A Story is an Argument
There is a significant difference between stories and tales. A tale is merely a statement; a linear progression from one event to the next culminating in one singular outcome. It can be thrown out immediately and disregarded as a one-time occurrence primarily because it has relatively little to stand on. A story, however, offers much more to an audience member.
Apparently his ideas come from a source called Dramatica, which I have yet to investigate. But go to the blog.... see for yourself... he says it much better than I can. Looks like an exciting find for sure!
I've added the link under Blogs (Other) in my sidebar, and also a link to my friend Jeremy Spake's blog Do Something Constructive. Jeremy just came off a stint working on Coraline and now he has plenty of time for blogging, so check it out.
Ok, I looked into it a bit, and I see Dramatica is a sort of cut-and-paste system of creating a story.... decide which type of Character each one is from the official Dramatica list, plug them in alongside your allowed Dramatica themes and plot devices, trace a few lines from box to box, and get your Resolution. Well, not quite that simple, but it definitely sounds like a plug-in system. Could definitely be useful in helping find new ways to break down character and story, but I'd caution against wholeheartedly plunging in (plugging in?) to Dramatica. Though I do like the talk about the difference between a Tale and a Story.... as I have a great interest in Tales like those of Edgar Allen Poe and H P Lovecraft. A Tale is also a thing that can be told in short format, which would be a very challenging showcase for a really sophisticated Story.
I'll be reading this blog quite a bit though. Some really good stuff to be found there, even is Dramatica sounds suspiciously like the storytelling version of Scientology.....