I recently came across this video on Upworthy, where Vonnegut explains the shape of three different types of stories. According to him, any story, from “person gets into trouble” to “boy meets girl” to “Cinderella,” can be summed up on two axes: the Y represents good and bad fortune while the X represents the beginning and… electricity.

Vonnegut once observed that “The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads,” so it’s interesting to see what exactly this refers to.

Enjoy the video!


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