Saturday, 30 January 2021



As consultant coach and mentor I am always interested in the stories of people and organisations and working with them to craft and develop their story as part of making sense of the past and shaping the future. Outlined below are some of the key elements of stories. You can see these elements in stories from the bible, movies, books and your own lived experience.  


So what is your story and what are all the sub-plots and sub-stories [usually the things that continue to have a profound and continuing impact 12-18 months after the have happened]

Mission / Purpose  - What is the general idea (guide, warning, revelation) of your story?
Sub-Plot1 - Is there a sub-plot / lesson/ context you need to refer to?
Sub-Plot1 - Is there a sub-plot / lesson/ context you need to refer to?
Sub-Plot1 - Is there a sub-plot / lesson/ context you need to refer to?


What is your role in your life story? Is is hero, victim or villain? What other roles do you have at any one time? What about other people? In a business context these can be other organisations, structures, groups that have personalities and motives, just like people.

Narrator - Who is this? Are they a participant-protagonist, father-culture, mother-nature
Characters - What is their past, present and future story, What are their strengths, weaknesses and needs?

Female Archetype: Earth Mother, Old Hag, Great Mother, Temptress, Mother Goddess, Female Hero (princess or maiden), Damsel in distress (passive female hero)
Ruler/leader: role model/ peacemaker
Hero: Epic hero
Antihero: reluctant hero
Sage: Wise man/ Mentor/ Soothsayer/ Guide
Trickster: A trickster is a character that represents that part of human nature that wants to break rules and cause trouble.Tricksters try to outwit people, animals, and even gods.  They are most commonly depicted in animal form. 
Caregiver: supporter/advisor/ advocate/ nurturer/ altruist
Innocent: idealist/ traditionalist/ optimist/cheerleader
Jester: entertainer, wise fool, holy fool, wit
The rebel 
The side kick 
The traitor 


What are the key elements of the story, not just content, objects and tools, but also feelings, context, situation.

Emotions - Archetype Motivations / Emotions: happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, and anger.
Knowledge - What we know and don't know and can never know
Message - fable/morality/yarn/legend/myth 
Space - What is the space, map, layout, location of the story: pics and maps
Artifacts - What are the tools or objects and how do they impact + or - the story

PLOT STRUCTURE (Archetypal Story Patterns)

There are lots of story patterns, more about people. However even business will have stories like Pheonix from the ashes, The underdog, David beats Goliath etc. These stories are essential to help people understand meaning, purpose and journey.

Hero overcomes great obstacles and gets home or wins
A magician who helps make dreams come true
A jester who brings out the fun in a situation
The story of good verses evil
The quest for knowledge of self
The journey home
Hero saves damsel in distress
Star-crossed lovers


Not all these chapters will be in every story, but it i interesting to look at the list and pick the elements.

Ordinary World - what is world like 'before'
Call to Action - who/what is messenger and reason
Refusal to Call - what stops/inhibits or is missing
Meeting the Mentor - who guides/helps
The first Threshold - what is risk, gain,loss and trigger
The first Trial - what is gaining, losing or learning
Allies - what do they want/offer how do they compete or collaborate
Enemies - what do they want/offer how do they threaten or frustrate
Fulfillment - what is the output, outcome, lesson
Inner Cave - how are they preparing/learning [their past, present and future, self, father-culture and mother-nature]
The Ordeal - meeting the enemy, object, tool what is feared/hoped/learned
Reward - What is gained, changed
Road Back - What consequences have to be faced
Resurrection/Redemption/rebirth / reawakening - what is last trial and how will be purified by that
Conclusion and consequences

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