Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Great Guru Showdown, Part 4: How Do They Line Up?

So we’ll begin at the end: here’s what our gurus look like, all lined up. This is the first (that I know of) structure guru concordance. Click to enbiggen it and then drink it in...Note how some of the structures are just different ways of saying the same thing, while other truly contradict each other (especially in the third quarter, which is always the hardest part of a story to define.)

And for those of you to lazy too click on it and see the full-size version (I know you’re out there), here’s a close-up of the beginnings:
The middles:
And the ends:
But who are these guys and gals, really? Next week we’ll talk about what they have to say that’s valuable and what’s not so helpful...


j.s. said...

Seeing Maslow's hierarchy laid out with the rest of these charts puts me in mind of something you posted a while back:

"Simon Kinberg said that every hero should first be endangered socially, then physically, then spiritually."

The hero's journey through the hierarchy, then, isn't simply an advancement in consciousness but also a test for higher stakes at each new level.

It's not strictly a one-to-one correspondence, as Maslow puts physical safety near the bottom of his pyramid. What if anything do you make of the different weight given physical danger by Maslow as opposed to the storyellers?

Once again, Matt, many thanks for sharing this amazing work with all of us.

Yat-Yee said...

Don't have to time read it properly right now but will mark it to read later. Looks very interesting. I am just always impressed when people can sum up creative processes like this.

Steve Bird said...

"Embiggen" is a perfectly cromulent word!

Swinefever said...

I've seen a few of these. HFI's Script Formula Chart has been around for a couple of years and I even did my own one, laying the various guru beats out across an imaginary 110 pages. I've come to the conclusion that while they're all pretty much of a muchness, they also all have something good to say and can help you to answer a problem when you're stuck. The trick is not to try to use them all at once, as that way madness lies.

woody c said...

Glad I found your site, really useful resource.

Have you read Robert McKee's 'story'?
I recommend it, and it'd be great to see how it compares to the other gurus.

Matt Bird said...

Yes, I have, and I like his book. I realize that it's weird to not have a major guru like McKee as part of this discussion, but he never really commits himself to a firm-enough structure to compare to the others side-by-side, so I left him out. I mention him at other times, though, just search for "McKee"