I’ve been wondering about this and debating ever since this was brought up by my 6th grade teacher, who asked us if the following would qualify as a story:
“When he woke up, the dinosaur was gone.”
There are a ton of ways to interpret this. For example, you could take it at face value, like a boy having a bad dream about a dinosaur, and then waking up to find it gone. You could make “he” = mankind, and “woke up” to mean evolved into what it was, and baam, you have a history lesson. You could take a more metaphorical route, and see “he” as an everyman that must conquer some sort of illusions or dreams he has by “waking up”, and only when he does so does that specter of a dinosaur (whatever it may represent) disappear. And so on…
But I guess what I am really wondering is: would any of these interpretations make this sentence a story? And more basically, what is essential for something to be a story?
To me, the last interpretation I mentioned makes me feel satisfied with the sentence as a finished piece. It seems complete. I’m not sure what the means.
I think I’ll stop rambling and put it to you all.