatica software) have told me they have not presented their material to a group of psychologists or other scientists. They teach their art to writers.

It is time for a cross fertilization of ideas, time for the coming together of the leaders in the fields of fiction, screenwriting, journalism, narrative therapies, narratologists, programmers developing story creation algorithms, mythologists, folklorists, positive psychologists, game developers, neuroscientists who study how the brain mediates narrative and the creation of stories and myths, practitioners of the healing arts who use journaling and narrative and stories-- and the rewriting of stories to help heal.

StoryCon will help the science of story take quantum steps towards becoming better understood, towards becoming a field which is alive and breathing, lighting parts of our understanding of what it is to be human which have been in the dark, and lighting them with new technologies. It will also explore the risks inherent in applying reductionism to one of the, if not the oldest human art forms.

StoryCon / Story Science Vision click here

The Goals of a meeting on the Science of Story

is to get all of these diverse people talking to each other to build a salon -like community (inspired by the Paris model of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas) of sharing of ideas which will stimulate new ideas, new understandings, connections, creations and applications of the art and science of story in all aspects of life, art and healing.

Writers should leave with a better understanding, not just of different theoretical models of story construction, structure, the Hero’s Journey, but also of the anthropological, mythical, archetypal and psychological considerations which contribute to stories and how people react to them.

Psychologists and other healers will discover that some of the exciting new developments in writing relating to story structure, the Hero’s Journey, the story cycle, etc., have profound relevance to the practitioner of psychotherapy. It is said that all life is story-- the story we tell ourselves. Understanding new ways to dissect people’s story’s and to help them reconstruct them can help enhance the practice of psychotherapy. We believe that the new ideas developed by writers need to be heard by psychologists, and that writers will also benefit from hearing about how psychology is working with story in healing and helping people grow.

And then there’s the role of story in journalism-- print, TV, etc., and how there are those who believe that the stories we tell ourselves affect the potential we have to change the world, to make it a better place.

Lots of sub-plots will be going on at this meeting. Story Theoreticians who are novelists and screenwriters will present their models to psychologists. Therapists will present their cases to fiction experts, seeking diverging plot ideas. Theme park executives will explore ways they can use story concepts to build new "experiences."

Stories touch the heart and the spirit, and play essential roles in awakening. So we will also explore the role and the responsibility of the story creator.and of stories and how they can change the planet, and humanity.

Advertisers will learn about how to take different narrative approaches to engage consumers.

Overall, the art and science of story will take massive first steps towards becoming better understood, towards becoming a field which is alive and breathing, lighting parts of our understanding of what it is to be human which have been in the dark, and lighting them with new technologies.