Story Patterns and Genres
FAQ: What role does genre play in story and does it conflict with the seven story patterns?
1. Genre is the type of setting, characters, and story language in which pattern is placed (e.g. westerns, science fiction, mystery)
2. All people share similar motives. For example, in all cultures people need food, water, and shelter. Therefore, motive is the
center of all stories including genre stories.
Motive linked to corresponding story action (characters attempting to get what they
want or need) creates story plot patterns. These same seven story patterns are found in every genre from stories around the world.
Some examples include:
*copycat story -Greek Myth of Daedalus and Icarus
*stuck story - Greek myth of King Midas
*contest story - Greek myth Arachne and Athena
*physical transformation story - The Creation
retold by Chewing Black Bones (Blackfoot Elder)
3. The seven story patterns do not conflict with genre stories,
because the two work together. Genre stories rely on motive and
pattern to supply story problems and resolutions.
4. Children struggle the most with finding a story problem and corresponding resolution. The beauty of the seven plot patterns isthat anyone can learn basic story problems and resolutions which can be used repeatedly with new settings and characters to create stories in any genre. Try it out and see for yourself!