I spent most of 2022 working on materials for the PNI Practicum, my set of online courses. After I finished the materials, I wanted everyone to have access to them. So I decided to start work on the fourth edition of Working with Stories, using the new materials to expand the book into a four-volume set. Getting all four books ready for publication will probably take at least until the end of 2023, so I decided to make them available now in draft form.
This book will be a revision of the current (third) edition of Working with Stories.
My plans: I want to update this book to include new exercises and insights (and software) that I have developed or discovered since 2014. Also, I want to trim the book down by moving some of its less-often-read sections (mainly near the end) to the "in Depth" book.
This is a slimmed-down picture-book version of Working with Stories. It contains the same concepts and exercises, but in much less detail, and with many diagrams and photos.
My plans: To force myself to write succinctly, I wrote this entire book in PowerPoint. However, I want to publish it with the same aspect ratio as the other books. So I plan to convert it to the LaTeX format. Until I do that, you will have to read the PowerPoint version.
So far, this book manuscript contains 36 story forms (sets of questions) that suit a variety of project goals (e.g., to explore unmet needs, to gather feedback, to pass on knowledge).
My plans: I would like to increase the number of story forms in this book to at least 50. Also, I plan to move my case studies here (from More Work with Stories), shorten them to a few paragraphs each, and increase their number to at least 50 as well.
At the moment this is (exactly) the More Work with Stories book I nearly finished writing back in 2014.
My plans: I will be removing some probably-less-useful parts of this book, moving its case studies to the new sourcebook, bringing in some sections from WWS, adding some newer blog posts, and generally cleaning house.
If you read any of these books-in-progress, please send feedback. I will make good use of it as I prepare all four books for publication over the next several months.
These are the new exercises I will be incorporating into the fourth edition of Working with Stories. You can also find them described (briefly) in the new WWS Simplified book.
- Ground truthing exercise - In this exercise, people juxtapose parts of a document with stories of their experiences. The comparison helps them evaluate and improve the document.
- Bubble up stories exercise - A variation on the Twice-Told Stories exercise in which stories are passed around a room to collect some meaningful, resonant stories (ones that "bubble up"); to connect people together in a shared experience; to introduce people to the value of story sharing and sensemaking; and to help people think about a topic together.
- Sticker stories exercise (PDF, DOCX) - A lightning-fast version of a sensemaking landscape exercise, done with printed sticky-note stories, to get people working with collected stories in a short time frame.
- Local folk tales exercise - An imaginative exercise for families, workgroups, communities, and organizations in which people explore their common identity, context, and purpose by sharing real and fictional stories about things that can and can't and should and shouldn't happen.
- Story-ended Questions Workshop (PDF, DOCX) - An hour-long workshop in which people (a) learn about conversational story sharing and (b) practice eliciting stories and supporting story sharing.