We enjoyed this YouTube mini-series with master storyteller Ira Glass of This American Life and would like to share it with you. It’s a great breakdown on what a story actually is — in it’s most primal form.

Part 1: Ira speaks on avoiding everything you learned writing high school term papers and maintaining good story structure.

Part 2: Ira continues on finding great stories and avoiding “the crap”

Part 3: On the importance of having good taste, and the value of experience.

Part 4: Finally some sound advice on avoiding common story errors. 

As creative of a medium the story can be, it’s actually a very mathematical process. Every story has the same basic principles. How you use these principles is where art meets math.

So, if anecdote+reflection= story, then ±√anecdote÷(reflection+Bill Murray)×∞= Ground Hog Day