There Are Only 2 Types of Stories—and Why That Matters – by Eli Landes…

 on Jane Friedman site:

You may have heard the argument before: There are only a finite number of possible story types.

No matter how much we might wish otherwise, creativity is as limited as we are. We can never invent something truly unique. The most we can hope for is to sprinkle a dash of novelty into the same worn-out trope and, with an illusionist’s flourish, let out a cry of ta da! and hope no one in the crowd sees through the trick.

And so, the argument goes, though there are millions or billions or even trillions of stories in existence, there are really only a very limited amount of stories possible.

How many?

I’d like to argue that there are just two.

Continue reading HERE

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5 comments

  1. Nononono! … this is another one of those fallacies like ‘if a tree falls in the woods and no-one hears it did it really happen?’ – which is based on the nonsensical notion that if a HUMAN doesn’t hear it then it didn’t happen.

    And funnily enough, depending on who’s doing the counting, there are four types of stories, or there are six, or there are fifteen, but only seven count (OK I made that last one up, but you get my drift)

    This time it’s the ‘abnormal situation/people’ one. I’ve read stories about ‘normal’ people doing’normal’ things and they are riveting. I’ve also read ones that are execrable. You know what the difference is? How they were written.

    So, if there is a finite number of stories, then perhaps they can be categorised into ‘stories that are well told/written, and stories that are not’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found this blog extremely useful. It has certainly made me sit up and think. By using a central character in ones books, it offers the chance of getting more interest in them. I feel sure that I can use a character from a previous book in the action book Iam presently in the process of sorting out. Many thanks for giving me a great way forward with my writin.

    Liked by 1 person

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