What is Story?

This blog is about story and history — my story, the stories in my historical and contemporary writing, and the stories of the world as it was and is.

The French word “histoire” can be used to mean both fictional story and factual history.  What does it say about the writer and the reader when the same word means both fiction and fact?

I think it means that any writing must be truthful, whether it is called fiction or non-fiction. We look for truth in fiction as much as in history.  When a child says “tell me a story,” does she care whether the story is true or not?  It is true in the moment of the telling.  For both the writer and the reader, that is the moment that counts.

What do you think?  Are stories fact or fiction? Or both?

Posted in History, Writing and tagged , , , , .


  1. Story seems like “kleenex” and “coke”. Specific AND general, but real, with a purpose. I always listen for an entry point, a network of players, and a purposeful exit. You do a good job of that, Theresa.

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