The mind responds to the construct of story. Certain authors, especially in Europe, and now in much of contemporary America, reject the beginning, middle, and end approach to story. They rightfully perceive that many stories do not have immediate resolve. They advocate a “slice of life” approach to writing. But I think we err when we conceive of story as an external sequence.
Story is a drug – It bypasses our critical sensors and alters our consciousness. If one is to write an effective story, one must match their representation of reality to the realities of the person experiencing that representation. This requires one to consider the impact of the combined ingredients on the mental/physical components of the recipient.
The artful author is not just writing a story; he is mixing a drug.