CHAPTER 11Origin/Background Stories

The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn’t very interesting.

—Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

On a core level, stories work because they are non-hierarchical. In other words, they provide an inoffensive way to push forward your agenda. I see many types of business narratives being used on a daily basis. The following types of stories are the most prevalent. Can you think of examples that fit each of these?

Note that I usually urge my clients to really polish one good personal signature story that they can use in a multitude of situations. This is your go-to story, the one that embodies one or more of the following typologies. ...

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