Every story you love can be retold with one of eight sentences

By Abraham Piper


You will know Kurt Vonnegut as a renowned author, but in addition to his books, he left behind a theory of stories that he’s less famous for, but that is still very interesting.

He broke down stories that are told worldwide in all cultures into just a eight simple shapes. For example, shape #1, “The Man in Hole”…

Somebody gets into trouble, gets out of it again…. People love that story!

Every story that speaks to us on a deeply human level fits into one of his categories.

A couple years ago, graphic designer Maya Eilam took Vonnegut’s story shapes and synthesized them into a simple infographic…

Vonnegut's Story Shapes Infographic

(via Boing Boing)

You can hear him explain the basic principle and discuss three classic story shapes here, if you want to.

Think of your favorite book or movie… What shape is it?