The prologue of Frank Rose's "The Art of Immersion" begins like this: "What is it about stories, anyway? Anthropologists tell us that storytelling is central to human existence. That it involves a symbiotic exchange between teller and listener. An exchange we learn to negotiate in infancy. Just as the brain detects patterns in the visual forms of nature - a face, a figure, a flower- and in sound, so too it detects patterns in information." It seems a very good start to read and think about stories. Some more reading here.