The Six Main Stories, as Identified by a Computer

Here’s an interesting article about the six different  structures of stories, each one plotable to an identifiable shape on a graph.

They collected computer-generated story arcs for nearly 2,000 works of fiction, classifying each into one of six core types of narratives (based on what happens to the protagonist).

Our ability to communicate relies in part upon a shared emotional experience, with stories often following distinct emotional trajectories and forming patterns that are meaningful to us. Here, by classifying the emotional arcs for a filtered subset of 1,327 stories from Project Gutenberg’s fiction collection, we find a set of six core emotional arcs which form the essential building blocks of complex emotional trajectories.

  1. Rags to Riches (rise)
  2. Riches to Rags (fall)
  3. Man in a Hole (fall then rise)
  4. Icarus (rise then fall)
  5. Cinderella (rise then fall then
  6. Oedipus (fall then rise then fall)

Read the rest: The Six Main Stories, As Identified by a Computer

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