The joys of being a digital nomad aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be.
Just as many people post pictures on Facebook that try and project an ideal life (no one really stops to take photos during horrible arguments, despairing money moments, or bedridden existential crises, do they?), so too do we often hold an ideal image of what working life outside of the nine-to-five will look like.
As writers, we understand the impact of language. We pour over each syllable, agonize over a “but” versus a “yet,” and spend hours deciding the best way to communicate a specific idea or narrative.
We know that a single word can alter how an audience feels, create moods, encourage action, or inspire people to change their minds.
Yet when it comes to discussing our writing career — even to ourselves — we often don’t put the same consideration into our word choices. Even more problematically, we may unknowingly be self-sabotaging our careers with our language.
It’s confirmed. Science has found six core shapes underlying all stories.
At the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Laboratory (CSL), Peter Dodds, Chris Danforth, and their team made the discovery.
The concept of a common story shape is not a new one. Aristotle, in his seminal work Poetics, first discussed the shape of stories in 335 BCE. He wrote about the importance of unity in the beginning, middle, and end of a story, and broke popular examples like Homer’s Odyssey down to their rudimentary parts, revealing a shape found in most Epics and Tragedies.
In 1985, Kurt Vonnegut wrote his master’s thesis on the subject, finding eight shapes that can be easily plotted and replicated. He gives a lecture on the graphs here and there is a friendly infographic here.
These scholars were challenged on their numbers and the simplicity of their theories. The author Georges Polti suggested there are 36 story shapes, and Vonnegut’s thesis was rejected by the University of Chicago.
CSL has now provided the proof. There are six basic shapes to all stories.
When you create anything, be it a novel, a play, a piece of art, a record, or a film, making sure that your creation is legally protected is extremely important. Copyrighting your work is the most basic form of protection, and that protection exists from the moment you create something fixed and tangible.
While you do not have to register your work with your country’s copyright office to have it protected under the copyright law, doing so gives you extra legal power if someone were to steal your content.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? You have ownership of the content you create, and if anyone steals it, they are breaking the law.