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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Kurt Vonnegut & How to Shape an Unforgettable Story

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,

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut published fourteen novels over a period of fifty years as well as numerous short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. He is best remembered, however, for his three great novels Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle and Breakfast of Champions.

What many people don’t know about Kurt Vonnegut is that he was also granted a master’s degree in anthropology by the University of Chicago after he submitted his novel Cat’s Cradle as a thesis.

Kurt Vonnegut was fascinated by the stories societies told, believing unforgettable stories followed a certain ‘shape’.

Below is an infographic showing his take on the ‘shape of stories’.

Kurt Vonnegut: The Shape of Stories [Infographic]
Created by Visual.ly

Do you agree with Kurt Vonnegut? Or do you think he was a better writer than anthropologist? If you’re writing a story, do you recognise Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘shape’? Let me know in the comments below.

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