The shape of Stories

After watching Kurt Vonnegut’s video the Shape of Stories I started brainstorming different examples of stories that followed these patterns and then I decided on Goodbye Earl by the Dixie Chicks. A classic song and one of my favorites. 

I decided to do a drawing to visually represent the song much like Maya Eilam did in her examples.

Goodbye Earll

Wanda starts out with ill fortune has her high school best friends Mary Anne leaves for bigger and better things. Wanda has nothing going for her and settles with Earl, after being married for two weeks he starts abusing her. Finally, Wanda files for a divorce and gets a restraining order. This does not stop Earl who puts her in intensive care. Mary Anne flies in and they work out a plan to kill Earl. They feed him poisoned black eyed peas and he dies. The police show up to take Earl in but he is “missing.” Although no one is actually missing him. They wrap him in a tarp and dispose of him. The girls buy some land and live out the rest of their lives happy selling ham and strawberry jam and they don’t loose any sleep at night.


While pulling up the Goodbye Earl music video I had to watch a commercial first.

I think that commercials are a form of digital storytelling. By making a commercial a story you better grasp the attention of the buyer, they also will remember the product better. This commercial tells the story of a guy who forgot to order new contacts and now can’t see what he is putting on his toothbrush, but grabs a container that is the same shape as toothpaste would be. Unfortunately for him it is hemorrhoid cream. The overall message is “Never run out of contacts” order from 1800CONTACTS.

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3 thoughts on “The shape of Stories

  1. What a fantastic song to use to tell the shape of a story! You’re definitely right about it being a great classic. The diagram you used is perfect and has a lot of detail which I believe really adds to the story. I never would have thought of commercials as being forms of digital storytelling but after reading what you had to say, I agree. There are many advertisements that do tell a story so they absolutely fall into the category of digital storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never really thought of a commercial as being a story before I read this post. But after reading, I really thought about it and it makes a lot of sense. They may not follow the traditional arch used by Vonnegut, but they are still getting a message across. As a society, we all love when the Superbowl is on because of how immensely popular the commercials are every year, and I know that whenever I see a funny commercial i forward it on to my friends and family so they can get a laugh out of it too. I think you made a really good point with this post. #talkingpolack106

    Liked by 1 person

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