The Plot Sequence and a Journey Diagram

I found something interesting about “personal” genre…This was an (undated) research project some years back about how people perceive life…The researchers showed there were basically 10 different belief-curves about life. (See document linked below)

  • Life-crisis - small loss and fast recovery
  • Slowly ascending
  • Planned gain with appreciated risk
  • Life-crisis - fall and dash
  • Moratorium
  • Metanoia
  • Permanent descending
  • Spiral
  • Permanently shattering life line
  • Discontinuity

Three thoughts

  1. I suspect each of these kinds of “life-genres” correlate with preferred choice of story genre (fantasy, mystery, horror, rom-com, romance, historical, etc)

  2. I’m sure their preference would match up with the “moods” of the different quads (left-top, right-bottom, etc).

  3. As an author looking at these patterns, it shows that the “Hero’s Journey” path pattern isn’t going to undo the beliefs about life…

If we want to persuade the reader of a premise that will make their life better for knowing…Just like a sound cancelling (or stealth) device sends opposite waves, I suspect we need some alternate patterns to retrain the belief systems of those who conceive of their life as a different pattern.

I’d love to hear the ideas of others about this. Here’s the document: (LINK to PDF)


I think that 52 respondents resulting in 10 genres is not enough people to get much of a conclusion. I also bet we see our whole life through the lens of “today” and in ten years, people might see things differently.

Overall, I think this is really a study about how any given person might see the world. It’s about personal philosophies, and that’s pretty interesting.

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@MWollaeger, I think it would show that there are a PLURALITY of patterns we see about life, not that this would be a final number of patterns. I heard someone say lately that once they realized x and y, they started reading horror stories because that fit their new life understanding. It seems to fit this idea.