On Friday 18th February 2011 I’m going to be talking about Samuel Pepys and this website at The Story, a one-day conference in London about stories and storytelling. I haven’t spoken much in public about the site, so I’m looking forward to it, despite being in awe of some of the other speakers.

I’ll probably look at things like: What it’s like to tell and experience a story that takes place over such a long period of time; Why Sam’s diary is still interesting today; Fleshing out a narrative with extra information; How readers of the story can make it a more interesting and enjoyable experience for each other; Different formats for a story of this scale (like Twitter). If you have any thoughts on this aspect of the diary, do let me know. I don’t know if the audio or video will be online after the event, but if so I’ll post it up here.

Also, and more imminently, I’m going to be reading out some Christmas-related snippets of Sam’s diary during the first broadcast of Radio Roundabout. The show will be streaming online from 3-5pm GMT on Friday 17th December 2010. I’m not sure it’ll be worth tuning in only to hear these brief excerpts of the diary but hopefully the whole show will be fun.


Glyn  •  Link

Sounds interesting, but I'd quibble about Pepys diary being "a story". That implies some authorial presence imposing a narrative structure - a diarist can impose some sort of order when writing down the events of a single day, but over the course of the years it ends up as being just one dam thing after another, which would be completely unacceptable in a work of fiction.

Interesting characters arrive, develop and then arbitrarily disappear, which wouldn't happen in a story, or am I missing something?

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Obviously, it isn't a story in the sense of an authored, pre-planned work. I guess "narrative" is a more general term.

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