Napkins #1 – Story Structures

Tangent to Storytelling.

I’m not much of a writer, and even less so a writer of fiction. Mark Twain encouraged writers to “use the right word, not its second cousin,” a crime of which I’m sure I’m guilty on many occasions. The few pieces of fiction I’ve written have been nearly independent of any prior planning and only adhere loosely to any premeditated structure. Despite this deficiency of dramatic design, when I ran across this super-cool collection of napkin-sketch story structures, I was hooked. The simplicity of the medium is catchy (not kitschy) and the pictorial way of seeing the stories is something I wish I could do. Behold!

Also I love Radiolab.


Bradley Campbell’s napkin sketch of the Radiolab storytelling structure. Click for the article!

All of Campbell’s sketches are for radio shows – a medium I enjoy almost solely through Radiolab, though his description of Transom was cool enough and the sketch intriguing enough that I believe I’ll check it out. In the next day or so, I’m going to sketch out a few storytelling structures of my own and put them on this post, just to give it a try. If you’re lucky, maybe Victoria will lend her wisdom and put a few in the gallery as well!

You just had to be there.


First napkin sketch also happens to be my first attempt at adding an image via mobile!

Bonus – First writer-reader interaction: If you have a cool story structure, share it with us!


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