Higher Than Where It Began

"The people who can afford to buy books and magazines and go to the movies don’t like to hear about people who are poor or sick, so start your story up here [indicates top of the G-I axis]. You will see this story over and over again. People love it, and it is not copyrighted. The story is ‘Man in Hole,’ but the story needn’t be about a man or a hole. It’s: somebody gets into trouble, gets out of it again [draws line A].

It is not accidental that the line ends up higher than where it began. This is encouraging to readers."

~ Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut on the shapes of stories from Maria Popova on Vimeo.

See also:

  • "Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories and Good News vs. Bad News," Brain Pickings, November 26, 2012
  • Vonnegut, K., & Simon, D. (2005). A man without a country. New York: Seven Stories Press. [library]
  • Duate, N. (2011, November). The secret structure of great talks. TED Talks. http://bit.ly/yrDGfo