The historian Yuval Noah Harari hypothesizes that gossip was one of the most formative aspects of developing language in Homo Sapiens. Sure, it was useful to know where that lion was that just attacked you by the river, but far more useful was understanding the hierarchy in the community and who was in love or in conflict with each other.

Under this theory, it’s no wonder kids have such innate storytelling ability! They gossip all day long! Sure, most of it is silly, but the same storytelling principals exist there as they do on the page. If you want to capture a friend’s interest with drama, it’d better be good, or else they’ll listen to the other friend who has a much juicier take.

An author has the same dilemma, except they use fancier words sometimes.

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