The Shapes of Stories

Leet De-Deet Articles, News The Shapes of Stories

Writer Kurt Vonnegut, author of such satirical works on American politics and culture as “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Sirens of Titan,” obsessed over the shapes of stories. He once summed up his views in one powerful sentence:

“The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads.”

The following video gives an intriguing look into the mind of Vonnegut, a highly original writer, and shares insights into the basics of storytelling. In it he explains how and why the shapes of three different types of stories can all be summed up on two axes — the Y represents good and bad fortune, and the X represents the beginning and end of a story.



Founder of coInnovate Digital & Design Group, a creative marketing agency, Melanie is also the lead developer of Leet De-Deet.

When not performing her duties for this website and at coInnovate, she spends her free time creating books for kids and her fellow technologists.


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