4 keys to stories that open our hearts


It’s because of this cat! I wanted to check something and I got stuck all evening. What’s a story!

The story is about the tomcat Bob and James who live in London. Why is it so moving? Why millions readers like it?


It’s not a cat, but Bob. And James is a real man – flesh and blood. He really lives in London and he shared his story. And we listen to his true story. True stories are not created, but told and shared. Via pictures. Via events. Via facts. So number 1 key is: authenticity.

In such a story, you don’t need to write: I was upset. Because when James is alone on the street and he is not sure if he meets Bob again, it is obvious that he is very upset. Good stories as such ones which let us identify with them. It is not because something like that happened to us, but because of emotions which are well-known and close to us. What is a result of a good story? We feel empathy and this is the key number 2.

If it is told well, you remember it. James’s story you can close in one sentence – the man who slept on the streets meets a cat and his life’s changed. But it is not all, because there is much inspiration. This story lets you think and it’s a good reason to talk about. Number 3 key is inspiration. Like first lines from the book by James:

We are all given second chances every day of our lives. They are there for the taking, it’s just that we don’t usually take them.


Good stories are long lasting. Sometimes immortal. Why? Because they are universal. What does it mean? They show that average people are unusual, e.g. thanks to friendship. They show how we are similar to each other taking into account life, doubts, emotion, desire… Number 4 key is universal… Truth? Emotion? Story about friendship?

Book A Street Cat Named Bob.

Fot. Neale Haynes.

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