Saturday, July 9, 2016

"Researchers reveal the 'building blocks' of storytelling"

DailyMailFrom Harry Potter and Romeo and Juliet to the stories of Oedipus and Icarus, almost every tale told conforms to one of just six plots, researchers have claimed.

A major new analysis of over 1,700 stories identified the core plots 'which form the building blocks of complex narratives'.  Researchers used complex data-mining to locate words linked to positive or negative emotion in each story to reveal the set of arcs.

To conduct the study, researchers used sentiment analysis, which is the idea that words have both positive and emotional impacts, to map the emotional arcs.  Words can be measured of the emotional valence of text and how it changes from moment to moment.

The team then analyzed the emotional polarity of 'word windows' and slid these windows through the text to create a picture of how the emotional valence changes.  This task was performed on fictional works taken from the Project Gutenberg website that had been downloaded more than 150 times each.

9 comments:

Leland said...

Fall-Rise-Fall... Next they will be telling us most stories are told in 3 parts, and there is a setting, a build-up to a climax, climax, and denouement. Or that's there not just one climax, but two climaxes (because who wants just one), a technical and then a dramatic climax.

Also in the Fail-Rise-Fail genre; the US Government: It fails to prosecute a notorious and obvious crime, the criminal rises to power, and the entire thing fails. I hope not to be reading that story next year.

chickelit said...

Freytag pyramid

AprilApple said...

This explains my complete boredom with everything Hollywood excretes.

ricpic said...

Six plots?! That's way too many for me. Any number above three and I phase out.

Probably the greatest short story writer of our time, Annie Proulx, writes to basically one plot: Life's a bitch, deal with it.

Read Annie's Wyoming stories. You'll see.

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

I read that article and got bored with the examples. I thought it was lame. What plot arc is that?

edutcher said...

From Harry Potter and Romeo and Juliet to the stories of Oedipus and Icarus, almost every tale told conforms to one of just six plots
They missed one.

For years, any article on how Hollyweird churned out movie and TV scripts told you there were Seven Basic Plots.

Lem said...

At the Chick link there is a beautiful video April linked us last year.

Worth a second look. I had forgot most of it, so it was almost as if watching it for the first time

Chip Ahoy said...

Quest is the best kind of story.



Lem said...

The Hero's Journey. What does that fall on?