Good Narrative Principles

Big Nell


Nell with her sharp mind and uncanny ability to juggle minutia, should have owned a hardware store in a small town that moved at a leisurely pace. Inside the store with its creaky wooden floors and nails and screws housed in bins, Nell would track the inventory without benefit of computer or bar codes. Instead, Nell spends long hours trying to master the intricacy and idiocy of PowerPoint so that she can distill the specifics of her department – its minor accomplishments and insurmountable challenges – to easily digestible points. The telling details, which limit her ability to “move the dial”, are glossed over in favor of the headlines. All this inexact communication puts Nell in a sour state of mind. In her darkest moments, she can’t help but wonder if she was condemned at birth by being named after an insipid character in Dickens whose biggest claim to fame was dying.

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