One of the shortest explanations of our profound need for stories comes from EM Forster,
with these two lines
“The King died , and the queen died”
” The King died , and the queen died of grief”
The first line plays to our deepest fears – that life is just a series of random events. You are born and you die and not much between is certain or fated – except perhaps ( as Woody Allen pointed out ) taxes. No. that won’t do – we need there to be some meaning and for events to be linked with causation and patterns to give us the feeling that we can make sense of randomness. Which is why we do not just like stories, we need them. Stories are necessary lies.
The second line is also- whilst longer-much more memorable because it is the fragment of a story we can both participate in it and use it to conjure up mental pictures- In this case of grief and what grief looks like.
No wonder that proselytisers of religions and marketers of brands (who are is in the business of both imparting meaning and being remembered) use stories.