The Five Types Of Story & How to Choose One

According to Dr Nick Morgan of Public Words there are five basic types of stories in western culture.

1. The Quest

The hero must achieve some difficult goal or reach a certain place within a certain time. Along the way they must overcome a series of obstacles.

2. Stranger In A Strange Land

In this story the hero is placed in an unfamiliar situation and has to learn to play by a new set of rules.

3. Rags To Riches

The hero starts from a position of disadvantage and through luck, hard work, and determination is ultimately rewarded with riches, fame, glory etc.

4. Revenge

The hero has been wronged by their enemy and sets out to avenge the wrong that has been done to them.

5. Love Story

The classic boy meets girl. Boy does something stupid. Boy has to win girl back again.

Which story applies to you?

Some examples in business might include: Venturing into a new market – stranger in a strange land.

Meeting a product launch deadline – the quest.

The classic entrepreneurial start-up from someone’s bedroom to multi-million dollar company – rags to riches.

Doing something that doesn’t sit well with customers then making it right – the love story.

Succeeding despite having to deal with tough competitors who do everything they can to stop you – revenge.

Whether you are preparing a campaign, coming up with an entire branding strategy, or making a presentation, figure out which of these basic themes applies to you, your business, or product, and craft a compelling story around it.

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications


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