The Shape of Stories

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Kurt Vonnegut is known for his Shapes of Stories talk. In this video, he talks about how stories all have the same “shape” or storyline to them. I found this video pretty hilarious because I knew exactly what he was talking about. Most stories have predictable endings. Now, I know that predictable endings are a sign of me knowing the “shape”. Ya learn something new every day!

For our assignment, we had to pick a story (movie, book, tv show) that fits to this idea of a story “shape”. When I was watching this video, I immediately thought of Cinderella. But then I thought “that would be too obvious and easy“. So I kept pondering for other ideas to challenge myself. Then, I thought of the tv show Prison Break {if you have not seen this show, watch it!! I demand that you watch highly recommend it. And it’s free on Netflix!}. I went with the “boy meets girl” shape, but it can fit into the other story shapes as well {this is what I did at first, thank goodness for Amber’s comment}


shape story FINAL


At first, Michael and Sara fall in love in a prison {Michael robbed a bank – for a reason that you can find out when you watch – and Sara is the doctor there}, Then, Michael loses Sara when he breaks out of prison and he thinks she is dead. And lastly, Sara’s death was fake, they find each other and get married. You know the drill. There are TONS of other elements in this show that are not listed above {and I did not give away the ending} so you should definitely watch it. There will be a quiz at the end of the semester ;) just joshin’!

When I went to the DS 106 reddit page, I found a GIF {that I now know how to make thanks to boot camp! You can check out my GIF here} that I would definitely classify as a digital story. This GIF is from “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”. I have never seen the movie before, but when I was clicking on all of the entries, this one stuck out. To me, this GIF is a digital story because him pouring the coffee grounds is repeating over and over, almost as if he is making the World’s largest cup-o-joe. I thought a couple of possibilities; 1) he is extremely tired and needs a lot of coffee {which I can definitely relate to} or 2) people love his coffee so he needs to make a lot. These possibilities are what make me classify this GIF as a digital story. If you go back to my What is Digital Storytelling post, you will see that I classified a digital story as one that you don’t need words or captions. The possibilities can be endless!! I selected this GIF to write about because, I love coffee and the repeated action was brillant and well thought-out.

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