From Stream to Story

A colleague of mine shared that a 1950s paper written in a top tier journal was written in a stream of consciousness and there was no story. 

My, how things have changed!

On one hand, I can see a certain beauty or truth in the data being presented as a stream of consciousness. It is much more open to interpretation by the reader and they are not necessarily influenced by how the writer is interpreting their data or filtering their data.

On the other hand, it also makes sense that in papers and grants you want to create something that is compelling and interesting to read. Stream of consciousness can be confusing and our brains crave structure. You want to support the reader to put it all together for themselves and really connect with your work as you play an active role as their guide. 

I am not sure when story was incorporated into scientific papers but I can tell you, as humans, we remember and connect with story. It seems that papers have evolved to reflect this human tendency to incorporate and respond to story.

What is the last paper that you remember easily? My guess is that you had a sense of what the story was and it was connect to your work in some way.

If you can create a story with your results to share your message you are supporting the reader to connect with and remember your work and to advocate for publishing or funding it.

If you or someone you know starts with stream of consciousness and is looking to create a compelling story with their writing, pls connect them with me by email at for a complimentary Discovery Call where we will learn more about what’s happening for them and whether the work that I do is a good fit for them.

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