How do you spot stories that have the potential to motivate, inspire and communicate something powerfully?
Dan and Chip Heath give three types of stories to be on the lookout for in their book, Made to Stick. Here they are:
The Challenge Plot
- Ex/ David & Goliath
- The underdog story, rags to riches, triumph of sheer willpower over adversity...
- Key element: The obstacles seem daunting to the protagonist.
- They inspire us by appealing to our perseverance and courage.
- They make us want to work harder, take on new challenges, and overcome obstacles.
- Challenge plots inspire us to ACT.
The Connection Plot
- A story about people who develop a relationship that bridges a gap - racial, class, ethnic, religious, demographic, etc...
- Ex/ Good Samaritan story
- These inspire us in social ways - make us want to help others be more tolerant of others, work with others, love others.
- They are about relationships with other people.
The Creativity Plot
- Ex/ The apple falling on Newton's head inspiring his theory of gravity.
- Involves someone making a mental breakthrough, solving a long-standing puzzle, attacking a problem in an innovative way. (Think MacGyver plot...)
- The creativity plot makes us want to do something different, to be creative, to experiment with new approaches.
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