Narrative isn’t everything. Many experiences in fiction and real life have no narrative at all. While movies are often thought to be one of the most story-oriented media, here is a film clip that has no story, yet has tremendous meaning. It was shot in San Francisco in 1906, just six days before the Great Earthquake. Though there is no narrative, we cannot help but wonder what stories unfolded for the people we see just one week later.
As a good writer’s exercise, pick a person or two that you see in the clip and write a short article that might have been published in the newspaper a week after the quake about their experiences.