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What's your story?

I came across the following in a blog ( and it made me think:

Are there any new stories, or have they all been told? The British literary critic Christopher Booker, has argued that there have only ever been seven basic plots, as follows:

1. 'Tragedy'. Hero with a fatal flaw meets tragic end. Macbeth or
Madame Bovary.
2. 'Comedy'. Not necessary laugh-out-loud, but always with a happy ending, typically of romantic fulfillment, as in Jane Austen.
3. 'Overcoming the Monster'. As in Frankenstein or 'Jaws'. Its psychological appeal is obvious and eternal.
4. 'Voyage and Return'. Booker argues that stories as diverse as Alice
in Wonderland and H G Wells' The Time Machine and Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner follow the same archetypal structure of personal development through leaving, then returning home.
5. 'Quest'. Whether the quest is for a holy grail, a whale, or a kidnapped child it is the plot that links a lot of the most popular fiction. The quest plot links Lords of the Rings with Moby Dick and a thousand others in between.
6. 'Rags to Riches'. The riches in question can be literal or metaphoric. See Cinderella, David Copperfield, Pygmalion.
7. 'Rebirth'. The 'rebirth' plot - where a central character suddenly finds a new reason for living - can be seen in A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, Crime and Punishment and Peer Gynt.

I found this very interesting. I would have added another one as number 8 which would be Redemption because most stories (well almost every “action” movie) has the idea of a hero saving the world from destruction.

When I found this and read it, I started thinking what’s my story? What story am I living? What story am I telling? You see everyone has a story and because we’re all human you find out as you meet people and find out about their background that we share similar stories and experiences. This is why certain things resonate with a lot of people in such a deep way.

I’ve been doing a creative writing workshop with some 10 year olds and trying to find out why they were not into reading. From talking to them and really listening I found out that some of them are actually into books even though they are hooked to video games. I asked them what is it about reading that they liked, one of them said “it’s because I feel like I am inside the book myself, it’s like I can see myself living inside the book” I was like “YES!” If you don’t see yourself as part of something it just won’t be of interest to you. A story with characters you can identify with gives you a way to relate.

Last year was one of the toughest years ever for me and I came across an artist called Donae’o and the following songs of his struck such a chord with me that they became anthems for me:

Donae'o - "Because I'm Strong"

Donae'o - "Love Music"

I mean these songs moved me so much that at the time I found myself writing a song called “Overcomer” which was inspired by the same sound and theme’s in those songs. I guess the story of overcoming in those songs really got to me because I saw myself in them. I mean at the time I was really struggling to stay focused and encouraged and even now I am fighting! I had been laid off work and one of those songs even talked about that! Here is the "Overcomer" song that I recorded last year. The final proper version sounds nothing like this but this version is special to me because it reflects how I feel about fighting and winning:

So what’s your story? What story are you living? What story are you telling?

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Anonymous said...

'So what’s your story? What story are you living? What story are you telling?'

Very Good question. Alot to think about and reflect on. Better get my mirror.

I L.O.V.E the theme in the three songs. I must say it was not easy listening to them, i mean real life you guys are talking about here, but still love them. Well, looking forward to the final overcomer version. Bring it on


Anonymous said...

Hi all,
Good Post,

If I had to choose, my story would probably be a cross between a quest and I am on a quest to find who and what I was meant to be all while starting fresh after tragedy.


Anonymous said...

I'll go for Voyage and return and then voyage. In that order.


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