Kurt Vonnegut & How to Shape an Unforgettable Story

Kurt Vonnegut - pen and paper

The fundamental idea is that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper, and that the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads,

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut published fourteen novels over a period of fifty years as well as numerous short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. He is best remembered, however, for his three great novels Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle and Breakfast of Champions.

What many people don’t know about Kurt Vonnegut is that he was also granted a master’s degree in anthropology by the University of Chicago after he submitted his novel Cat’s Cradle as a thesis.

Kurt Vonnegut was fascinated by the stories societies told, believing unforgettable stories followed a certain ‘shape’.

Below is an infographic showing his take on the ‘shape of stories’.


Kurt Vonnegut: The Shape of Stories [Infographic]
Created by Visual.ly

Do you agree with Kurt Vonnegut? Or do you think he was a better writer than anthropologist? If you’re writing a story, do you recognise Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘shape’? Let me know in the comments below.


About the author

Laura Tong

Laura Tong is the Editor here at Write To Done and her writing regularly features on such top blogs as HuffPost, Tiny Buddha and of course Write To Done. She’s a published author (traditional and indie) and has written books as diverse as luxury travel, surreal fiction, autobiographical and personal development.