This morning I picked up on a tweet by Zahmoo (Anecdote‘s new story bank software) that pointed towards a post about the Periodic Table of Storytelling. I’ve spent a few mintues wading through it and I’m pretty impressed.
TVtropes.org have done an exquisite job of plotting out the basic elements of stories, in both literary and film form. Besides the natural link to the work we do, I’m interested in this table because we have developed a workshop process based on Christopher Booker’s work, The 7 Basic Plots. We help teams and organisations understand their current state and strategy through the lens of the basic story plots, deconstructing what they can learn about their identity and future. It’s a pretty powerful process, one thatcreates an awareness that our stories are not always as fictional as we would like to think, but that they are rooted in the real dynamics of lived experience. The Peridoc Table of Storytelling nows provides us with another useful tool to use in such a process.
It’s pretty fun to deconstruct your favourite stories using the Periodic Table of Storytelling. Spend a minute or two retracing the elements outline in examples such as Dilbert and Star Wars at the bottom.