If your assessment of a story arc ends at ‘boy-meets-girl’or ‘indomitable-hero’, there’s terrific insight from knowing the path which best selling stories take. Then applying to your big storytelling pitch.
I was intrigued to discover several analysts had categorised the amount of ‘plots’ that can exist. Here’s five, preceded by their suggested number;
6 Kurt Vonnegut
7 Christopher Booker
20 Ronald Tobias
36 Georges Polti
Quite the array. Today it’s the chap who homed in on his half-dozen gathering plaudits;
“rags to riches” (rise)
“tragedy” or “riches to rags” (fall)
“man in a hole” (fall–rise)
Take your key story. The most common in Sales being one of Origin, whether such as eureka, serendipity, asteroid-smash, overnight sensation years in the making. I feel it is essential to match it along the oscillating rise-fall continuum.
To use the jargon, what narrative shape does it form? How clear are its core trajectories?
The point is that you understand your ‘play’s’ Acts which veer from fall to rise and maybe back again and again. The more distinct and recognisable they are, the better the likely impact with your intended prospect audience.