Story services

We’ll do almost anything writing-related — well, almost anything — but our speciality is story.

Story is the operating system of human culture. Narrative transcends languages, and even literacy itself. You don’t have to read to understand a story — which is why narrative is the most powerful communications tool of them all.

We start with worldbuilding — or what a futurist might call “scenario development”. We can imagine future worlds and situations based on parameters of your choice, or based on the results of research you’ve asked us to undertake. One-shot worlds, a quadrant suite of situations, an archipelago of imaginary cities… whatever you need, we can imagine it for you wholesale.

The next level is plotting — you might call this “strategic foresight”, but we feel that smacks a little too much of prophecy, and we’re definitely not in the prediction game. Whether you’re working to imagine the future of an organisation, a service or a product, we can build an arc for it to travel. (Heck, we’ll even provide a standard Hero’s Journey if you want one, though we’d advise against it. Your business is unique — you shouldn’t settle for cliched stories.)

Finally, characterisation — because you can’t have a narrative without a narrator, and character is what breathes life into a plot. If you’re working with a suite of scenarios, we can turn them into short stories which will have a powerful empathetic effect on your audience… not to mention your investors and board! By way of example, the narrative vignettes in Shelter’s “The Future of Housing and Home: Scenarios for 2030” report are the sort of thing we really enjoy doing. They’re an affordable way to make complex research accessible — and maybe even meme-worthy.

We can also do what we call “narrative prototyping”, which is a form of storying aimed at not just illustrating the possibilities of a product or service under particular future conditions, but stress-testing it, too. We sometimes call this “black-sky thinking”, because we know that sometimes it’s hard to imagine the worst fates befalling your best ideas. So why not leave it to us? We can find a potential Black Mirror episode in any idea you provide us… just think of it as a form of penetration-testing where no one gets hurt and nothing gets broken.

(If all this sounds a bit high-concept, perhaps you’re in need of some research or report-writing? Or maybe just some writing support services? We can do that, too.)