This week, a group of storytelling pioneers is gathering in New York City for a future-of-storytelling summit. Their focus will be on new media, and the way it enables some surprising opportunities for interactivity. But a story is more than the mode of its telling, so the future is likely to be even more remarkable than these experts predict.

Beneath the medium of a story are the gears that drive it. A new form of analysis is emerging that promises to reveal more of that engine, so we can better understand why some tales grip us. If it succeeds, it would fuel new creative forms, more powerful stories, and make us less vulnerable to manipulation by governments and companies.

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