There Are Only Six Basic Book Plots


Following on from Christopher Booker’s popular 2004 book The Seven Basic Plot Structures, researchers have now produced further evidence of regularity in fictional narrative. Professor Matthew Jockers of the University of Nebraska has found six or seven narrative forms based on the outcomes of automated computer-based analysis of word usage. By tracking the emotional valence of the words which appear in the various passages of the story it emerged that the sentiment evolves across all stories in one of only 6 or 7 basic sequences. Such findings have profound implications for design, marketing and branding professionals who use scenarios and narratives as part of their day-to-day activity.