August 6, 2018

Incorrect plot assumptions

We were talking last week about the plot archetype structure: the idea that various stories sit like ancient riverbeds in our stream of consciousness.

The overall plot structure looks like this:

Plot archetype

If you re-read last week’s post it’s easy to make some incorrect assumptions.

The first is that there is a ‘perfect’ story; or at least right and wrong stories. In plot terms stories can end up fragmented, incomplete or broken. But that doesn’t make them ‘wrong’.

The second is that you need to master storytelling before using any stories. This is absolutely not true. A broken story is nearly always better than no story.

The third is that the plot archetype structure should always be used. In reality, many stories you tell will be illustrative or mundane. You might have one or two key archetypal stories that sit at the heart of your communications.

The point of an archetypal story is it forces you to be selective about what really matters. If you’re just communicating information you can include as much as you like (not that it’ll do any good). A good story focuses attention on one particular idea or moral, and encases it in a pattern every one of your readers will recognise.

We’ll continue with this tomorrow. I’ll have an announcement, and an invitation of sorts.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.