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Let This Periodic Table Of Storytelling Destroy Your Writer's Block

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Writing is many things: a job, a hobby, a personal imperative, an act, an art, a gigantic pain in the ass. But is it a science? The Periodic Table of Storytelling breaks down narrative elements into a familiar form—though one that liberal artsy folks probably haven't thought about since high school.

Here's how it works. Each of the elements features a common trope—but these aren't just your standard stops on the Monomyth journey. I mean, it's been a while, but I'm pretty sure Joseph Campbell never covered Ass (Ass Pulls)—"less than graceful narrative developments"—and Vam (Viewers are Morons), "a common belief among TV executives is that everyone who watches TV has the intellect of Beavis and Butt-Head."


The table is accompanied by a series of ten story molecules that highlight popular plots from modern classics. Ghostbusters, for example, is made up of the ol' Iac (Sealed Evil in a Can), Mad (Mad Scientist), Hil (Hilarity Ensues), and 5ma (Five-Man Band).

Think of it like prompt-bingo, and see if these building blocks can shake your writers' block. [Periodic Table of Storytelling]