Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Freytag's Pyramid

Ever since 4th grade I loved the idea of telling a story, and the fact that there are actual ways to construct a story to make it compelling to listen to or read. Freytag's Pyramid was one of the story telling tools that they taught us way back in the day. Besides my odd love for the word denoument (perhaps it's just the way it sounds), I found that many stories (especially terrible Hollywood hits) follow this formula.

I'm diving back into the world of storytelling to understand how this art form is mastered. We're not all Dave Eggers, but we can certainly try and learn to be. I'm off to 826 Valencia in the next couple weeks to interview some of the teachers to see how they tell stories. I'll report back the findings at some point, but I thought everyone should take a second to reexamine how they tell stories. What makes a good story? Does it make you laugh, cry, think, etc? How does the information being revealed in the story affect your feelings? Why do you develop attachments to the characters? When is the perfect time to create a climax in a story?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Fred. When you introduced Freytag's pyramid, you used the term "back in the day." I'm fairly old, so I can go back a few days, but I was never instructed this way, or with a tool that had a name. Is there a particular time reference for the pyramid?

I'm aware of older people who learned casting out nines in mathematics, and that seems to have faded from currency by the time I came along.