Using a chalkboard and a simple graphical axis, watch as Kurt Vonnegut explains the different shapes that stories can take.
Update: This is part of a longer talk that Vonnegut gave…a transcript is here.
I want to share with you something I’ve learned. I’ll draw it on the blackboard behind me so you can follow more easily [draws a vertical line on the blackboard]. This is the G-I axis: good fortune-ill fortune. Death and terrible poverty, sickness down here-great prosperity, wonderful health up there. Your average state of affairs here in the middle [points to bottom, top, and middle of line respectively].