A map is primarily a message from eyes to mind, an atmosphere is something you enter: it requires all your senses. It doesn’t reveal to you the quickest route to your destination, rather a complete encounter. Smell, vision, hearing, taste even – these are things that may be activated when a storyteller has plunged into the atmosphere a particular story offers. The pungency of a forest, the spray of the sea, the dankness of a cave. A story wishes you to tarry; how can you really get to know it if you are striding from bullet point to bullet point, night after night? You have to show fidelity to what you can see at that moment and report back. Sometimes a scene will stretch or contort, even one you’ve told a hundred times before, and you should pay attention to that, follow its lead. If you are treating the story only as a map that may frustrate you. I suppose it’s like the old adage about the journey being as important as the destination. It’s not that myths don’t provide patterns and direction – they can – but the primary surrender is to the sensory tapestry the story provides in the first place. An experienced storyteller knows that to understand a tale, first they have to get lost in it. A map can feel transactional, and hurt the feelings of the story if it feels it’s being treated so. You have to live where it lives.