CLASSIFICATION OF RESEARCH
The Story Template is a sensitive, specific, and accurate diagnostic test when classifying story as "classic" versus "non-classic".
About the Test Group: The Story Template
The Story Template is a new writing tool soon to be available on the market in 2010-2011. It describes story structure on the data-persuaded assumption that "good" stories are nearly identical in the elements of structure it describes. Its data sample does not include short stories, comics, TV shows, documentaries, plays etc., but does include novels and full-length movies. In The Story Template, the proposed description of story includes a greater number of essential elements than those described in systems such as Freytag's Pyramid, The Hero's Journey, or The Monomyth. However, The Story Template also insists that existing systems, particularly The Hero's Journey and The Monomyth are too rigid in their interpretation of story to be applicable to most "good" works. The Story Template embraces a more fluid model that the creator claims is both sensitive and specific to most "good" works. The Story Template was compiled by analyzing subjectively-chosen "good" modern stories side-by-side for similarities. The proportions of these similarities in reference to the story's endpoints were finalized through a statistical analysis among subjects.
This research demonstrates the theoretical benefits and limitations of using a scientific eye to describe and analyze elements of art, in this case, story structure. Because the nature of the subject's quality is subjective, the results produced from this study will have a prominent source of error: human interpretation. Story is an artform explicative of chosen aspects of the human condition. A protagonist's struggles and ultimate solution in a story are meant to parallel the reader's own experience and provide guidance. This research evaluates The Story Template, a description of common elements found in "good" modern story. If The Story Template is correct in its assumption of story: that there is a repetative form to story, transcending both time, genre, and culture, then what may be deduced of greater human nature? Are those supposed redundancies in art only symptoms of deeper preexisting patterns in the human mind?
Audience: Screen/Novel Editors, Novelists, Literary Agents
This study will establish the credibility of The Story Template in two potential applications. The first application is the use of The Story Template by editors and agents to increase their efficiency when choosing publishable material and later pinpointing errors in the story construct that must be revised before it is published. The second application of The Story Template is its use by novelists and screenwriters while they develop their stories. In either case, the purpose of The Story Template is to add structure to a currently intuitive field. This structure may help to limit time wasted to 'reinventing the wheel' in the context of story. It may serve as a starting place from which artists may get past 'writers' block' when designing story. Before writers and editors begin using The Story Template as it is intended, they should validate its credibility - an element indicated in this study by final sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy scores (all in percent). Further trials will be required to establish The Story Template as a reputable theory, but this research will provide the ground-breaking step in that validation process.
Time Required: One School Year (2009-2010)
This project includes two main components (both of which are described under the tabs "First Component" and "Second Component" listed on the left of the screen). A more detailed copy of the research time table will be presented at a later date. The general stages are listed below:
1. Experimental design, approval, and set-up; includes writing:
a. Introduction section
b. Methods section
2. Data collection
a. Includes revising the methods section
3. Drawing of analyses and conclusions; includes writing:
a. Data analysis section
b. Conclusion section
c. Error analysis section
d. Future application/plans section
4. Summation of study in final written form and publication/presentation; includes:
a. Writing the abstract
b. Editing full research manuscript
c. Synthesize original research manuscript into concise synthesis paper
d. Creation of various audiovisual presentations
1. Articulation of premise in one-sentence "zinger" form; choosing of character roles, story world elements, moral pillar, etc.
2. Completion of the vague external and internal story plot point table
3. Completion of the first synopsis (length approximates 4500 words)
4. Synthesis of original synopsis to 750 words
5. Synthesis of second draft synopsis to 250 words
6. Expansion of original plot points to include "chords"
7. Expansion of chords to include outline of each scene