Universal stories

A Ted talk that Ben posted from Grant got me thinking about universal stories again. This blog has a list of seven.

I’m thinking about this because it seems like most of the stories my classes and I tell are of the “quest” variety (and sometimes the comedy): the character needs something and goes out after it. It might be fun to think in terms of varying the story type from time to time.

Bill Harley talks about how we need to choose stories to fit our audience. I had one student this year whose reflections kept coming back to his father’s accident, no matter what story we told. Those reflections were thanks to Bryce’s suggestions, always in English, and they helped me understand and appreciate the student on a whole different level. I want to keep in my mind the startling idea that we help ourselves make sense of our world when we tell a story.

Maybe we could even share the “universal story” scheme with students. It might help the 4%-ers more accepting of the TPRS techniques.


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