Kurt Vonnegut’s theory that every story can be told with 1 of 8 sentences

Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favourite authors, and in addition to his books, he left behind a theory of stories that aren’t so well known, but still fascinating.

He broke down stories that are told worldwide in all cultures into just a eight simple shapes. For example, shape #1, “The Man in Hole”…

Somebody gets into trouble, gets out of it again…. People love that story!

Every story that connects to us on a human level fits into one of his categories.

Graphic designer Maya Eilam took Vonnegut’s story shapes and included them into this infographic:


Here Vonnegut explains the shapes of 3 classic storylines: