In a time of gnat-like attention spans, few publications still practice long-form journalism.
Fortune is one exception, and Patricia Sellers is one exceptional storyteller.
If you recognize the name, it’s likely because Sellers took Fortune’s annual feature, “The Most Powerful Women in Business,” and transformed it into franchise with its own brand cachet.
The Stanford Business School recently interviewed Sellers starting with the question: Why is storytelling important for entrepreneurs?
Not exactly an alert-the-media moment as she highlights social media as the means for startups to tell their stories without depending on journalists.
But what she considers “the best stories” is worth highlighting. While she doesn’t call it a story arc, that’s what she lays out. Using her words, we’ve drawn it out below:
She closes with this punch line:
“If failure isn’t part of the story, I’m not that interested.”
Think about this for a moment.
If the story doesn’t show struggle, things going wrong and ultimately failure taking hold, she won’t pursue the story.
Because these elements generate the drama.
You can watch the interview with Sellers below