Archetypes Podcast Series

31 The Plot Archetype Structure

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Anyone can tell stories. Stories are an everyday part of the human experience. But what allows a great story to stand the test of time?

This episode takes a deep dive into the plot archetype structure. Rob reviews Christopher Booker’s book The 7 Basic Plots, and examines whether we can apply the key lessons to business storytelling. Listen now to learn:

  • Why the plot archetype structure is a tool, not a requirement
  • How to leverage deep principles to tell better stories
  • How and where to use the plot archetype structure in your marketing

Listener Feedback

“Listened to your episode today. Opened my ears and eyes.
Really helped me get the storytelling formula into my thick head.

I was good at science in school – absolutely sh1t at English because I just couldn’t get my head around there not being a right or wrong answer.

Or should I say formula for good essay/article/email writing etc

Thanks for getting it all into perspective for me.

Looking forward to next weeks pod now.”

John Pickering

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32 Overcoming The Monster

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This episode reviews plot 1 of 7 from Christopher Booker’s book ‘The Seven Basic Plots’, and examines potential use cases in business. Listen now to learn:

  • Why ‘Overcoming The Monster’ appears so often in literature
  • The key elements of an ‘Overcoming The Monster’ plot
  • Why I believe this plot likely isn’t right for your ‘signature story
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33 Rags to Riches

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The ‘Rags to Riches’ plot is perhaps the easiest plot to use in business. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to get wrong, because most marketers only write about their riches!

The secret to Rags to Riches is that neither the rags nor the riches actually matter much (and are subjective). What matters is the part in the middle.

What is that part? Find out in this episode, and learn:

  • Why ‘Rags to Riches’ is potentially a good place to start using the plot archetype
  • The key elements of a good Rags to Riches story
  • How the plot can go wrong
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34 The Quest

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Want to place a truly engaging story at the heart of your marketing? One of the oldest and most engaging plot archetypes is the quest…

It’s tempting to think of the quest as a ‘journey’. And while there IS always a physical journey in every quest, the journey is only a part of the hero’s ordeal!

Learn how the quest plot works in practice, what the main ingredients are, and how to use it in a business setting. In this episode Rob explains:

  • The role of companions and ‘helper characters’ in every good quest plot
  • The key characteristics of a quest
  • The number one ingredient of a successful quest plot
  • How to apply to a business setting
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35 Voyage and Return

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This episode of the Story Copywriter Podcast looks at the second plot based on a journey: ‘Voyage and Return’.

Voyage and Return is a versatile plot, with wide ranging applications for business use. Listen now to learn:

  • Why the return matters MUCH more than the journey
  • Why the voyage should cause you to question your sense of self
  • How to escalate drama and suspense throughout the story
  • Why this plot is useful for business storytelling
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36 Comedy

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The comedy plot archetype first emerged in Ancient Greece, and has played an important role in literature over the last 2000 years.

Can you use the comedy plot in business? Yes! Do you need to be funny to use it? NO! (Which for me at least, is just as well).

Listen now to learn:

  • The key element at the heart of every successful comedy plot
  • Where to use the comedy plot in your marketing (hint: probably NOT up front)
  • How the comedy plot can help build trust with potential customers
  • Why the comedy plot is a versatile hammer to have in your storytelling toolkit
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37 Tragedy

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The ‘tragedy’ plot covers a wide range of stories that lack the ‘happy ending’ we are so used to seeing.

From a business storytelling perspective, you might be wondering, “why would I tell a tragedy story?” Why would you tell a story without a happy ending?

The answer is to draw your reader’s attention to a potentially deadly problem they may have overlooked. 

Listen now to learn:

  • Why the ‘dark character’ in a tragedy plot is never truly ‘evil’
  • Why tragedy stories have persisted in literature across milennia
  • Why tragedy is relevant and pertinent to every one of us
  • How and when to use it in business storytelling
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38 Rebirth

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Have you ever been through an extended period of struggle in your life or career, culminating in radical personal transformation?

If so, you have a ‘rebirth’ story on your hands! Learn how to apply the lessons of Sleeping Beauty, Frozen and Scrooge to your business storytelling. Learn:

  • Why the rebirth plot is the close cousin of tragedy
  • Why the plot is universally engaging and recognisable
  • Who should use this plot to build trust with potential customers
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